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Anton and Alexsey Yakovlevi
In the room

19 October — 03 December 2021
H8 Triangle Gallery

Anton and Alexsey Yakovlevi
In the room

Triangle Gallery is pleased to present "In the Room", the first double solo exhibition of brothers Alexei and Anton Yakovlev (b. 1982 live and work in Kaliningrad). 

We have seen many painting deaths. Or rather, attempts to bury her. There are a few things in our time - performance, video, non-performance art should have done away with canvas and oil, and already in the 2010s - digital and net art. But painting continues to live, with its steadfastness resembling a large tree. Centuries pass, civilizations collapse, the tree remains in its place, breathes and grows with annual rings. In the same way, painting grows with meanings through epochs.

The exhibition of brothers Alexei and Anton Yakovlev from Kaliningrad is a fresh example of such a picturesque "will to live". Their work resembles an album with photographs or a diary - somewhere very personal and heartfelt (portraits "Father" and "Brother" by Alexei Yakovlev, "Mother of my child" by Anton Yakovlev), somewhere light and bright, like a memory ins ert (" Flowers in a lemonade bottle "Anton Yakovlev). We meet with the eyes of the living and somewhat alien eyes of heroes from special Russia - Kaliningrad - either our Liverpool, or Prussian Abkhazia. This painting is lyrical, funny and very serious, naive at first glance, but in fact, masterful and deeply rooted in the artistic tradition of the XX - XXI century.

The closest analogy to the works of the Yakovlevs is the famous and very popular right now American artist Alice Neel (Alice Neel, 1900 - 1984). The age of the century, who died almost forty years ago, is experiencing posthumous glory in the 2020s. In part, the reason is that Nile's art is a perfect example of this organic accumulation of meaning, which painting succeeds better than other mediums. Neil lived through modernism with all its breakthroughs and transformations, and entered the postmodern era in full force, without losing her own recognizable face. The artist's later and most famous works are painting after modernist art, painting after photography and the branded spectacularity of pop art. It is difficult to imagine another medium who could absorb and adopt such distant categories - author's involvement and thematic eclecticism, lyricism and poster showiness.

The works of Anton and Alexey Yakovlev are another new round in the endless history. Painting after Alice Neal (in English "after" means both "after" and "based on"), and more importantly, after the Internet and social networks. Painting in the era of media. Portrait posts are especially popular and get the most likes, as well as personal stories. Publications without a human figure are almost doomed. Here, the portrait genre gets in to the pulse of the times and, at the same time, continues a thousand-year tradition. By analogy, still life renews its meanings: a moment of beauty snatched from everyday life, balance of composition, symbolism of things. And something else.

In a world overflowing with images, painting turns out to be more than just another picture. This is a super-picture, highlighted by the artist's interested gaze, the investment of skill and time and the energy of the genre itself, accumulated over the centuries.

Alexander Merekin