'La Tribune le Progrès' writes about the painting of the Russian artist Nikolai Kuzmin and his exhibitions in Chambon-sur-Lignon.
August 22, 2006
Nikolay Kuzmin: a world of colours and secrets.
An eminent member of the Muscovite School of artists, Nikolay Kuzmin currently presents in the ‘Cimaise’ gallery in Chambon-sur-Lignon an exhibition, ‘Nomadic Paintings’, consisting of about fifty paintings.The influences of Russian as well as western art pervade these fascinating works.
There is a thick layer of multi-coloured paint spreading over the surface of the canvas.Nevertheless there is an esthetic quality guiding the structure and spirit of Nikolay Kuzmin’s paintings. For this man, who joined the Union of Muscovite Artists once the Soviet regime had collapsed, jolting conventions has become a habit, far beyond a reflex but a real asset.
From the origins of this extraordinary artistic vocation one can sense the traditions of the town of Nizhny Novgorod, situated on the river Volga and not far from where Kuzmin was born.In this region, deeply attached to its cultural heritage, the painter discovered a conventional idea of beauty, ensuing from the simplicity of its accessible themes.
His willingness to create and embody innovation transforms classical subjects into masterpieces on the canvas.Through unusual applications of depth, this clever creator does not forget to wink an eye in the direction of the Russian masters who influenced him in his youth.
Often formed through the interaction with the spatula his works cannot deny a very Slavic nature, both warm and generous.Like a sculptor Kuzmin works on material so far as to turn paint standing in relief into a source of darkness and light. But above all the artist remains a funambulist of colours. A wonderful harmony of tones characterizes his slightest interpretation, be it these snow-capped pine trees, these almost dreamlike coastal views, or the elegant façade of the Rostov Velikiy cathedral.
A painting to master
The oil paintings by Nikolay Kuzmin are much more than the bare reflection of a model – they carry within them the achievements of their author, his progression, and his genius.Somewhat related to the impressionist current, they sometimes border on abstraction, like diffuse memories. The emotions and perceptions appear to find their expression in the width of movement, in the varied precision of stroke. To the aesthete painting like this no doubt radiates and conceals an immensely sensitive soul, but your eye cannot perceive it without delving into his deeply secret universe.
August 28, 2007
Nikolay Kuzmin, the wandering artist
The painter from Nizhny Novgorod, an outstanding representative of the Muscovite School of artists, exhibits in Chambon-sur-Lignon until September 1st.
Lovers of art and paintings could identify his paintings among thousands of others.Faithful to his generous and sparkling style Nikolay Kuzmin continues on his already brilliant career finding in the landscapes he finds when roaming around the world always greater sources of inspiration. True to himself the Russian artist remains attached to his inimitable stamp when breaking new ground. He explores other emotionally charged regions without betraying his reservations about them.
The works exhibited in Chambon-sur-Lignon carry within them the trace of the evolution and progress of his painting over the last ten years.
With Nikolay Kuzmin the small revolutions, the very ones that are concerned with apparently insignificant details, turn a conventional subject into a powerfully original image, charged with emotions and adorned with the beauty that the creator’s eye gives it.By doing so he ensures the perpetuation of Russian traditional art - this great pictorial movement in which his whole youth was immersed. He observed Korovin, Vrubel, he analysed Serov, also became imbued with the popular culture of his region, and acquired a rich artistic knowledge with references and sober tribute, with which he still today peppers his own works.
While Kuzmin nowadays often prefers to use the spatula rather than the paintbrush, his achievements no doubt retain the influence of drawing with the spatula.
The world at the tip of his spatula
He always works with oil paint, finding in the thickness of the material an elegant way of mastering light and spreading his shade areas.
The expressionist influence, omnipresent in Kuzmin’s work, reinterprets the model, filtering from it its underlying charm.In his hands the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, the Basil the Blessed cathedral in Moscow and the pieces of landscapes in France and Russia become, through the enchantment of art, a series of both magical and philosophical visions.