(E-E) Ev.g.e.n.i.j ..K.o.z.l.o.     Berlin                                                  


      (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: Leningrad 80s >>


Hannelore Fobo

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov USA-CCCP-CHINA – Works 1980-1989
and Their Spiritual-Religious Dimensions

16 November 2018
VII St Petersburg International Cultural Forum

Video and manuscript of the lecture



Hannelore Fobo presenting her paper at the  VII St Petersburg International Cultural Forum, Section "Education International Scientific Conference Art of the 21st Century as New Knowledge in the Humanities. China. Russia. USA.

Hannelore Fobo presenting her paper
at the
VII St Petersburg International Cultural Forum, Section "Education”
International Scientific Conference
Art of the 21st Century as New Knowledge in the Humanities.
China. Russia. USA.



Video of the lecture




Venue: St Petersburg State University, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Venue: St Petersburg State University, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences



see also
Hannelore Fobo
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: USA-CCCP-CHINA
'Огни Петродворца – The Fires of Petrodvorets

Peterhof Library, (in Russian), 20 November 2018





Manuscript with Illustrations

Summary: Because of the apparent political context of USA-CCCP-CHINA, the spiritual-religious dimensions of Kozlov’s compositions may not be evident at first sight. The lecture presents such “hidden” symbols in selected works.

About the exhibition USA-CCCP-CHINA at the Egbert Baqué Contemporary, Berlin >>



1.
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: USA-CCCP-CHINA Exhibition catalogue with a text by Hannelore Fobo, 2018


(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: USA-CCCP-CHINA
Exhibition catalogue with a text by Hannelore Fobo, 2018
About the exhibtion >>



The title of the paper refers to the exhibition USA-CCCP-CHINA I curated for the Berlin gallery Egbert Baqué Contemporary in the spring of 2018 more >>.

The picture to the left shows the catalogue cover.

The works I will discuss are all from the decade of the 1980s. At that time, Kozlov – or E-E, his artist name since 2013 – was a leading member of the Leningrad-based group ‘The New Artists’ [Новые художники], founded by Timur Novikov in 1982. Kozlov created these works in Peterhof, in the outskirts of Leningrad, where he lived in his apartment-studio “Galaxy Gallery”. The picture on the reverse of the catalogue presents him in front of his painting CHINA-USSR [КИТАЙ-СССР] in his studio in 1987.


2.
 Left: Egbert Baqué Contemporary, Berlin. Exhibition “USA-CCCP-CHINA”, March 2018. Hannelore Fobo, exhibition curator and (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, artist Right: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Точки соприкосновения / Points of Contact 237 x 112 cm, 1989


About the exhibtion >>

Left: Egbert Baqué Contemporary, Berlin.
Exhibition “USA-CCCP-CHINA”, March 2018.
Hannelore Fobo, exhibition curator and (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, artist

Right: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Точки соприкосновения / Points of Contact
237 x 112 cm, 1989

Here is another picture showing the artist and myself at the Egbert Baqué Contemporary in March 2018 in front of Kozlov’s painting Points of Contact [Точки соприкосновения] from 1989. It is a major work from this period, and I will present its main features later.

In other words, “USA-CCCP-CHINA” is not the name of an artist project, but the title I chose retrospectively to designate a significant facet of Kozlov’s early works: approximately 160 works, a fifth of the artist’s works documented for the decade of the 1980s.

These works are dealing with the relation between the USA, Russia, and, in a predictive way, China. CCCP – SSSR in Russian – stands for USSR, the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics or Soviet Union in short. I will pronounce CCCP as Latin letters, as does Kozlov with regard to his works. Likewise, I will not differentiate between Russia and the Soviet Union in the context of this paper.

A number of these works were presented in exhibitions in the late perestroika period – in Leningrad, Stockholm, Liverpool, Los Angeles, Hamburg and other cities.


3.
Tate Gallery, Liverpool, 1989.  Timur Novikov and Sergei Bugaev hanging (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov‘s flag CCCP to the wall. CCCP, approx. 150 x 400, 1987  Left: Timur Novikov Woman with Microphone. Portrait of Zhanna Aguzarova. Right: works by Sergei Bugaev  Film still from a BBC documentary


Tate Gallery, Liverpool, 1989.
Timur Novikov and Sergei Bugaev hanging (E-E) Evgenij Kozlovs flag CCCP to the wall. CCCP, approx. 150 x 400, 1987

Left: Timur Novikov Woman with Microphone. Portrait of Zhanna Aguzarova. Right: works by Sergei Bugaev

Film still from a BBC documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUHaFY0kZP0

Here is a picture with the large flag CCCP at the Tate Gallery, Liverpool, in 1989.

