Metaphysics of pure consciousness - this is how one can briefly describe the exhibition “Heavenly Wind” by Mikhail Molochnikov, organized on the occasion of his 60th birthday. The exhibition includes graphics, art objects, sculptures and books by the artist over the past 20 years. All these are visions that appeared to Molochnikov during meditation. For him, Buddhism is a way of life, a philosophy, and a creative method, where the main thing is the search for balance in this illusory world. That is, each work in the exhibition, and the entire exhibition as a whole, is an exit to another dimension.
A portal to Molochnikov’s parallel Universe, filled with love, spring mood, space flights and enchanting harmony, opened in the Red-Line gallery, whose windows overlook Red Square. That is, from the main square of the country you can go straight into another dimension, which Mikhail Molochnikov easily draws with the help of the finest lines.
Looking at the artist’s graphics, it seems like you are looking through a microscope and seeing the smallest organisms busy with their lives. Looking at it in detail, you really are transported somewhere outside.
Here is the work “The Passage of Time”, where among the broken lines twisting in a spiral, a silhouette can be discerned - a head, arms, legs, eyes. But they are closer to the surrealism of Joan Miro than to real images.
When you look at the nuances of the drawing, time changes its pace, it seems that it does not exist at all. And here is the “Spring” series, placed against the backdrop of an accent yellow wall, which in Buddhism symbolizes spirituality and love. Here, too, one can read the figures, painted with a light African motif - they seem to merge with the plant microcosm. Nearby there is a book laid out like an accordion, where the same yellow pages as the wall are fascinating in combination with black and white lines, blue, red and green circles. In some places the book is cut right through - the heavenly wind blows through it.
“I make art that is timeless, it is inspired by meditation, the sky sends me images,” says the hero of the day, who came to the opening of his exhibition in red felt boots and orange pants. – Wind is an ether that permeates the universe. Hence the name of the exhibition.
I have little interest in earthly things. I want to be like Velimir Khlebnikov – a Man-Universe. Other worlds that I see in meditation and sketch are structures and abstractions filled with pure consciousness. And the cuts in my works are an ether, a doorway to another world. Air is also art.
The Tarot series occupied a special place at the exhibition. The viewer from the spacious gallery space with works in pastel colors finds himself in a kind of tunnel, which contains not just images, but symbols-predictions.
Molochnikov drew his first deck of fortune telling cards many years ago, and made this one two years ago. You can close your eyes and randomly poke at the wall - and your prediction will “fall out”. The author of these lines hit the sky with his finger - namely, the “lovers” card, which, according to Mikhail, unites people and speaks of the need for choice, not necessarily, however, a cordial one.
On the map, the figures of a man and a woman, assembled as if from construction kit parts, sit on the sides of a suprematist red circle, while Cupid aims at them from above with an equally avant-garde bow. Molochnikov's style is clearly recognizable and original, but there are obvious references and influences of the Russian avant-garde.
“One of my favorite cards is the jester, where I placed Malevich’s “Black Square” in the center,” the artist shows the graphic sheet that opens the “Tarot” series. – This is a card about a man reminiscent of Bruegel’s blind man who walks through life on an intuitive path. Non-logical thinking is very important: not everything can be analyzed. It’s like with the “Death” card, which does not mean dying at all, but the birth of something new. Each card I have contains a figurative, but it is also an abstraction.
A mystical corridor leads to the “Spring” series, and to the left of it is a series of two-meter art objects made of geometric shapes and letters cut out from magazines.
The tower structures are located against the background of a large yellow circle drawn on the wall, into which a cardboard line “cuts”, onto which, again, letters and geometric shapes are glued. Moreover, they all have different textures - sometimes glossy, sometimes fluffy and soft, sometimes matte. Despite their size, these objects are also very detailed. They also remind you that Molochnikov is an architect by training who was able to transfer monumentality into a graphic microcosm.
“We came up with the installation specifically for this project to add light accents, but not overload,” says exhibition curator Marina Fedorovskaya. – Misha is a very self-sufficient artist who, in art, follows the Buddhist teaching of “Dzogchen”, which literally means “yes and no.” This is the ability to look at things from different angles.
I proposed the title “Painted Air” for the exhibition, but Misha wanted his own, I took a break for a couple of days, and in the end agreed with him. I practiced humility. I built the exhibition as an exhibitor; there is no need for any special curatorial concept; Molochnikov’s works speak for themselves. They are about the ability to weigh, not to go to extremes, to feel the invisible air that permeates everything.