Fall in sweet, gentle love with Vladimir Zagorov’s ‘Yellow Movement’. A sublime synergy of feeling, rhythm and symbolism. Brushstrokes only, and VERY very good.

What you see is a deliberate, meticulous amalgamation of colour. Full of depth, alive on the canvas, dancing. ‘Yellow Movement’ is a spiritual meeting between light and life forms. In it, the European sun, soft and tranquil, is a lens to life objects on earth: water bodies, birds, faces, wheat fields.

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It imparts a holiday mood, serene yet strong. One may get the sense that Zagorov sees the world as having a young energy, fluid, evolving and full of love.

SEE, STEEP, SKY fires the imagination with its symbolic abstraction. Vladimir describes the scenery that inspired its dreamlike sequence. “…walking along the beach one day I came across a couple in the nude, a man and a woman. They were enjoying a bottle of red wine, cooling it in the water. Completely uninhibited.  A wheat field was nearby, a flowing stream, and birds flying overhead…’ The painting captures an eerie version of reality, where only compulsory outlines and signs remain, the rest is left to the beholder.

Another symbolism caught my eye – oval shapes recurring patiently throughout the collection. This, I learned, is seed. Representative of life’s relationships. Sprouting out of the earth, its final form unknown and undetermined.

Viewing the paintings individually is almost like looking into a moving train of thought. It is full of continuous, shifting forms, with vague lines of boundary, yet a connectedness indicating relationships between different subjects.

Time, chance, and an inspired curator sparked the series of events that brought Vladimir’s collection to South Africa for the first time, and to Graham’s Fine Art Gallery in particular. Good energy, trust, and a handshake did the rest. (And what a hand to shake!)

Trained at Russia’s highest art academic university, his art pieces can be seen across collections in Europe, most notably the State Hermitage, St Petersburg. His work hints at an inexhaustible creative vitality, joyous playfulness and a total lack of vanity. It is almost as if he says ‘this work is for me and you.’

When seeing the collection this season (1 September to 15 October at Graham’s Fine Art Gallery) Dear Viewer, take your time to savour rare artistic mastery; bring sincerity and curiosity with you.