Of course, Kozlov was not the only artist reacting to the political situation through his work.

If we take the Earth to be an organism, then we can say that throughout the 20th th century, the rivalry between Russia and America was a factor in world affairs affecting the spiritual state of the Earth, and this was reflected by art. It was particularly felt in the decade of the 1980s which saw a shift from the Cold War to détente, which led to the Fall of the Berlin in 1989.


4.
Timur Novikov CCCP, 202 x 308 cm, 1980s Catalogue "Timur", St Petersburg 2013, p. 234


Timur Novikov
CCCP, 202 x 308 cm, 1980s
Catalogue "Timur", St Petersburg 2013, p. 234

Here is a work by Timur Novikov from the 1980s with the inscription CCCP and the Soviet flag.


5.
Kirill Khazanovich ЗНАЙ НАТО KNOW THE NATO, approx. 100 x 140 cm, 1984 Photo: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov


Kirill Khazanovich
ЗНАЙ НАТО
KNOW THE NATO, approx. 100 x 140 cm, 1984
Photo: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

This is the collage “KNOW THE NATO” [ЗНАЙ НАТО] from 1984 by Kirill Khazanovich, another New Artist.

So what is specific about Kozlov’s works? In my understanding, it is their spiritual-religious dimension. I selected seven works for this presentation, relating them to works by other artists. This allows us to detect not only hold “hidden” Christian symbols, but also an element of Chinese philosophy, the Taoist idea of complementary forces.

More than thirty years after these works were created, their message looks prophetic.


6.
 Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Мертвые Ласки Века, До… This Century‘s Dead Affections, Up Until ... (Внешний облик отношений двух держав)  (The Outward Appearance of the Relationship Between the Two World Powers), 95.5. x 72 cm, 1980 Centre: Kasimir Malevich На сенокосе • Haymaking 85.8 х 65.6 cm 1929 The State Tretyakov Gallery Right: Vladimir Lebedev A workman sweeping the criminal in: RUSSIAN PLACARDS 1917 — 1922, 1st Part Petersburg office of the Russian Telegraph Agency ROSTA Petersburg Branch of the News of the All-Russia  Central Executive Committee („Isvestia VCIK”) PETERSBURG — 1923


Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Мертвые Ласки Века, До
This Centurys Dead Affections, Up Until ...
(Внешний облик отношений двух держав)
(The Outward Appearance of the Relationship Between the Two World Powers), 95.5. x 72 cm, 1980

Centre: Kasimir Malevich На сенокосе • Haymaking 85.8 х 65.6 cm 1929
The State Tretyakov Gallery

Right: Vladimir Lebedev A workman sweeping the criminal
in:
RUSSIAN PLACARDS 1917 — 1922, 1st Part
Petersburg office of the Russian Telegraph Agency ROSTA
Petersburg Branch of the News of the All-Russia
Central Executive Committee („Isvestia VCIK)
PETERSBURG — 1923
http://bibliodyssey.blogspot.de/2014_01_19_archive.html

To the left is one of Kozlov’s earliest works, This Century’s Dead Caresses, Up Until… [Мертвые Ласки Века, До…] . Its size is about 100 cm by 70 cm, and it is painted gouache on cardboard. Kozlov painted it in 1980, at the age of 25. The composition sees America and Russia deep in discussion, keeping the terrestrial globe in a fragile balance.

The composition uses features of the Russian and Soviet avant-garde: Kasimir Malevich’s interpretation of Russian folk art through suprematism – here with Haymaking [На сенокосе] from 1929. Kozlov’s work also has such a geometrical background-pattern, and likewise the high line of the horizon and the soft gradient from black to white. At the same time, his work is reminiscent of Vladimir Lebedev’s famous ROSTA windows placards from 1917-1922. The example of A workman sweeping the criminal shows parallels in shapes, colours and especially with the diagonal axis of the figure’s movement.

The second title of Kozlov’s work is The Outward Appearance of the Relationship Between the Two World Powers [Внешний облик отношений двух держав]

Both figures are easily identified by their attributes – the USA by the top hat, tailcoat, and striped trousers, and Russia by a huge, balloon-like, red mantle. Russia is the artist’s self-portrait. Paradoxically, Kozlov was inspired by his American-made red raincoat.


