The expressive oil paintings of Russian born and Philadelphia based artist Alex Kanevsky, long admired by artists we cover, are based simply on his observations of others. (We can thank Andrew Hem for pointing us to Kanevsky’s latest work.) Kanevky’s style is a mix of figurative with cubist-like marks by his palette knife. His relaxed figures break apart into geometrical gestures that imply their movement through the space. It’s as if he painted these scenes with his brush set on a slow shutter speed. Kanevsky credits a range of aesthetically different artists as inspiration, from Van Gogh, Cezanne, Mondrian, Rothko, Kline, to Freud, the list goes on. Yet all of their influences can be found in his paintings one way or another. We can see Van Gogh’s thickly applied strokes and Cezanne’s sense of repetition.
“Man Leaving Everything Behind”
If we’re to go looking for the emotion and thought process behind Kanevsky’s work, then we should look at his manner of indicating movement. Movement can communicate mood. By blurring everything but his primary subject, as in “Man Leaving Everything Behind” (for his latest series, “Beautiful and Profound Paintings”), Kanevsky is able to focus his viewer’s attention at will. Kanevsky studies his own process at his website, where he states, “What turned out was that there really was not a clear progress, more like wandering in the dark with uncertain goals.” Like the man in his painting, Kanevsky seems to wander creatively with two feet not too firmly planted on the ground, seeking the same serenity.