Dmitry Gutov

Taganskaya, 2006
40x80 cm



Dmitry Gutov’s paintings are often in dialogue with the art of the past, almost directly addressing it through the practice of making copies – a common practice in classical artistic training. In his work Taganskaya the artist depicts the name of one of the stations of Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya line of Moscow metro. The station was built in mid-1960s and still possesses the neofunctional plasticity which the artist revisited in his late 1980s – early 1990s works. In mid-2000s the artist shifted his focus from contemplation of personal life and the objects indicative of the Thaw period to painting on the principles of a refined intellectual game.
Inside the horizontal canvas, contrasting with the deep grey background, the letters of the word ‘Taganskaya’ are painted in bright white, in the font similar to that of the actual station sign, enclosed into a white frame with a particularly strong line on the left-hand side – these details are visual references to the architecture of the station interior. The artist creates a transfer connected to the name of the canvas, which in its turn substitutes the wall and formally acquires its properties. The subject of the painting is not the building of the station, but its uncluttered artistic image. The artist’s signature in yellow in the lower right part of the canvas is included into the space of the painting, not only acting as confirmation of authorship, but also adding up to the effect of the wall surface where any person can leave a message.