Alyona Kirtsova made it into the history of Russian contemporary art quite soon thanks to her geometric works of the early 1980s and the happily found interi- ors of a flat in a newly-built concrete building. Kirtsova saw in that impersonal “box” with slits for windows a successor to Modernist aesthetics and she managed to convey this effectively and successfully.

At the core of Alyona Kirtsova’s art lies a radical rejection of the literary image. Colour in her paintings is nothing but colour. It is free from other, extra-visual meanings. Colour in her works is above all Matter, something that can be touched, emotionally felt and remembered as an event.

By understanding the plastic, figurative nature of the pictorial language, the artist has expanded the limits of her method. Whichever technique Kirtsova adopted – making paintings, box-objects, canvases immersed into paint – all her experiments belong unmistakably to painting; to that Modernist painting that aspired to be the matrix, the Universe and the practical guide to modelling the future.

The purity and penetrating clarity of Kirtsova’s formal discoveries is accompanied by the amazing warmth and gentleness of her palette. Her geometric com- positions, born from the observation of every-day reality, never cut the ‘cord’ connecting them with life. They keep the ‘protein structure’ of material things as they are. The interpretation of this ‘painting substance’ evolves with each new period in the artist’s career. In the early 1980s Kirtsova studied the internal structure of an object and the frames delimiting it from the outside. Ten years later her interest shifted to surfaces showing discontinuity, permeability and a stratified structure.

Her recent works deal with ruptures in virtual objects. The corporal, material interpretation of the nature of colour meets here new parameters characteristic of the digital image, such as plurality, kaleidoscopic structure and porosity.

It is not possible to speak of Alyona Kirtsova’s art in the past tense – the project is open, the work still goes on.

Evgenia Kikodze


September 28 — October 24, 2010

Moscow Museum of Modern Art (17 Ermolaevsky Lane)