Andrei Syailev

Andrei Syailev (born 1982): Russian performance, object, installation and video artist, curator, art manager. Studied at the Samara School of Art (1997–2001). Lives and works in Samara.
Born: 1982, Samara
Samara Wave

Andrei Syailev is a performance, object, installation and video artist, curator and art manager. He was born in Samara (1982) and studied at the Samara School of Art (1997–2001). Syailev is a leading member of the Samara Wave – a new generation of Russian artists who live and work in Samara.

Andrei Syailev repeats and reinterprets the traditional representational scheme of art. One of his most convincing and memorable groups of works was the series of Volga Studies (2007), shown at the ERA Foundation for Visual Art Support during the Qui vive? Moscow Biennale for Young Art. Syailev formatted his textual descriptions of the various constituents of a landscape in the exact same forms as the objects themselves (for example, the description of a cloud was given in the shape of a cloud) and in the exact same vivacity required by the aerial perspective. In this way, rejecting the material of painting (the paints), the artist formalised the main element of the picture as such – space as an exfoliation of the text.

Andrei Syailev’s Structure series (2009) addressed the question of space not inside, but outside the painterly surface. The accompanying text states that, in the creation of the work, he follows the formal course of the appearance of inscriptions, spots and runs on the walls of the oil tanks straddling the enormous expanses of our country. Such signs – which are, at first sight, perceived as a form of expressive abstraction – appeal to these same expanses and time. Every canvas in this interpretation should be regarded as a fortuitousness, deriving from the word “fortune” – a lucky record of a point in the space of life, made by the efforts of the artist.

The desire to capture something striking, natural (self-manifesting) and “picturesque,” before offering it up to universal admiration, is a widespread device in photography and video art. Restoring such chance images to the realms of fine art, however, Andrei Syailev offers more than just the aesthetics of the objet trouvé – this is the objective, material and non-metaphorical paintwork itself.

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