ALEXANDER POGREBINSKY FINE ART
. . . A stunning new portrait of Rev. Michael Lavelle, SJ, the former president of the university, who died in office on March 25, 1995, has been hung outside St. Francis Chapel in Schott Atrium. The portrait was panted by Alexander Pogrebinsky, a Cleveland area artist originally from Kiev, Ukraine . . .
John Carroll University News, Summer 1998, Vol.2, Iss.2
by Joseph Woodward
Alexander Pogrebinsky’s work provides an unexpectedly subtle capper to the show. Contrasting the variously exacting and unabashedly lovely floral studies downstairs, Pogrebinsky’s paintings present floral subjects in an ethereal, half-dematerialized state. His is a beguiling, mystical approach, which could be translated as a philosophical question as much as a statement of the beauty at hand.
One could say that this duality has marked art from the Ukraine and the general Russian region since the pre-Bolshevik days of Kandinsky and the Constructivists. It continued to exist in art from the region, albeit under censor’s wraps, for decades. To catch glimpses of the same spirit offers a dose of inspiration that transcends art appreciation.
“Scene”, Santa-Barbara News-Press, Friday, September 7, 2001
oil on canvas, 60" x 72", 153cm. x 183cm.
exhibited at Salon D'Automne, annual international art show, Paris France
In 2000 Pogrebinsky visited Paris, where he was inspired by the magnificent marble courtyards of the Louvre Museum. The Marley Courtyard of the Louvre, in which Pogrebinsky took photographs in the preparation of the work, shines with warm soft marble and old exquisite sculptures of the renaissance. Bringing back with him the inspiration of the light and color of the Louvre, Pogrebinsky began working on the painting later next year. After the first show in Paris Pogrebinsky thought that the painting was not fully finished to his satisfaction and he continued to work on the painting. It’s almost ascetic in its essence – a young woman sits calmly on a marble bench that sits upon a marble floor. But it is always difficult to arrive to such simplicity. This is a mark of a work of great art that we see such simplicity come through the luminous array of light – as if the world is drenched in light, and things are not created out of solid material objects, but it is a beautiful idea created out of the light.
In purely technical terms there is no doubt over the artist’s mastery of the work. The cloth, the small shadows, the reflective nature of the floor, the delicacy of the sandals, and the overall harmony with which the work is presented is truly phenomenal. The brush strokes are so unnoticed that many will take the clarity of the work as some production by other, perhaps more advanced means. But the closer the observer comes to study the actual lines of the brushes, and the tones used, does one understand with what quality and patience Le Louvre has been composed.
Everything in the painting is done in a realistic manner but in such a technique which takes you away from purely materialistic perception. The mind and the spirit come to play the main role.
The light, which is probably the main structure in the painting, weaves and permeates all the objects and details in the canvas.
You already can perceive the marble floor but it is still in a transitional stage and will never become fully materialized because the light density has already reached its potential in the main goal: a young person, beautiful lady and her support the marble bench came to existence in a soft and distinctively visible form.
Nothing more, no unnecessary casual, random details, nothing more is needed to add to the concept of the painting. In such seemingly simple way the beauty came to the light as a manifestation of the divine spirit.
It’s isn’t by accident that Pogrebinsky gave it such an obvious name. The Louvre stands in the center of Europe, in one of the most intellectual and artistic centers of the world. Since the late sixteenth century the Louvre had already been noticed as a supreme collector of beautiful and mystical world art. By the late eighteenth century it, already, collected some of the only works of the greatest Dutch and Flemish artists, as well as broad collections of Renaissance painting, Greek sculpture, and Egyptian art. Since 1848, though, the Louvre became a public museum and breathtaking leaps into the world of thought and emotion where open to everyone. Thus, over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as it expanded and grew, the Louvre became a collection of more then just human creation – it became the collection of human
creative spirit, the artistic spirit of all humanity throughout the ages. Le Louvre isn’t merely the name of a great painting – it is a symbol for what humanity is most capable of.
