tradition-shattering Analytic Cubism of Paris-based painters Pablo
Picasso and Georges Braque made its way to the capital cities of Russia
in the early years of this century, the style took root in two not
entirely dissimilar art-historical forms, Russian Cubo-Futurism and, a
little later, Russian Constructivism. The thrust of Cubo-Futurism
was to capture in painting-materially and essentially-then-burgeoning
century's "new sense of time, space and energy," as the
estimable H.W. Janson puts it. As in French Cubism, the strictly
two-dimensional picture plane was broken down into multitudinous smaller
planes, or facets, that seemed to be coming together and unceremoniously
falling apart before the viewer's eyes.
Constructivism took this total
breakdown of the canvas surface a step further: in a society breaking
down under its own cultural weight, the coming millennial century would
see an art that was a blueprint for all-over change in society itself.
Not only would Constructivism save art from its own,
academically-begotten self-absorption, it would save a waiting world.
One sense-in the presence of
what might be called the neo-Constructivism of Anatoly Krynsky-that is
one artist from the Ukraine out neither to save art not mankind.
Still, Manhattanite Anatoly Krynsky-at 60, a vital presence in his
elegant, Old-World residence/studio in the East 90s-did study at the
local Institute of the Fine Arts in the early 1960s with Vasiley Tatlin.
Under Ermilov, the young Anatoly Krynsky was soon able to turn a working
knowledge of the structural mystique of the style of his own visual
advantage; under the influence of another Constructivist-inspired
instructor, Boris Kosarev, he gained a strong and ongoing sense of the
expressive possibilities inherent in modern color.
The subject matter he has chosen
as his life's work, however, varies radically from Liubov Popova's
fragmented Cubo-Futurist cyclists or Tatlin's high-flown odes to public
sculpture. The beautiful, noisy, epic-scaled urban garden that is
New York's Central Park is where Anatoly Krynsky has, for almost 20
years, been setting up his easel-or, more properly, reaching for his
sketchbook. The artist makes small oil studies plain-air in the
park, in all seasons, upon which the later, studio-inspired, more
improvisatory work will be based. Continue...
Henry is the author of the monograph Janet Fish, Burton &
Skira, and a book of poems, The Mirrored Clubs of Hell, from Little,
Brown Company. Mr. Henry is a contributing editor of ArtNews, and
reviews regularly for Art in America.