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NIKOLAI SILIS (1928 - 2018)
THE VALENTINE RYABOV GALLERY (MOSCOW)
THE VALENTINE RYABOV GALLERY (MOSCOW)
Critical outline on “Don Quixote” sculpture by Nikolai Silis:
In the late 60s, Nikolai Silis began working on a new series of graphics. As a result, we got 14 pages of brilliant works dedicated to the famous hero of the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote. The main creative goals for Silis were always works on the form, and Don Quixote felt just right for the plastic experiments. "I immediately imagined him all formed and twisted, made from thick sheets of metal" recalled the sculptor in his memoirs. (N. Silis, "Memoirs", Academic Publishing Centre "Nauka", Moscow, 2016, p.39.)
Gradually, the hero of the graphic series began to acquire real outlines, first in clay, then in gypsum and finally, in his already familiar copper form. Although later, on the creative path of the sculptor, this image received many incarnations. In particular, Silis has a smaller bronze version of Don Quixote. This version was created specifically for the Moscow International Film Festival, which was later awarded to director Yuri Norshtein when he received the Tarkovsky Award for the cartoon "The Hedgehog in the Fog" in 1989.
Don Quixote became the most distinguished character of the master.
The image of Don Quixote, embodied by Nikolai Silis, combines monumentality with intimacy.
He is largely out of the total number of his works, that usually gravitating toward generalization of forms, and yet, it is a veiled self-portrait of a master.
Particular attention of Silis to the plastic interpretations in sculpture made significant changes in the world of art and included him in the lines of greatest artists of the twentieth century:Auguste Roden, Antonio Giacometti, Henry Moore, Vadim Sidur, Tony Cregg. Don Quixote became the main work of the sculptor, in which he was able to express his moral and ethical ideals, as well as the genius of the artist-creator
Since 1956 Nikolai Silis became a member of the Moscow Union of Artists. Since 1956 he had been taking an active part in all-Union, regional and international exhibitions, as well as in private Russian and foreign galleries. Many works of the sculptor were acquired and donated to state museums and private collections.
The first personal exhibition of Nikolai Silis took place at the Russian Academy of Arts in Moscow, near the metro station "Kropotkinskaya". The second - after 30 years, during «Perestroika», in 1987, in the gallery MOSKh on Vavilov Street, Moscow. The third solo exhibition was organized in 1992 in the Moscow Central House of Artists.
1994 - The Valentine Ryabov Gallery
held an exhibition "Interior Space", where the works of Nikolai Silis
were exhibited. Moscow,
Central House of Artists.
There were exhibitions in the cities of Russia: in Nyzhny Volochok, Tver, St. Petersburg and abroad: in Germany, Greece, Nigeria, Spain, Belgium, Holland, USA, Great Britain. Some of the works were purchased by state and private museums, Russian and foreign collectors.
Selected monumental works:
Museums and collections in which the
sculptor's works are represented:
The expansive Livingston Campus, the youngest and largest of Rutgers–New Brunswick’s five campuses, is home to many first-year students. The sculpture found here expresses a forward-looking personality, an academic feel, and a delightful eccentricity
Donated by Mr. and Mrs.
Igor Gomberg and installed in 2012,
is the creation of Russian
sculptor Nikolai Silis. In this abstract copper work located near
the entrance to the ,
Don Quixote sits in a relaxed position as he examines a flower.
"Don Quixote With A Flower" in the Valentine Ryabov Gallery
"I have a great news. The large sculpture by Nikolai Silis 'Don Quixote With A Flower' arrived to my gallery in Moscow. It is the best sample! It is the last life-time large 'Don Quixote' sculpture. It is a fourth edition of the sculpture made from the concrete model and it is the last one since the concrete model has been destroyed and there is no team which has the right and the sculptor's trust to reproduce the model. Previously only one edition of the sculpture was made with a battle shield as the sculptor conceived it. This fourth addition was also made with a battle shield." - Valentin Ryabov, gallery owner.