Dmitry Gutov’s Horsewoman is part of the Do You Know Russian Art? series, which was shown at the artist’s solo exhibition Life is Hard but Luckily Short in 2014. This moderate-sized monochromatic canvas is an obvious allusion to Karl Bryullov’s iconic painting Horsewoman (1832) from the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery. The artist has no intention of making a precise copy of this well-known masterpiece of the 19th century Russian art. Gutov’s Horsewoman is an intimate piece executed in his signature dynamic style in delicate lavender colours against the neutral grey background. The inner frame around the image plays an important role: the author’s name drawn in black paint becomes an active element of the composition.
Gutov has repeatedly called himself a ‘barbarian’, stressing the point that he is an amateur in art. In this work the author asks his audience a question connected equally to the knowledge of Russian art and to the historic visual memory. Within this cycle Gutov studies the actual realm of art, retelling its history with his own takes on such milestones as Bryullov’s Horsewoman, Vasnetsov’s Heroes (Bogatyri) or Repin’s Barge-haulers Wading through Water.
Dmitry Gutov, 1991
Dmitry Gutov, 2013
Dmitry Gutov, 2002
Dmitry Gutov, 2006