Nonconformism in the Soviet visual Art as Continuation of the Russian Avant-Garde tradition

Walera Martynchik was born in the post war Soviet Union in Belarus. His artistic style was formed in 60th and 70th.There was only propaganda art existed and allowed at that time. But the first political and cultural liberalisation “The Thaw” had lifted the heavy “Iron Curtain” and through the narrow gap information (images) had flooded libraries, art magazines and museums. Only at that time young artist in the former USSR had learned that the Modern Art does exist and the most shocking was the fact that the provincial Belorussian town Vitebsk in the 20th was the place where the revolution in visual art took place, where Mark Chagall was born, Kazimir Malevich tought his theories and suprematists and costructivists laid foundation of new aesthetics. The tradition of Avant-garde culture was inspiring for the young artist but cotradicted the repressive practice of the Soviet Art education. Any attempts to experiment provoked suppressive measures as expultions, srtipping of scholarship and conspiracy, the underground existence was only the option for creative person to survive as an artist at that time.

Since graduating from Belarusian Academy of Fine Arts in 1972 Walera Martynchik had been developing his unique style based on continuation Russian Avant-Garde tradition, emerging at that time computing art and philosophy of complexity. He called his first large comositions Zones. Paradoxically, inspite of been a synonim for prison camps his canvases had been the only zones of freedom for almost 20 years of total conspiracy, lack of exhbition and contacts with international world of culture.

In the70thWalera had a chance to visit studios of underground artists in Moscow well known now as Celkov, Yankelevsky and Rabin which had profound stimulating effect on his art. After Perestroika he was a founder and a curator of “Forma” the very first group of underground artists in Belarus. Creating such a group his aim was to demonstrate that independant cultural movement had existed not only in Moscow but in other cities and places but deep underground. Since 1990 Walera lives and exibits internationally in the UK.

The Art of Memory

The great soviet encyclopaedia and my childhood were inseparable. It was mandatory to subscribe to the encyclopaedia by the Stalinists government for the officials in the post war Russia.

My father was one of them and for many years those 50 heavy volumes, full of coloured images of the old masters replaced the absence of children’s books and toys and they defined the nature of my approach to creativity which mostly depends on written word from dictionaries and encyclopaedias.

This allowed me to abstract the inspiration from the whole history of thought; from the Euclidian atomic theories to the present philosophy of complexity.