“For the first time I saw in nature reflections of the light and understood the laws of energy in the white canvas during our trip, together with Eric Bulatov, to the North of Russia on island Anzer in the White See. A House of the Island Anzer, 1965, is the first painting that I decided to sigh as my own. I consciously put aside everything and began to work on the interactions of the surface-space in the canvas. That was the beginning of my so-called “abstractionist period,” – Oleg Vassiliev.

“By the early 1960s, Favorsky’s theories about physics for colour and the movement of colour through space had led Vassiliev to a series of experiments that culminated with the House on the Island Anzer in 1965. With the House on the Island Anzer, Vassiliev found his voice. “It was the first time I realised that this was mine. These were not Falk’s ideas, not Favorsky’s. This was mine.”

So active is this painting that it is difficult to pin down the source of the intense sweeps of colour that back-light the dark house at the center of the painting. This house sits high, perhaps on a promontory. It is at once pressed, haloed, and swallowed by the red spectrum to the left and the green to the right. The house appears to exist both in physical space and at the edge of a slightly dangerous metaphysical abyss.

In the paintings that followed, Vassiliev pressed further and further into realm of light, playing with its source and with what it could do to the picture plane if it emanated from edges, from corners, from the centre, or all of these at once.”

Amei Walach (OlegVassiliev: The Treachery of Memory, the Space of Light in “Oleg Vassiliev Memory Speaks”).

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