7.
 Right This Century‘s Dead Affections, Up Until ...  (The Outward Appearance of the Relationship Between the Two World Powers)  work in progress, Galaxy Gallery, Peterhof, 1980. Photo: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Left: detail of the painting


Right
This Century‘s Dead Affections, Up Until ...
(The Outward Appearance of the Relationship Between the Two World Powers)
work in progress, Galaxy Gallery, Peterhof, 1980. Photo: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Left: detail of the painting

The fact that America’s and Russia’s caresses are dead is apparent. But it is only on second glance that the observer sees the angel standing behind them. The angel’s head partly overlaps with that of Russia. His eye could be the eyelashes of the figure of Russia, his mouth Russia’s protruding tongue. The picture to the right has the work in process, and we note that the figure of the angel is already present at this earlier stage. The wing on the right border is quite dominant. We can also see the cross in the background standing in a diagonal position.


6.
 Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Мертвые Ласки Века, До… This Century‘s Dead Affections, Up Until ... (Внешний облик отношений двух держав)  (The Outward Appearance of the Relationship Between the Two World Powers), 95.5. x 72 cm, 1980 Centre: Kasimir Malevich На сенокосе • Haymaking 85.8 х 65.6 cm 1929 The State Tretyakov Gallery Right: Vladimir Lebedev A workman sweeping the criminal in: RUSSIAN PLACARDS 1917 — 1922, 1st Part Petersburg office of the Russian Telegraph Agency ROSTA Petersburg Branch of the News of the All-Russia  Central Executive Committee („Isvestia VCIK”) PETERSBURG — 1923


Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Мертвые Ласки Века, До
This Centurys Dead Affections, Up Until ...
(Внешний облик отношений двух держав)
(The Outward Appearance of the Relationship Between the Two World Powers), 95.5. x 72 cm, 1980

Centre: Kasimir Malevich На сенокосе • Haymaking 85.8 х 65.6 cm 1929
The State Tretyakov Gallery

Right: Vladimir Lebedev A workman sweeping the criminal
ca. 1920. See above

The angel almost blends with the winter landscape, but once we have detected his face, we also notice one of his legs and the tip of other wing, which is reflected in America’s striped trousers. The angel protects America and Russia from mutual destruction – and thereby also the Earth, which is floating above their hands.

It is the introduction of such a third element that is specific for Kozlov’s approach: he synthesises oppositional forces. The cross is another symbol demonstrating that the artist perceives such spiritual forces as higher-ranking with regard to worldly powers.

If we compare Kozlov’s composition with that of Lebedev to the right, we find a fundamental difference with regard to treating antagonism: Lebedev’s work A workman sweeping the criminal demonstrates that in political, especially in propaganda art, the enemy has to be eliminated. In Kozlov’s art, dualism is overcome on a higher level. Kozlov’s art may be referred to as dialectic, whereas political art can be referred to as non-dialectic.


8.
(E-E) EVGENIJ KOZLOV with guitar and T-shirt CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCP standing in front of his painting КИТАЙ-СССР / CHINA-CCCP, 161 x 213 cm, 1987 Galaxy Gallery, studio of the artist, Peterhof, 1987


(E-E) EVGENIJ KOZLOV with guitar and T-shirt CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCP standing in front of his painting КИТАЙ-СССР / CHINA-CCCP, 161 x 213 cm, 1987
Galaxy Gallery, studio of the artist, Peterhof, 1987

I will immediately proceed from 1980 to 1987, because 1987 is the year when Kozlov created his painting CHINA-CCCP [КИТАЙ-СССР], and its counterpart PCCC-ASU.

This is another picture from 1987 with Kozlov in his studio. It shows the artist holding a guitar – China and the USSR are both depicted as guitar players.

Out of the blue, China is seen joining the concert of the world powers USA and Soviet Union.


