Artek hosts a battle of avant-gardists

Young artists participating in The World of Art in Artek educational program confronted each other in an art battle. The Artek residents got acquainted with the works of famous avant-garde artists such as Pablo Picasso and Wassily Kandinsky, and tried to create paintings mimicking their style. The experience gained through this activity helped the children to better understand the work of these cult artists as well as express their views on one of the most revolutionary trends in art.

The theme of European and Russian avant-garde was timed to coincide with the birthday of Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky, whose influence on the world has changed the way the fine art of painting is now perceived. “Our goal is to inform children about art,” ROSIZO Studio teacher Alina Medvedeva said. “They not only need to be able to hold a brush in their hand, but they also need to understand those who did so before them. Why did we choose avant-garde? Because it's a complex kind of art to understand. Usually, when children look at an abstract painting, they say: “I can do that, too” and do not particularly appreciate it. However, if you approach a drawing with a serious goal of getting a message across, then you can try to understand the classics.”

Teachers Alina Medvedeva and Alyona Serova told Artek residents about the main stages of Picasso and Kandinsky’s creative biography and about the artists’ philosophy using their famous paintings, such as Picture with an Archer, Fugue, Young Acrobat on a Ball, and Woman with a Flower as examples. The young artists chose the artist, whose work was closer and more interesting to them, and then the most exciting thing – a battle on canvases – started. Young artists were supposed to use the style of their favorite artist to render the times of the year, human emotions and even countries and continents. The teachers allowed the children to use whatever techniques or material they wanted.

“I’m drawing Europe in the style of Kandinsky,” Sasha Fedotova from Moscow said. “I plan to paint famous sights – Pisa Tower and the Eiffel Tower – using the colors of the rainbow in a way that you won’t be able to see them on the canvas all at once, just like in the Picture with an Archer. I adore the work of Kandinsky and all Russian artists of the 20th century, in general. I’m interested in art more as an art critic. I find it more interesting to delve into pictures than paint them. However, since we were given such a task, why not develop this part of me as well.” Sasha says she learned the rules of proportions and the laws of perspective during her shift at Artek. She also learned how to draw people and gained more knowledge about some areas of painting than she could have learned herself.

Zoya Dmitriyeva from Yekaterinburg was fascinated by the atmosphere in the studio and creative freedom. “What is the art of the future?” Zoya said. “I believe the future is what you choose for yourself. So, I like the studio for the opportunity to do anything that comes into my head, and use any technique and any material. I would like more such classes, because Artek inspires me. Today, I’m supporting the Picasso team, I like his style. I myself often create small abstract drawings in the margins of my copybook. When I do realistic watercolors or still life paintings, I stick to a similar approach where I use strokes and constantly change the paint. My friends say, ‘Wow, it's unusual.’ My mom understands everything. She’s an artist, and I’m on the same wavelength as she is.”

The young artists immersed themselves in the world of the avant-garde for two hours and, according to the teachers, coped with their task successfully and creatively. Who won the battle? Art, of course!