"Gennady Zubkov (b. 1940) occupies a special place among modern sterligovites.
He belongs to a somewhat older generation than the rest and besides which it is
he who is at the center of the theoretical and practical studies and joint
efforts to which Sterligovites of various generations have given, and continue
to give, much time. In this sense they are continuing the traditions of GInKhuK,
where, as is well known, problems of color, space, and so forth were studied
intellectually at the same time as they were investigated in a practical way.
Zubkov also concerns himself with the young, «beginner sterligovites».
Zubkov's work, of course, does not consist only of putting Sterligov's ideas
into practice. Within his own art Zubkov enters into a dialogue with the
teacher. The mind does not stay in one place, and, indeed in today's
circumstances Sterligov's ideas have undergone a change from fascinating
sedition into just one of the contemporary variations of artistic thought with
an equal right to be heard.
Zubkov's world is not simple. There is no coziness in it, the tension of color
is hidden from a superficial glance; the outward calm of balanced tones and
muted colors produces a sense of the malleability of time (and here there is a
certain similarity to Baturin); in fact this is a characteristic of the
Sterligovites in general, of a world asleep, devoid of fond details or of that
mysteriousness, packed with many meanings, so fashionable in our time. There is
no aggression in his paintings, no settling of scores with the past, no
political allusions, no belated dissidence. They have texture, color,
intelligence, a deep link with tradition. And rare flashes of severity, felt,
paradoxically, in even the most daring experiments.
The art of the Sterligovites, which is sometimes characterized by the critics as
purely formal, is, in fact, primarily about content. Bursting with ideas and
deeply rooted in theory, it can be seen as a kind of oversaturated solution in
which the ideas of the artist crystallize in an abbreviated visual form. Elena
Gritsenko (b. 1947) met Sterligov a year before she finished art school. Her
solid academic grounding enabled her to throw herself into the Sterligov system
with serious awareness. It was as if the Teacher's principles had «revealed» –
structured – her gifts. The «boiling color» on her canvases is channeled into
bright, hard forms, planes are sharply delineated, mysterious figures take shape
inside quite real faces, bodies, and objects in a magical way. And only the
disturbingly smoldering flicker of the delicately nuanced splashes of color,
seems to feel cramped in the precisely ordered compositional space, and oriented
less toward the world of objects than toward another, secret reality."
list of works