9.
 (E-E) EVGENIJ KOZLOV “USA-CCCP-CHINA”, exhibition view Egbert Baqué Contemporary, Berlin, March-May 2018 Photo: gewis  Left: Points of Contact 237 x 112 cm, 1989 Centre: Star Wars. Object, 1977 – 2017  right: CHINA – CCCP  161 x 213 cm, 1987


Exhibition views>>

(E-E) EVGENIJ KOZLOV “USA-CCCP-CHINA”, exhibition view
Egbert Baqué Contemporary, Berlin, March-May 2018

Photo: gewis

Left: Points of Contact
237 x 112 cm, 1989

Centre: Star Wars. Object, 1977 – 2017

Right: CHINA – CCCP
161 x 213 cm, 1987

CHINA-CCCP exhibited at the gallery



10.
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: КИТАЙ—СССР / CHINA-CCCP 161 x 213 cm, 1987 Photo: gewis, 2018

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: КИТАЙ—СССР / CHINA-CCCP
161 x 213 cm, 1987
Photo: gewis, 2018

Here is a full view of the work.

Stylistically, it is completely different from the first work we discussed. The composition combines realistic painting with graffiti art, for instance, with the rain coming down. Several elements characterise China: the importance of nature, the long bridge representing China’s highly developed culture, and the symbol of a dragon, sending out a lightning towards a blue star. The guitar players, on the other hand, have a European appearance.


11.
 Left: Flag of the Qing Dynasty (1889-1912)  published by Sodacan, Wikimedia Commons  Right: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: КИТАЙ – СССР / CHINA – CCCP 161 x 213 cm, 1987

Left: Flag of the Qing Dynasty (1889-1912)
published by Sodacan, Wikimedia Commons

Right: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: КИТАЙСССР / CHINACCCP
161 x 213 cm, 1987

It is intriguing to compare this composition with the traditional Chinese dragon in the Flag of the Qing Dynasty which ended in 1912.

Note the erected upper part of the dragon’s body, standing in a 90 degree angle with the rest of the body and the tail which are both reminiscent of the zig-zag lightning in Kozlov’s painting. The tip of the tail is indeed similar to the star. Even the position of the legs corresponds to that of the musicians. But while the dragon’s legs move together harmoniously, each musician plays for himself.


12.
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: PCCC – ASU 160 x 196 cm, 1987 Photo: gewis, 2018

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: PCCC – ASU
160 x 196 cm, 1987
Photo: gewis, 2018


This is its companion piece PCCC-ASU with an accordionist. We see the inscription mirrored – the accordion player is placed in front of what looks like a fence. He is isolating himself from the rest of the world, trying to be self-sufficient. But in this way, he finds himself locked inside a cage, and we are looking from the inside of the cage towards the outside. The accordionist might represent the USA or the Soviet Union. The tendency towards isolationism is present in both countries.

If we take these two paintings as a diptych, we note that artistic intuition addressed in advance something which only today, thirty years on, has fully unfolded – namely the struggle for a tri-polar distribution of forces – America-Russia-China. We see that in the concert of three powers, they are all playing their solo performance.


13.
 Three works by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov  Left: Белая Идея Солнечной Купальщици • The White Idea of the Sun Bathing Lady, 129 x 208 cm, 1989 Centre: Страх Врагам. Огни Петродворца • Terror to the Enemy. The Fires of Petrodvorets, 204 x 219 cm, 1989  Right: Игорь, мир? Mир? – О, нет. • Igor, peace between us? – Peace? No way.  226.5 x 97 cm, 1989 Collection of Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova / Matti Koivurinta Foundation, Turku, Finland. Photo: Jari Nieminen, 2013.

Three works by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Left:
Белая Идея Солнечной Купальщици • The White Idea of the Sun Bathing Lady, 129 x 208 cm, 1989

Centre: Страх Врагам. Огни Петродворца • Terror to the Enemy.
The Fires of Petrodvorets
, 204 x 219 cm, 1989

Right: Игорь, мир? Mир? – О, нет. •
Igor, peace between us? – Peace? No way.
 
226.5 x 97 cm, 1989

Collection of Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova / Matti Koivurinta Foundation, Turku, Finland. Photo: Jari Nieminen, 2013.
more >>

The next painting is from 1989. It is entitled Terror to the Enemy. The Fires of Petrodvorets. [Страх Врагам. Огни Петродворца.] The picture from 2013 shows it with two other works by (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov left and right to it.

The picture was taken at the exhibition “Blue Velvet“ at the Museum Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova in Turku, Finland, which holds these works in its collection.


14.
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Страх Врагам. Огни Петродворца / Terror to the Enemy. The Fires of Petrodvorets, 204 x 219 cm, 1989  The Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Collection, Turku, Finland Photo: Jari Nieminen, 2013.


