Courtesy of Maxim Boxer

Courtesy of Maxim Boxer

Telling Tales Metaphysics in Russian Art by E. S. Jones   Maxim Boxer’s second curated exhibition and auction of contemporary art in London will take place during Russian Art Week at Erarta Galleries London. The theme of the exhibition and auction will be Metaphysics in Russian Art.   Everyone loves a story, especially when it comes to untangling Russian art history – with the end of one tale so often hidden in the middle of the next. Following the success of his Russian Cosmism auction earlier this year, Maxim Boxer turns the page with Metaphysics in Russian Art. This new chapter confronts us with subverted perspectives, making familiar objects seem strange. De Chirico, Carra and Morandi first introduced metaphysical art in the early 1900s as a method to examine the world, and find personal meaning in relation to that space. Russian art developed these ideas of eternity and infinity with the Cosmist view of a self-contained universe – and the belief that we are already equipped to find the answers by trusting our physical human senses. Microscope was replacing horoscope; hocus-pocus was quashed by the magic of string theory. The ordinary black-hole riddled universe was revealing itself to be quite extraordinary.
Courtesy of Maxim Boxer

Courtesy of Maxim Boxer

As a natural progression of Cosmism, the metaphysical vision allowed scientific reason and philosophical thought to work out between them a reason and meaning for all things. By contemplating the odds and ends of daily life, the tangible was given just as much importance as the ethereal. Artists created apparitions of dreamily deserted landscapes; weird structures of constructivist geometry; alien machines that unpack the material of the universe. The Cosmist thought-sphere was no longer macrocosmically exclusive, but focused its magnifying glass much closer to home – on visualising the inner politics of the individual human creature. With fifty pieces of art on show, Boxer’s exhibition presents his artists as true illusionists, tricking the eye with their make-believe windows on alternate realities: Francisco Infante-Arana’s Theatre Of Sky And Earth maps out a landscape with photograph layers acting like the painted veils of a set. The camera weaves a web of white lies, while wispy clouds are interrupted with a cut-out from another picture; Shelkovskiy’s The City is emptied of everyone but you, the sky is punctuated with creepily symmetrical star formations, and things are not what they seem.
Courtesy of Maxim Boxer

Courtesy of Maxim Boxer

Metaphor is a great pair of spectacles to help us see this extra-reality, and although the pieces in the exhibition often allude to higher planes, they are firmly anchored in their artist-written texts. With a strong emphasis on life, death and beyond, Vladimir Yakovlev’s Flower continues to bloom beside a dropped and blackening dead head; Leonid Tishkov’s Man Has Died is a devilled red foot perched atop the greenish Memento Mori. Maxim Boxer continues the intriguing story of Russian art like a modern-day Scheherazade: beautifully philosophical, forever wondering at our origins, curious about what’s next – or if this is the end. Metaphysics in Russian Art will be on display from Friday 21st – Tuesday 25th November at Erarta Galleries, London, 8 Berkeley Street, London, W1J 8DN The auction will take place at 6:30pm on Tuesday 25th November Maxim Boxer Auctions: http://maximboxer.info