Earthquake in the Crimea

Artist – Petrov -Vodkin

In his experiments with a spherical horizon, Petrov-Vodkin set the task of raising a unique spatial experience in the viewer: to remove and destroy the unconscious attachment to an imaginary stable plane of the world.

We can say that in most “spherical” paintings of the artist there is a real visual earthquake for the viewer.

Therefore, it is not surprising that in 1927 Petrov-Vodkin began work on the picture of this earthquake in Crimea-nature itself provided him with the opportunity to overturn the horizon. In the foreground we see the figures of people who are trying to maintain balance differently. Someone leans against the reliable support of the wall, someone balances with their hands. Trying to resist this carousel, a child – an allegory of the ideal viewer of this picture.

But due to which the artist manages to convey the sensations of all these characters so believable that the viewer, standing on the flat floor of the museum hall, begins to feel unstable?

We observe in the picture how the surface of the earth slides down to the right. Of course, in reality this could not be, but eyewitnesses experienced a spatial metamorphosis of the earthquake of this: “The Earth has gone from under their feet”-this is the given of perception, contrary to common sense. But it is precisely due to this inclination that the metaphorical interweaving of the emotions of the viewer and the characters depicted-they are not united by common sense, but the mutual experience of a series of tectonic shifts-the picture of Petrov-Vodkin provokes them as successfully as the surface of the earth.

Author: arts

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