(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Страх Врагам. Огни Петродворца / Terror to the Enemy. The Fires of Petrodvorets, 204 x 219 cm, 1989

The Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Collection, Turku, Finland
Photo: Jari Nieminen, 2013.
more >>

Top right is the detail with the words The Fires of Petrodvorets / Огни Петродворца.

Petrodvorets was the name of Peterhof during the Soviet time. The detail shows a print that might have been the pattern for little flags distributed during the Festival of Lights, the illumination of the fountains of the gardens of Peterhof Palace. Below is Kozlov’s logo ART from the USSR / ART из СССР he created in 1988.


15.
 Top: Terror to the Enemy. The Fires of Petrodvorets. Detail with title  The first word can be read as Russian страх – terror or fear or, alternatively, as Latin pax – peace: Terror / Peace to the Enemy. Left: Tau - Rho Τ Ρ = Staurogram / monogrammatic cross / Crux commissa Right: Statuette of St Peter with lamp with staurogram.  4th century(?) Reproduction from an exhibition catalogue 1939, Berlin


Top: Terror to the Enemy. The Fires of Petrodvorets.
Detail with title

The first word can be read as Russian страх – terror or fear
or, alternatively, as Latin pax – peace:
Terror / Peace to the Enemy.

Left: Tau - Rho
Τ Ρ = Staurogram / monogrammatic cross / Crux commissa

Right: Statuette of St Peter with lamp with staurogram.
4th century(?)
Reproduction from an exhibition catalogue 1939, Berlin

The first part of the title, Страх Врагам, is actually quite difficult to translate, because it has a double meaning. It can be either Terror to the Enemy, if we read the full title, or Peace to the Enemy, if we read only the black letters. In this case the Cyrillic letters р а х can be read as Latin pax, peace.
But there is more. It we look at the position of the P or R, we find its vertical line cut by the horizontal line of the red border.

This brings us to the symbol Tau-Rho, the two Greek letters T and R which together form the staurogram, or the Monogrammatic cross. Here the letter Rho stands on top of Tau. In this combination, the Tau is also interpreted as the cross of Christ, and the circle of the letter rho as the head of the crucified. This symbol is one of several Monogrammi Christi.

The double reading of Hate and Love for the enemy corresponds to the paradigm shift in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount “You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.'. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43, 44)

But this paradigm shift is not unique for the Christian religion. A fundamental text of Taoism, Tao Te Ching  by Lao Tzu from the fourth century BC has he following statement in chapter 49


    I am good to people who are good.
    I am also good to people who are not good.


http://www.wussu.com/laotzu/laotzu49.html


16.
 Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Страх Врагам  Terror to the Enemy, approx 150 x 200 cm, 1988 Photo: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Right: The artist in his apartment-studio Galaxy Gallery, 1988 top: Страх Врагам • Terror to the Enemy photo: Agnes Horváth-Fehdenfeld


Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Страх Врагам
Terror to the Enemy, approx 150 x 200 cm, 1988
Photo: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

Right: The artist in his apartment-studio Galaxy Gallery, 1988
top:
Страх Врагам • Terror to the Enemy
photo: Agnes Horváth-Fehdenfeld

There is another version of the title in a painting from about the same period, approximately from 1988. This is an old black and white reproduction. I’m afraid there is no better picture because we do not know the whereabouts of this work. The picture to the right sees the artist with this painting at his studio Galaxy Gallery in 1988.

Here the fight against the enemy who, according to Soviet ideology, is “all around”, finds an ironic interpretation. The composition takes up a scene from a New Artists' performance in 1985. To the right we see Timur Novikov, to the left Igor Verichev, and the head in the centre represents the artist himself, E-E.


The colours of the letters are red and black, but the division is different from The Fires of Petrodvorets. Only the first letter of страх, the c, or s in Russian, is separated from the rest – трах, which is phonetically reminiscent of the Russian slang word for sexual intercourse. In other words, “Terror to the enemy” is not being converted into a philosophical or religious message, but into a sarcastic note on sexual aggressiveness.


17.
 Left: Points of Contact, 46.5 x 23 x 4 cm, 1988 Right: Points of Contact, 237 x 112 cm, 1989


Left: Points of Contact, 46.5 x 23 x 4 cm, 1988

Right: Points of Contact, 237 x 112 cm, 1989

I finish my lecture with the painting Points of Contact we have already seen displayed at the exhibition.
Left is what can be considered a sketch from 1988, carried out in the style of constructivism. It was completed in a green felt-lined cutlery tray, and the internal divisions were also reproduced in the painting to the right. The USA and the CCCP are portrayed as a couple, a woman and a man, with the question of who represents who being left to the viewer.


