An exhibition of recent works by the acclaimed Russian artist GeorgII Uvs, opening 24 January 2019 at the Saatchi Gallery
This exhibition – his first in the UK – is comprised of four series of oil paintings. Created in Malta between 2014 and 2017, the works, entitled ‘Mesozoic’, ‘Genesis’, ‘Code’ and ‘Wings’, symbolise an immersive panorama of the cycles of life.
Uvs’ vision of the world is grounded in science, notably geology and mathematics. Drawing on these disciplines, he offers the viewer a journey from the Mesozoic era, to Genesis and the creation of life, to the codes that embody intellectual development and knowledge, and, finally, to Wings, which reveals the return to a state of unfettered liberation and freedom. Through his fascination with mathematics, Uvs gives meaning to arithmetic as ‘Renaissance’, algebra as ‘Post-Impressionism’ and to high mathematics as ‘Abstraction’.
This fusion of scientific pursuit and artistic imagination has led Uvs to experiment with different single pigments and mixed ultraviolet reactive pigments. In doing so, he has pioneered a new approach to abstract art, a process that brings phenomenal significance and intense substance to his ever-changing works.
Uvs’ artistic practice has been developed and refined over four decades. His vibrant compositions appear to be created instinctively yet are, paradoxically, meticulously planned. Paint is poured onto un-stretched canvases laid horizontally on the studio floor. Uvs makes no direct contact with the paint but manipulates it with different tools from behind. Once his compositional objectives are achieved, he introduces an element of chance, allowing the artwork to interact with the environment. It is this technique, above all else, that defines Uvs’ artistic vision: the collision of art and nature.
The assembled works (some of which, due to the viscosity of the paint, take up to four years to dry) bring to mind geological formations in some and in others, galactic explosions. When the works are exposed to ultraviolet light, as they will be for this exhibition, they reflect the turbulence of the artist’s emotions and energy through the vivid colours and the physical action of his working process. Ultimately, Uvs’ works strive towards beauty, transmitted through their texture, composition and colour.