The work «Eve» 1962 was created by Vladimir Yankilevsky in the early period of his artistic creativity, when the recognizable style of the artist, later called "metaphysical conceptualism," began to take shape. By 1962, despite his young age (he was 24 years old), Yankilevsky was already a vivid representative of the unofficial Soviet art and even took part in the famous exhibition "30 years of MOSKh" in Manege (he was not a member of the Union of Artists), which Nikita Khrushchev dispersed.
Not only the features of the unofficial Soviet art – the attraction to abstraction, the combination of various modernist practices, but also the European avant-garde – Pablo Picasso, whose exhibition was held in Moscow in 1959, Max Ernst and especially Paul Klee, were reflected in the work «Eve». This is evidenced by the coloristic solution and composition of the work: the anthropomorphic figure of Eve is located on a bright geometric background consisting of three rectangles of red, yellow and black colors. The image of Eve is schematic, first of all it is connected with archetypal female images and archaic – one can speak, for example, of ritual and totem masks, which often served as a source of inspiration for Yankilevsky. At the same time, in the image of Eve, features of technogeny can be easily seen – such a rare combination of archaism and technology aesthetics, which has become an excellent reflection of the worldview of the sixties.
Such an interpretation of the archetypal image of a man, Eve in this case, and the very appeal to it are dictated by the study of the problem, which Yankylevsky called «the problem of internal and external man». «The external person is a view of someone on him, and the inner one is how he feels himself», – Yankylevsky said in an interview. Man is something that is always in the center of the artist's works, therefore there always are anthropomorphic images in them, but they are abstract, as if distorted under the influence of this tension between a person external and internal. The archetypal image of Adam or Eve in this sense is ideally suited for such an artistic study: Yankilevsky tries to catch their inner essence,on the one hand, on the other – seeks their modern features embodied in the ideas of contemporaries. V
Other works of the artist
Composition from the series «Space of anxiety» 1983, Oil on canvas, 1983
95 х 140 сm
AUTUMN AUCTION 2016
Adam and Eve. Triptych №5, 1965
oil on fiberboard, wood
145 х 85 cm (left part), 110 х 240 cm (central part), 145 х 85 cm (right part)