On May 20, the well-known Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, MA will open an exhibition of works by Alexander Gassel, a Russian-American contemporary artist and designer. This unique exhibition titled “The Art of Alexander Gassel” will feature a beautiful selection of surrealist paintings that perfectly combine modern subjects with ancient symbols and blend traditional Russian iconography with avant-garde.
The Museum of Russian Icons
Officially opened in 2006, the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton is undoubtedly among the most outstanding museums in Massachusetts. The fact is that it features one of the world’s largest collections of authentic Russian icons and sacred artifacts spanning six centuries. Besides, in addition to its impressive selection of Orthodox art ranging from antique Russian icons to modern art, the Museum is known for its research and scholarship work related to Russian culture. Moreover, it offers various lectures, concerts, and a whole range of other interactive educational programs for any taste.
The Art of Alexander Gassel
Born in Moscow in 1947, Alexander Gassel is a very talented contemporary artist who is currently living and working in the United States. His amazing paintings are inspired by the early 20th-century Russian avant-garde art and works by such prominent artists as Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, and Marc Chagall in particular. However, they are much more than simply beautiful examples of abstract and surrealist art. Gassel’s painting style is indeed unique and has much in common with religious icon painting, which makes his works stand out from many others.
Alexander Gassel creates his incredible icon paintings using egg yolk tempera, an ancient technique that has been known in Russia for centuries. Moreover, this talented artist makes his own color pigments by grinding natural minerals and stones (e.g., lapis, cinnabar, and malachite) into powder, which results in truly fantastic pieces of art. One more interesting thing about Gassel’s painting style is that he often additionally applies silver or gold leaf on the creations, making them even more similar to authentic antique Russian icons. Besides, his works are full of old symbols and details from different civilizations hidden in surrealistic compositions.
“The Art of Alexander Gassel” exhibition is definitely a great event, and it is free to the public. So if you have a chance to visit the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, do it without hesitation! This exhibition will run through January 6, 2019.
Photo credit: Museum of Russian Icons/museumofrussianicons.org