Dmitry Gutov

Drawing of Pattern for the “Hamlet” Fabric, 1991
64x55 cm



This drawing is part of a set of early works created by Dmitry Gutov in the first years after perestroika. In this period the young author, unlike his contemporaries, was engaged in artistic reinvention of the stylistic legacy of the 1960s – an era which is, as art theoretician Viktor Misiano puts it, ‘the last time when a single aesthetic frame dominated the whole decorum of the Soviet society: from a wooden stool to a sputnik’.
It is this ‘decorum’, its utopian neofunctional plasticity, that is the main subject matter of Gutov’s work as an artist and a profound intellectual, who is capable of discovering subtle consonance between mundane paraphernalia of the Soviet way of life and exquisite pieces of literary or musical art.
The drawing with the floral weaving pattern featuring the motive of a ruined arc under a couple of palm trees or spruces gets a new meaning in combination with its intended purpose mentioned in its name. The Hamlet fabric with the citation from the first scene of the first act of the eponymous play ‘A countenance more in sorrow than in anger’ sums up the author’s attitude towards the Thaw years: there is a melancholic longing for childhood and cordial sincerity, but not a hint of adoration or rage. Gutov discloses the web of interactions of the elements inside the picture, their roles in regular life and inside the picture.