Each has a black dot and a red dot on their head and stomach, though in reverse. They symbolise a human being’s most important properties: the brain and the reproductive organs.


18.
 Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Points of Contact, 237 x 112 cm, 1989 Centre: Two possibilities of duplicating the yin-yang symbol (taijitu) Top: the tajitu mirrored in itself and rotated around its axis bottom: the tajitu turned rotated around its axis Right: Saltire Saint Andrew‘s Cross / Crux decussata


Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Points of Contact, 237 x 112 cm, 1989

Centre: Two possibilities of duplicating the yin-yang symbol (taijitu)
Top: the tajitu mirrored in itself and rotated around its axis
bottom: the tajitu turned rotated around its axis

Right: Saltire
Saint Andrew‘s Cross / Crux decussata

These dots, or points, are the “points of contact”. They are distributed in a manner akin to a self-mirroring yin-yang symbol (the “taijitu”), representing complementary forces, such as female and male, earth and heaven. The graphic shows two different possibilities to display such a dual complementarity.

The viewer intuitively joins these points together to form two diagonally-crossing lines – a cross of St Andrew – Crux Decussata, thus creating an equilibrium in the dynamic force of the two poles.

There is yet another hidden Christian symbol


19.
 Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Points of Contact, 237 x 112 cm, 1989 Centre:  Tau Cross / Saint Anthony cross /Crux commissa Graphic work: Alain Thebault, Wikimedia Commons  Right:  Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and St. John the Theologian  School Bruges. Circle Memling. 2nd h. 15 c. - 1st h. 16 c. Wikimedia Commons


Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Points of Contact, 237 x 112 cm, 1989

Centre:
Tau Cross / Saint Anthony cross /Crux commissa
Graphic work: Alain Thebault, Wikimedia Commons

Right:
Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and St. John the Theologian
School Bruges. Circle Memling. 2nd h. 15 c. - 1st h. 16 c.
Wikimedia Commons

The ‘T-shape’ dividing the figures can be interpreted as representing the tau cross, or St. Anthony’s cross – a staurogram without the letter rho on top.
We find an example of the tau-cross in the Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and St. John the Theologian. It is from the School Bruges, Circle Memling, from the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century.


In both paintings, two figures stand left and right of the cross, only in reversed order: in Kozlov’s painting, the figure of a man is on the left, the woman on the right – in the painting from the Memling circle, St. John is on the right and the Virgin Mary on the left. However, the figures’ positions are identical: the figure to the left is grounded to the earth, the one to the right is pointing upward.


In the absence of a Christ in Kozlov’s painting, it might seem daring to compare these works.


But Christ’s image is indeed present, as Evgenij Kozlov pointed out to me – in what looks like a dripping mark intentionally or unintentionally placed above the man’s head.


20.
 Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Points of Contact, 1989 Detail of upper part Right: Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and St. John the Theologian Detail


Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Points of Contact, 1989
Detail of upper part

Right:
Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and St. John the Theologian
Detail

A detailed view of this dripping mark reveals the figure of Christ: we recognise the arms stretched out, the head between them, the body and the legs.

We even recognise the loincloth fluttering in the wind. However, it is not an image of a physical body of Jesus Christ. We are speaking about an image referring to the year 1989, not to the year 33.


19.
 Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov Points of Contact, 237 x 112 cm, 1989 Centre:  Tau Cross / Saint Anthony cross /Crux commissa Graphic work: Alain Thebault, Wikimedia Commons  Right:  Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and St. John the Theologian  School Bruges. Circle Memling. 2nd h. 15 c. - 1st h. 16 c. Wikimedia Commons


Left: (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov
Points of Contact, 237 x 112 cm, 1989

Centre:
Tau Cross / Saint Anthony cross /Crux commissa
Graphic work: Alain Thebault, Wikimedia Commons

Right:
Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and St. John the Theologian
School Bruges. Circle Memling. 2nd h. 15 c. - 1st h. 16 c.
Wikimedia Commons

Christ’s presence is not physical, it is spiritual: when the artist establishes points of contact between antagonistic forces, a third element appears – the Logos – the word that was in the beginning and created everything.

Or Tao, the elementary force containing the trinity of earth and heaven and the human being, the co-creator.



Thank you very much for your attention.





Uploaded 8 January 2019
Last updated 2 April 2019