Борис Зинкевич, художник. Галерея "КвадраТ".


His world of images is extremely sensual, tinged with subtle irony and, at the same time, is childishly unprejudiced. These controversial qualities might seem to be tearing apart the pictorial system of the artist. Far from that. In his everyday life, Zinkevich is a little quizzical, very shy and, at the same time, natural, and his works, so very diversified in form and style, possess something that makes them whole and organic. His pictures are filled with the sole sentiment and this sentiment is love, they reveal a single attitude to life, and this is a warm and hearty welcome. Actually, the only subject of his pictures is the story of a man and a woman, the history of their relations ever since the Adam-and-Eve time, their first dissent and the inevitable exile, moments of closeness and partings, their secret and open desires. Sensuality of perception and interpretation of the theme is graded from almost erotica (as in The Seven Gnomes) to a delightful presentation of a simple subject (as in a color etching named A Bathing Woman).

   In general, in his etchings the artist manages to disclose the nature of man and woman through temperate means, in good humor, sometimes resorting to proverbs. Thus, his works - The Great March and The Taming of the Shrew - depict the woman, strong in body and spirit, wise and ever understanding, and her baby-man. One cannot be left unmoved by the sight of women carrying their men either on their shoulders or stuck under their arms, and of women who have not netted their own men yet, and of the men who oppose to it with all their might. Or of women, such modern-looking Amazons, who have mounted their men, and these men crawl on their fours, holding swords, the vertical row of which personifies the virile strength. These pictures, which combine folk elements and the primitive charm, are free from platitude, cynicism and perversity. Naughtiness and jocosity calm down passions, reduce stark eroticism and impart kindly dreaminess to Zinkevich's works, as is, for example, in A Bathing Woman. Two fellows - doubled by their reflections in the water - have made themselves snug on a hill and idly watch the "heroine" splashing in the lake. Mermaids, flying and swimming, seamen and gallant men are charming with their spontaneity, and personify a dream, a phantasma, a mirage or a desire. Entwinement of fantasy and reality, together with an expressive plastic language in which gestures, looks and conventional decorative colors prevail, the perfect sense of space arrangement have fully revealed themselves in the canvasses Stepan Rasin and Othello (both painted in 1996). Again, Zinkevich is true to his understanding of the theme: it is sooner a yearning than despair that is written on Desdemona's face, and puzzled are Rasin's men, incapable of understanding how their ataman can refuse such a beauty.

   The artist works in painting and graphics, both print and monotype. The latter, performed on black paper, are more attractive by their elemental colorfulness and dusky mystery.

   A genuine feeling is always holistic, it cannot be broken into components, and in this sense, Zinkevich is a harmonious painter. The love theme could not help but reveal itself in a deep spiritual hypostasis. His Gospel themes are heart-rending, forcing one to fall into a muse over the moral essence of the human nature. The very artistic solution of Judas' Kiss and The Lashing (both painted in 1990) - the vibrating space, the glow coming from the inside and filling the air, a light hint of figurativeness - imparts portentous drama and brings the spectator to a new stage of spiritual enlightenment. That may have been the reason why his works were displayed at Petersburg's exhibition devoted to the 2000th anniversary of Christianity, which is by all means a great honor for any master.

   Alice Lyubimova


   Zinkevich was born in Novosibirsk in 1953. Painter, draughtsman, muralist. He studied (1977-1982) and graduated from The Mukhina Industrial Art College, department of Mural Art. Joined the Union of Artists in 1990. 

   Since 2000 he has taught painting at The Non-State Institute of Decorative Arts in St Petersburg.


   Mural paintings:

   1988 - graffiti in the lobby of The Buff theatre (St Petersburg).


   Selected exhibitions of recent years:

   1994 - 2000 - annual exhibitions at The Katedralen Exhibitin Hall, Skagen, Denmark (together with V. Zagorov, P. Tatarnikov, P. Konnikov, A. Rumyantsev; catalogue: Summer Art Exhibition, Skagen - St Petersburg, 1994;

   1995 - The Russian Seascape and Modern Fine Arts of St Petersburg, Aalborg, Denmark (catalogue: The Russian Seascape and Modem Fine Arts of St Petersburg, Aalborg);

   1995 - Two Lyrical Russians, The Nordic Cultural Centre, Bodo, Norway (together with P. Tatrnikov; booklet: To Lyriske Russere, Nordland Kulturcenter, Bodo);

   1997 - Petersburg '96, Annual Exhibition of New Works by Petersburg artists (Illustrated catalogue), The Manиge Central Exhibition Hall, St Petersburg;

   1997 - Pilgrimage to the island of Kythera (Love and Erotica in Fine Arts), The Manиge Central Exhibition Hall, St Petersburg (catalogue);

   1997 - The Russian Art in the Transition Period, The Business Center, Copenhagen, Denmark;

   1997 - The Continuity of Time, Exhibition of members of St Petersburg Union Of Artists 1932-97. The Manиge Central Exhibition Hall, St Petersburg (catalogue);

   1998 - the Russian Modern Art of St Petersburg, the Art Museum, Friederichshavn, Denmark.

   1997, 1998, 1999 - The Christmas Exhibition, The Silver Age Gallery, Anna Akhmatova Museum at Fontanny Dom, St Petersburg, 2000 - "Amen I say unto you", The Exhibition devoted to the 2000th Anniversary of Christianity, The Manиge Central Exhibition Hall, St Petersburg (catalogue);

   2000 - Erotica-2000, The Manиge Central Exhibition Hall, St Petersburg;


   One-man exhibitions: 

   1992 - The UNESCO Center (St Petersburg).

   His works are stored at:

   The City History Museum (St Petersburg); The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation; the collection of The Manиge Central Exhibition Hall, St Petersburg.



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