Alexandra Vertinskaya. Venice

Alexandra Vertinskaya (Moscow). Venice (photography, graphics).
Curator- Nikolay Palazhchenko. When I recall a beautiful city, whether St. Petersburg, Paris or Venice, it is never classic postcards views that come to my mind. However splendid those Eiffel tower or Palace square are, I rather remember some quiet side street, unusual shop window or a tiny church. Alexandra Vertinskaya’s series about Venice lacks such sumptuous views as Grand Canal or San Marco square. A curtain driven away by a gust of wind, a nice lantern, an old marble vase – those are intimate and apparently unimportant details but they are most likely to stick in one’s memory. It is such desolate and dim images that make one can restore a city’s style and melody. Vertinskaya’s works are huge silk prints, which required the use of special technology from a Moscow silk printing studio. Austerity, immobility and precision of architecture are complemented with dynamics and warmth of painting. Each work is unique because it is hand painted by the author. This or that detail on each work may resemble any spot on the Earth but here they only show Venice. It is these details that make you understand why this city is so beautiful: style and harmony are ubiquitous here. In the artist’s opinion, these live objects represent the harmony much better then hackneyed tourist views. D137 Gallery seems to purposely house this exhibition during the celebration of St. Petersburg tercentenary. Every beautiful city in the world, including Venice and St. Petersburg, has these magic specialties. In the days when the views of St. Petersburg are endlessly represented in mass media it may be easier to perceive its lightness and harmony with regard to another water-based city. Perhaps, after Alexandra Vertinskaya’s new series devoted to St. Petersburg is exhibited, you will be able to see some detail of fretwork or cast iron grate that you never noticed before.

Nikolay Palazhchenko