Le Louvre is perhaps one of those rare works that leap over the foundations on what was once a style and stands as a symbol of something new and timeless. It isn’t exceptional merely as a pure example of impeccable technique, an abandonment of post-modern arrangement, and the total embrace of a new kind of visual harmony – but it also stands as a new change in the course of artistic style in the Western world, as a prime example of the forces of Philosophical Realism; the harmony of style and colors, minimalism of material, and the focus on the infinite complexity of light and color
Art Dept interview: First Prize 2003 International Art - Realism
As the winner of your category in the 2003 International Art Contest, being selected by such a diverse group of artists from all around the world, how do you feel?
I feel great; this is a great honor to be chosen by such a wide international audience.
Please describe your current works and any plans for forthcoming exhibits.
Currently I am working on some portrait commissions and I am exhibiting my most recent works in Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington DC. I’ve been fortunate to achieve some success in creating my own style in the world of art, which is known as Philosophical and Metaphysical Realism. The fundamental principle of this style is light. Everything comes from the light and everything dissolves into the light again. I try to carry this idea into my paintings, such as Le Louvre, Roses, Serenity, and many other works.
I am planning on exhibiting my new work at the Salon D’Automne this fall in Paris, France.
If any, in what ways have you seen changes in attitudes towards "art"?
Recently I have noticed an increase of interest in realist painting. Hopefully art will again be perceived as a serious human quest, rather then purely entertainment.
Do you think that the fine artist will survive as technology replaces our skills?
Yes, I certainly think so. I feel that technology aids the artist, not limits him. Contemporary tools such as camera’s, computers, etc., if used properly can be of a great help for the artist. But all those are only tools and without the deep knowledge and skills all those tools will be worthless. So I don’t think that technology can ever replace the human soul.
What advice could you give to those embarking upon a career as an artist?
They should know that this is a very long and difficult path, sometimes very painful and stressful. But at the same time it can be a liberating, joyous, and enlightening experience. They should also know that talent without hard work will never flourish fully. I would say to those who choose art as their career to be patient and dedicated.
Why did you enter this contest and what decided your selection for entry?
I liked the idea of being exposed on the Art Dept website, which has a good design and great accessibility. Le Louvre was one of my most recent large-scale canvases, it shows the most recent achievements in my style, and it has met great reviews internationally.
Is there anything about being an artist that you do not like?
Of course there are many things. One of the most troubling aspects of being an artist is that people often judge the artwork not based on quality but on the market, on the brand, on the name. This kind of judgment leaves many great artists unknown and it is greatly damaging to the artist and to the art, and to humanity as a whole.
Would you sell your most favorite artwork, or keep it?
My works are made to be seen by other people. I would rather share my work with those who appreciate it then to keep it for myself.
How important was education and training to you?
Very important. It is fundamental for artists to have a profound professional education. An artist must know a lot of things to be able to express ideas and feelings.
If you were invited overseas to exhibit, where would you like that to be?
I prefer to exhibit anywhere where the conditions of the exhibition are most favorable.
Do you recommend use of the Internet for an artist's publicity?
Yes, the Internet is a valuable tool. It is a great way to exhibit worldwide. In my case it gives me great exposure. Many people daily visit my sites. The Internet can boost an artist’s career and give him valuable feedback from galleries, dealers, and visitors.
How can the Internet be made better for working artists?
I think artists are just beginning to realize the value of the Internet. The Internet is still somewhat young and there are still many possibilities out there. I think working artists should take the advantage of this resource as much as they can, it just might open new horizons and opportunities
Art to me is the quest of one of the many sides of the universal Truth.
The name for this side is Beauty.
What is Beauty?
It is the harmony which manifests itself in the finest proportions.
It is the expression of the infinite through the finite.
It is the oneness of the inner and outer worlds.
It is through Beauty that Truth reveals itself.
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Special technique is used to roll up the canvas. Professional help is required to mount the canvas back on the stretchers. Only professionals should perform this task. Incorrect re-stretching can result in damaging paint's layers, and such damage as craquelures or fall of the paint off the canvas may occur.
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