” I want painting to be difficult so that there is always room for failure”.
That’s what we recently happened to read during an interview by Painting Perception to Russian artist, now based in Pennsylvania, Alex Kanevsky. It’s ironic that Kanevsky believes in the impossibility of the artist’s statement, because he just made a bold one. And we bow to that. Difficulty is a word that is not even contemplated in many contemporary artists’ vocabulary, so it’s quite refreshing to know there is still somebody who not only understands the role of hardship in art, but also seizes it as an opportunity. Kanevsky, carefully weighing his words, talks about “room for failure”. What a beautiful way to say it! Also because it seems such room is just the one we see in most of his paintings: a place filled by geometric brushstrokes, masterly arranged not to melt and smear among each others, but rather keeping their own chromatic independence. Kanevsky knows how to paint (he also teaches to lucky students at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts) because from each of his paintings emerges the unpainted. His work can be compared to a writer who doesn’t tell you everything, leaving you with the satisfaction to guess the rest. There’s a mathematical subtraction in forms and colors, as if the figures are up to the point to dissolve and disappear from the picture, but it’s in the fading trust in our own senses that perception becomes interesting and vibrant. Kanevsky won’t tell you more. His visual stories are open rooms where you are welcome to wander in search of awe, finding – not surprisingly – more questions than answers. Well done!