Dmitry Gutov

Shostakovich, 2002
80x50 cm



This portrait of Dmitry Shostakovich, executed in Gutov’s dynamic, somewhat calligraphic, style is part of a limited series of portraits done in 2002. The series is dedicated to the key figures in Gutov’s biography, such as Marx, Livshits, Lenin, Hegel – the artist’s partners in perpetual creative dialogue. One of those figures is, undoubtedly, Shostakovich. The artist used his music as a soundtrack for his Thaw video (2006). The more recent portrait of Shostakovich – part of the Portraits of Composers series (2010) – definitely originates from this earlier image. The composer’s profile is set against a conventional window, his head is slightly bent in reverie, his eyes are hidden behind thick glasses, his right hand is resting on the arm of the chair. The austere colour composition with the composer’s figure silhouetted in active reddish pink against grey background, along with the comment ‘Dmitry Shostakovich’ in the bottom of the painting are both characteristic features of Gutov’s early 2000s works. The composer’s intellectual process is captured here in Gutov’s simple and clean manner, without any obtrusive psychological pathos.