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The name of Marlen Spindler, a Moscow nonconformist artist, is now on hearing, as are the names of other, more famous contemporaries. His version of expressive painting remains unrepeatable in the context of contemporary Russian art.

Like Mikhail Shvartsman, Spindler worked at the State Graphics Combine, where they both painted emblems, trademarks and posters in the 1960’s and 1980’s. In parallel, he created abstract works that did not have a place at official exhibitions. Spindler stylistics is close to expressionism, he is intuitive and spontaneous in his works – according to his own words, he tried to do everything «on the go so that everything would come out cleanly, without difficulty». The act of creating a painting was an act of higher will for him. The fascination with Old Russian frescoes and icons was of great importance to the work by Spindler, he examined their composition, color, signs and symbols, collected antiquities. In his own works, there are often symbols of the cross (or of the triple cross) and circle, and the early series of picture-portraits of the 1960’s clearly refers to the iconography of the holy faces. Spindler often used coarse burlap, oilcloth, plywood, cardboard for his paintings, experimented with paints manufacturing, wrote in tempera, like icon painters.

The presented work of 1978 was performed on an oilcloth, as well as most of the works of those years. The name «Composition (Falcon)», perhaps, has a romantic background. Like many other paintings by Spindler, this is not a pure abstraction, it also shows the figurative and symbolic component – «spontaneous archaic», as the artist said himself. We can distinguish the silhouette of the three-pointed cross in the background, an important symbol in its own iconography. Figures that look like strange constructions, a conditional black sky and black-and-red contrasts create an alarming, tense atmosphere of the work. V

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