Dmitri Plavinsky (Russian, 1937-2012) Pythagoras's Theorem & Bach

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Lot 1
Dmitri Plavinsky
(Russian, 1937-2012)
Pythagoras's Theorem & Bach

£ 20,000 - 25,000
US$ 26,000 - 32,000
Dmitri Plavinsky (Russian, 1937-2012)
Pythagoras's Theorem & Bach
signed in Cyrillic, titled and dated '1988' (verso)
oil and collage on canvas
100 x 80cm (39 3/8 x 31 1/2in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Acquired directly from the artist by a private European collector
    Thence by descent


    "In structural symbolism, the chronological sequence of time is destroyed, giving way, instead to the laws of the imaginative structural-temporal space. I replace time past, present, and future with time recurrent, given and conjectured," - Dmitry Plavinsky


    Dmitry Plavinsky was a poet of symbols, relics, memories and traditions. His subjects were artefacts of different eras and cultures, both extinct and existing, spiritual symbols, music, nature, - all coexisting and intertwining in his paintings. His method was layering and blending of culture, nature, and history itself. His central themes encompassed the eternal themes of time, its creative and destructive functions, decay and revival, evolution and stillness. Designed to transform the perception of history and reality, the art of Dmitry Plavinsky was destined to exist outside of the framework of the Soviet ideology.

    Pythagoras's Theorem & Bach from 1988 is emblematic of the artist's fascination with mathematics and music. Plavinsky's interest in music flourished in the 1980s as he began to study the graphic patterns of a note score which he would often incorporate in his paintings. 'Examining the scores of various epochs, styles, and composers ranging from Gregorian Chants... [to] John Cage, I tried to comprehend the mystique and magic in conjunctions of notation signs, the proportion and rhythm of black and white on pages of numerous scores', - the artist recalled (in John E. Bowlt, Dmitry Plavinsky, New York, 2000, p. 234). On the other hand, meticulous exploration of ancient cultures could not exclude immersion into the Pre-Socratic and Classical Greek philosophy, which found direct way into Plavinsky's paintings, such as the present.

    The visual structure of Pythagoras's Theorem & Bach, is founded upon representation of Euclid's 'Windmill', - as a as a symbol of Pythagorean concept of universal harmony, - against the background of pages with musical score. The relation of these key elements, on both formal and metaphorical levels, creates an astounding effect of a 'sounding' architectural space as setting for a complex system of symbolic codes and allegorical associations. Pythagoras's Theorem & Bach becomes an argument for Pythagorean beliefs in music as a reflection of the 'Harmony of the Spheres', or universal harmony, able to create in the inner world of a human the same sublime order as in the 'universal music'. At the same time, the duality of the mathematical logic and a musical flow reverts to the Apollonian and Dionysian principles the unity of the opposing realms, - the harmonic, refined, and rational, and the irrational, chaotic, and emotional, - which Dmitry's Plavinsky's art perfectly exemplifies.
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