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Fazil Iskander: Evening Light. Varvara Bubnova


Varvara Bubnova
Varvara Bubnova
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  • Fazil Iskander: Evening Light

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  • Palette of life. Varvara Bubnova
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  • I met Varvara Bubnova in Sukhumi, when she just moved there from Japan. She was already a pretty old person, but in her character she had something, which invariably attracted the youth, local art intelligentsia.

    I think, the breadth of intelectual interests, simpleness – is the feature of people who are spiritually evolved, that's what attraced to her. A soft voice, gentle moves and hard look, suddenly illuminated with delicate sense of humor, conquered. Her character was full of kindness and tact.

    It seems that a high sense of tact and mental flexibility gave her the outlook similiar to a Japanese. In Japan she lived, for a long time, by teaching students how to understand and to love Russian literature, and for herself as for an artist, she learned a lot from Japanese masters.

    Her former Japanese students were so attracted to her, that from time to time when they were coming to Moscow, made a considerable detour to get to it in Sukhumi to meet her.

    Her paintings, at least, that were especially close for me, struck me with thier quiet singificance. The silence in her paintings reminds of importance of what is happening. Such silence that it seems, if you come closer you will hear the cicadas singing - the invisible musicians of eternity.

    The subjects of the paintings are pretty simple, «The fields of mount Fuji», «An old peasant», «Dinner of the fishermen», «Rain», «Girl with a dog», «In the vicinity of Sukhumi».

    Where does the significance of what is happening come from? The miracle of the talent. Pictures of everyday life, immersed in eternity, becomes the destiny of life itself, and that worries us, makes us happy and sad. Painter's brush does not just paint, but also erases dust of accidents.

    Phenomena of nature, portraits of humans, solitary landscapes silently insist on the existence of thier existence. Reminding of the quiet voice of the artist and the hard look.

    «Rain» smacking under the feet, «Old wood» makes you want to lean against it, as an unshaven cheek of a grandfather, from «Magnolias» headache is about to start, and I want to walk again in the streets of Sukhumi, surpised by walking so many times, yet still not notice some things.

    Paintings stream a shy hospitality, and you want to take advantage of it, if it is possible without a hustle and bustle.

    I think one of the hallmarks of a true talent is our desire to involuntary step into the frame and visit the land, praised by the artist. The artist not only invites us to live, but also shows the area where he invites us. Not just live, but live right there.

    With all the originality and novelty of Varvara Bubnova creations, it immerses the viewer to such part of Russian art, of which Boris Pasternak once wrote:

    Autumn's twilights of Chekov
    Chaykovsky and Levitan.

    «Soviet culture» January 17th 1987

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