For almost five hundred years artists have tried to imitate nature. Another century has passed in fervent fight against the imitative reality, with all that they had tried to achieve for so long. Nowadays realism does not need any longer to be justified (after the complex period of the avant-gardist aniconism). Strangely enough, it is again starting to depict the unconcious philosophy of the time. Not to mention that an artist's devotion to the realities of life a priori gives the audience the joy of recognition.

Andrey Severetnikov is a realist who never disappoints his audience. His work gradually captivates, letting us feel the depicted motive, weather it is a landscape, a still-life painting or a figurative composition. One wants to study them. The perception of artist's unconscious response to what he has seen, his ability to extend his experience on the canvas, provides us with the sense of accomplishment and tranquil pleasure, which are quite rare nowadays. It seems that the artist devotes himself to the natural seeing, and from his first exhibitions til now he does not abandon his reluctance to follow the trendy tendencies of the modern art.

In his early work Severetnikov is a romanticist, delicate, tender and a little blurry. He places his female and child images in an environment that is evanishining, vibrating, it reminds us of unclear things bygone, but above all, it always leaves us space for a dream. Nowadays artists often constrain their imagination, in the interests of reality. However the romantic note stays in his oeuvre. As he aspires to reveal the inartificial happiness of existing, he attributes the principle roles to the landscape and still-life paintings.

The still lives by Andrey Severetnikov might be called detailed, although he does not make them delusive. He just observes the objects which have been warmed by the everyday interaction with people, and the time of that unhurried observation corresponds to our own. The artist remains true to the visible. The materiality of objects, their own plastic qualities with their "skin" are entirely perceptible. Both the yelloyish waxen surface of cheese, and the solid roundness of the ancient glass flask, the light tenderness of flower petals all are nice to view, their tangible substance moves the space, first into the depth, by placing the wall farther, and then broadwise, by creating air voids all around. The mainstay of thse cramped compositions is not the wall, but rather the horizontal of table, quite often complemented by a wooden box or a jewel-case serving as a base. The designation of that geometrically distinct object is various - it may serve for creating sharp contrast with the oval forms, or for emphasising and approximating the main object to the spectator. Quite often the small things (forks, scissors, decorative figurines) serve as references to the humans, their combinations are impartially vivid. That thingish living keeps its fascination in proximity as well as from afar; both close and distanced viewing are permittable. Although there is just a narration with a slight lyrical touch in front of us, we cannot forget that initially still life was a form of allegorism. So we search for that hidden meaning in the superficial, in order to touch the ground. We look for that secret chord, something that cannot be expressed with a word, that touches our cultural memory. And the artist chooses the necessary scale, so that there is no interference between us and the depicted objects.

As for the landscapes, most of them were created in plein-air, and maybe that is the reason why they impress even insensitive spectators. The true nature without alterations and dreamery is immersing. Its depictions, being the particular symbols of the local culture, have parallels with the real life of spectators. It is like a gentle invitation for a walk, directly linked to the impressions of real life. Very often it is the walk that becomes the central image of landscape; a man walks towards nature, immersing hiself into the world that is at a hand's reach and that makes view differently even the human living. The sincerity of the artist, his ability to keep his sensations are transmitted to spectators and make his themes very attractive. However, in works of Andrey Severetnikov there is one more important thing - the mysterious sensation of authenticity, rather inner than external. That "something" completes the natural impression with another, inner theme, and transforms the landscape into a painting. The artist works on that transformation totally consciously, striving for the almost forgotten nowadays completeness, "picturesque" which allow him to depict the connection between soul and nature. The image of landscape (as indirect means to transmit a dream) has nowadays also a therapeutic function, enriched by genre elements. Realistic, emotionally female figures reinforce the charm of this paradisal place in civilised nature. Thanks to them, the nature becomes home-like, a kind of spiritual refuge, leaving the hope that it will always be like that. Although Andrey Severetnikov has been living for long far away from the city fuss, his devotion to nature is indicative of an urbanite. A realistic landscape is a very complex thing, the moderateness helps though to keep credibility. So does artists's belief that on this peace of earth the nature will always be a friendly and harmonic refuge.

Svetlana Haenko

The original text Russian language