Аliaksandr Кanavalau "Marginalia, or the sidenotes"

Аliaksandr Кanavalau "Marginalia, or the sidenotes"

The National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus Main building

On August 23, 2018 the opening of the exhibition “Marginalia, or the Sidenotes”, timed to the 70th anniversary of the Polack artist Aliaksandr Kanavalau (born 1948) will take place at the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus.

The exhibition will feature more than 40 paintings and graphics from the author’s collection, created in the past 20 years. The short film “Masterclass from the Author” will tell about the fascinating process of turning a “blank slate” into the complete work. 

A bright, dynamic artist has a complex and versatile, sensitive and sublime personality. In his desire to examine and reflect the world, he, as a demiurge, a talented person and a successful artist, is rarely satisfied with the results of his own creative work. The name of the anniversary exhibition reveals the specifics of the artist’s creativity of recent decades. The term “marginalia” (from Latin “on the periphery”) means drawings and notes on the margins of books, manuscripts, letters that contain comments, interpretations, opinions on fragments of text or thought. In the history of Belarusian art, Aliaksandr Kanavalau leaves his artistic “notes” that stand out of the general course.

The art of Aliaksandr Kanavalau is an interesting, refined and elegant form of understanding reality, filled with timeless values. He creates his emotional “theater” of form, image and color that go beyond the ordinary. The artistic structure of his works made on paper and canvas using various textured materials – mesh, foil, thread, labels along with bright color spots, of oil, acrylic and gouache reveals the interconnection of the social and spiritual spheres, leads to the realization of the creator’s personality.

Despite the fact that the worldview of the artist was during the Soviet era, the era of socialist realism, the ideas of existentialism had a special impact on his artistic vision. Aliaksandr Kanavalau is an artist with a special emotional and personal background, he “splashes out” his emotions on the canvas, “shares” his experiences and his own sense of self.

In his work the artist moves to a painting that does not “reflect” the object, depicting the external, but rather expresses the internal. He notes for himself that “art is not just a game, it’s that elusive subconscious, that can help you to approach the illusory nature of the universe if you study and trust it.”

Used as the main principle of form building, collage/assemblage method with all its consistency is highly variable, and the artist skillfully and freely overcomes the possible moments of monotony. Aliaksandr Kanavalau performs different roles: he is an architect, a colorist and a stage director. His paintings and graphic works reveal an attractive force that makes you peer at these compound compositions, filled with color, line and texture. His collages that unite painting and substance are fragments of the real world, they carry tactile information. The artist is looking for a different, supersensual level of perception, in which, intuitively, perhaps, “the existence in its authenticity in the timeless continuum” is revealed.

Reflecting on the unity of the spiritual and the material, which brings people together in different arts of the world, Aliaksandr Kanavalau resorts to signs, symbols and feelings that are universal for all people. They promote communication and connection between people of different cultures. Symbol is not just a recognizable silhouette, but also color, texture, smell, sound...