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The «Composition» by Vladimir Yakovlev performed, like most of his works, in gouache on paper. This material, which was used mainly by graphic artists, was the cheapest and most affordable. Yakovlev did not just make it «his», but also revealed new aesthetic possibilities, primarily luminosity and information density in it , «charged» colors.

The «Composition» belongs to the number of abstract works, which, although they do not form a single line in Yakovlev's work, have an exceptional value within his evolution. The first appeal of Yakovlev to abstraction falls on the end of the 1950’s, when, under the impression of the exhibitions of the Festival of Youth and Students (1957), he discovered the directions of Tashism and Abstract Expressionism, techniques from which he began to use in his «point» paintings of those years. Some of them, like this one, are of a program nature: they are executed with a confident hand, extremely expressive and clear in imagery. Such works are dated 1959-1961 and represent a special value.

One of these works — the «Composition» from the collection of Alexander Reznikov. It is created on a standard sheet of thick paper format, close to A3 – Yakovlev often worked on such. The composition is divided vertically into a dark bottom and a light top, like a landscape. As almost in all paintings by the artist, the figure is clearly separated from the background, but in this case the «figure» is not a typical image of the head, but an indistinct structure resembling a tower or a tornado (Yakovlev's love for the wind in all its manifestations is known from his poems).

It consists both from black and white lines and of colorful «parts»: blue, red, dark gray. Some of its elements have texture – gouache strokes on the paper are tactile, almost palpable. Together, these elements resemble a multi layered, compound lattice – one of the fundamental images of modern art. But here this structure has a completely non-geometric, but rather an organic look, forcing us to recall the abstract character of the movement in general.

The work comes from the family of Alexander Vasiliev collection, a close friend (and the first «dealer») of Vladimir Yakovlev, then was in a collection of abstract works by Alexander Reznikov.

Sergey Popov

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