Erik Bulatov

Entry – No Entry, 1978
work on paper
45x45 cm


work on paper

This is a scaled-down graphic version of the painting by the same name, which was finished in 1975. At this stage of his career Erik Bulatov drifted away from visual grandeur of painting to creating inner tension in pictures through clear composition of text and a sort of a three-colour code – a minimal set of local colours: white, blue, and red. This scope of Bulatov’s work is the closest to conceptual art.
The topic of autonomous existence of society space and art space, which, according to Bulatov, he was working with at the time, got a new personal dimension in this graphic work.
The mirror doubling of the word ‘Vkhod’ (Entry), its blue letters receding in perspective to the centre, forms the depth of the picture, while the ‘Vkhoda net’ (No Entry) phrase declares the flat level of the paper sheet to be the only possible reality. This ban, thanks to the intensive red colour, seems to stare in the face of the viewer, but its impotence is revealed by the positioning of the letters ‘Da’ (Yes) in the very centre of the composition, and the pair ‘Da – Net’ (Yes – No). This technique exposes the dual interrelation of the various parts of text inside the picture, opening the gates for multiple interpretations, even though at first glance there only seems to be one.