Big paintings solve big problems

May 21 - July 04, 2015

Semyon was born and began his art education in Belarus, and then he graduated from St. Petersburg State Academy of Art and Industry, Department of Monumental-decorative painting and the Contemporary Art program by St. Petersburg PRO ARTE Foundation. Thus he is combining the academic background of the classic post-Soviet art education with the newest points in contemporary art.

The St. Petersburg art scene is quite familiar with Semyon Motolyanets works. He actively participate in group exhibitions since 2006, also as member of the «PARZIT» association and one of the founders of the SOAP group, winners of the «Innovation-2009» prize in the New Generation nomination.

“The art of Semyon Motolyanets is a conflict. A conflict between the artist’s reflexes and his ratio (“reason”). With a traditional fine arts education behind him, the painter is not able to control himself. He feels the first impulse to create something and unintentionally paints in the way he was taught. The next moment is an involuntary reaction to how it turned out: “God, what a vulgar sunset I’ve made!” The texts are the artist’s voice of reason, encumbered with postmodernist consciousness. What was beautiful in Kant has turned trivial. Traditional painting is not comme il faut.

The irony on the subject of generally accepted and well-established rules of the game in the capitalistic art world – “big paintings solve big problems” – looks like a form of protection, of self-identification and to some extent even resistance to evil, but it is also the pursuit of truth, lost in a vast field of illusions”. (Lizaveta Matveeva)