Dimitri Kozyrev, Last One 3, 2010
Acrylic on canvas
84 x 72 inches
March 10 – April 1, 2011
“Now, however, I maintain that just as the concept of the military avant-garde has been ‘lost,’ because of changes in methods of warfare, the avant-garde in the contemporary art world, has also lost its edge.” — Dimitri Kozyrev
Benrimon Contemporary is pleased to announce Last One, Dimitri Kozyrev’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
The exhibition Last One will show Kozyrev’s works from the artist’s two latest series Lost Edge and Last One, in which his leitmotif is the ruin or fragment. The artist references totalitarian regimes, in particular the U.S.S.R. under Stalin, and its tendency to appropriate and/or censor all avant-garde movements. Kozyrev also alludes to artists such as Malevich and the Suprematist geometries of El Lissitzsky. The layers of pictorial elements and multiple perspective orientations provide a vertiginous experience, as if speeding though a landscape at great height. Kozyrev’s painterly vocabulary communicates a state of disorientation to the viewer by denying compositional unity and resolution.
Kozyrev draws a comparison between the military avant-garde and avant-garde art of the Twentieth Century, when both were at the height of their importance. The mighty ruin of the Mannerhiem Line, a Finish fortification built in 1939 to protect against the Soviet military avant-garde, is the source material for the Lost Edge series. Today the Mannerhiem Line stands as a reliquary structure for the lives lost and has been reclaimed by nature.
In this exhibition, the artist presents a state existing between the physical and the imagined landscape. It is at this intersection between the material and the immaterial that Kozyrev’s interest lies. Kozyrev reflects on the human impact wars leave behind on a landscape. The modernist and constructivist methods of rearranging pictorial space are used not only to point to the scars that wars have left behind, but also to refer to the way that landscape heals those scars and how the events and people who created them become forgotten.
Dimitri Kozyrev was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. He currently holds an assistant professor position in Painting and Drawing at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Kozyrev received his MFA in Studio Arts from University of California, Santa Barbara and his BFA in Painting from Ohio University. Kozyrev has had multiple solo shows at Cirrus Gallery in Los Angeles and at Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica. He has also been in a number of group shows at both at galleries and museums in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Amsterdam, and London. Most recently his work was featured at Krasnoyarsk Museum of Modern Art VIII International Biennale in Russia. Reviews of his work have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Artweek, Artforum and numerous on-line publications.