IVAN YAMBERDOV: THE GUARDIAN OF THE NATION
Associate Prof., Ms., Kazan State Institute of Culture, Mari State University, Russia, firstname.lastname@example.org
The author of the article analyses the artistic journey of Honoured Artist of Russia Ivan Mikhailovich Yamberdov (born in 1955) to be one of the leading fine art artisans of the Republic of Mari El. His work should be viewed in the context of the Mari culture. He is the carrier and the guardian of the national mental outlook. Ivan Yamberdov is a muralist artist not only by education but also by the type of his thinking and sensitivity. He started his career in the 1970s and 1980s amid national neo-romanticism, which appeared in the Soviet art at its later stage. The artist’s paintings of this period are full of poetisation and idealisation of rural life, they demonstrate his first contemplation of the Mari people’s fate. In the late 1980s, a symbolic basis in I. Yamberdov’s paintings is intensified. He does not break with the academic painting parlance but he introduces new original picture techniques. The colouring of the paintings becomes gloomy with bright flashes of light. This particular colour produces a powerful emotional impact on the viewer. In the 1990s, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, socialist realism dictation in the art disappears and Yamberdov, like other national artists, gains creative freedom. From this time his style can be defined as ethnosymbolism. The ancient images of the native culture are revived, however they do not look like Mari folklore illustrations similar to those created by many Soviet artists. The national tradition is creatively revised by Yamberdov. He touches upon formerly tabooed aspects of the people’s life, for example, religion. He broaches half-forgotten issues which mainstream the meaning of a myth as a form of thinking. The artist enters the process of myth-making. As if taking on the role of the wizard - narrator who sees the past and the future and restores the continuity. The images of his relatives and fellow countrymen pass into the archetypes, which often turn out to be much wider than the Mari culture alone. The plots of his paintings are filled with the mystical events explored by the artist from one painting to another. This is how the stable mythologems of Yamberdov's artistic cosmology are created. The artist actively uses the method of metamorphosis. The artist’s mythogenic aura pervades all his paintings and reigns around his personality. Ivan Yamberdov is a unique phenomenon, he writes an unmatched modern chapter of the Mari fine arts.
Keywords: Mari fine arts, national neo-romanticism, ethnosymbolism, Ivan Mikhailovich Yamberdov
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