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Ales Rodin

  • artist
  • supervisor
1947 – 2022

Artist, painter, graphic designer, monumentalist, performer, co-organizer of the "DAСH" festivals.

A cult figure of the generation of Belarusian non-conformist artists, a member of the "Pagonia" section of the Belarusian Union of Artists.

A resident of the Tacheles arthouse in Berlin, which existed from 1990 to 2012.

Lived and worked in Minsk and Berlin.

Groups

Selected events

Selected artworks

Associated institutions

Associated Documents

Selected dates:

1947

He was born in Baranavichy (BSSR, today the Republic of Belarus).

Education: art studio of Viktor Bersetskyi (Versotskyi) and art school No. 1.

He continued his studies at the departments of design and painting at the Belarusian State Theater and Art Institute under I. Akhremchyk, N. Voranov, and H. Liviets. Since 1981

Member of the Union of Artists of the BSSR.

1990–2012

Resident of the art house "Tacheles" in Berlin.

Since 2001

Together with Zmitry Yurkevich, the organizer of the art festival of international experimental art "DAСH".

December 19, 2022

He died prematurely on his 76th birthday.

  • -

  • Fragment of an obituary from the Union of Artists:

"At the age of 15, Ales Rodin became fascinated with telescopes. He was especially attracted not by the optics themselves, but by the emotional states that a person feels when looking at the irrational, fantastic world of the night sky. Through the glass panes of the telescopes, even familiar objects changed miraculously: they became larger or smaller, became stereoscopically "capacious, long, as if passed through spatial lattices. Ales Rodin experimented with optical devices and later, already at the institute, to understand the secrets of color and form formation. All this gave impetus to writing the first hyperrealistic scenes.

As a student of BDTMI, Ales Rodin tried to overcome the barriers of realistic depiction of reality. He was interested in formal composition, creative pursuits of Chagall, Kandinsky. The rather harsh conservatism of the artistic environment of the time, in which I had to work, taught me to survive in extreme conditions, to preserve my own inner worldview. At the same time, it pushed the artist to "underground searches of the first wave" - that's how art critics later called the subculture that developed in our country in the 1970s. The artist found his own distinctive method, which was later called "non-stop panorama" by the art critic Ya.Shuneyka.

A. Rodin's paintings were perceived ambiguously in Belarus for a long time, they seemed too complicated and inappropriate. There were figures on the canvases, drawn quite familiarly and realistically. However, many were surprised by the disproportionately elongated parts of the bodies, huge, on the entire canvas, palms and eyes, which turned the paintings into hallucinations. Ales Rodin boldly intervened in the basics of matter, dividing it into parts, highlighting its mechanical creatures and biological rhythms.

For Ales Rodin, the process of writing a picture was always long. He could work on one canvas for several years. However, this did not prevent his works from remaining relevant even decades after their creation, as they embodied the author's concern for contemporary events and problems.

His paintings conveyed the feeling of global changes in the universe, their large-scale awareness by the author himself. In the 1990s, the artist painted the diptych "Apocalypse" and completed the cycles "Rebirth Syndrome" and "Millennium Mythology", in which he showed the aggression and harmony of society in the second half of the 20th century.. The imaginary world of his paintings only at first glance seemed chaotic due to the infinite number of small lines and dots. It hid complex synthetic images, multi-figure compositions, urban landscapes. The space of the canvas lost its flatness, it was perceived as voluminous, as if the gnarled roots of trees sprouted through the threads of the fabric. A large number of microscopic details forced a close look at the works, created a mystery of insight into the essence of the idea.

Later, trips abroad began: in the Netherlands, together with the artist V. Martynchik, Ales Rodin presented his figurative "mastodons" on the four floors of the Vatatoren exhibition hall, in Paris he lived for some time at the invitation of the Rόj international association in the premises of an old confectionery factory. Berlin became a real refuge, a place of artistic power for A. Rodin. At that time, Berlin was the unofficial capital of modern European art, it was here that restless creative energy was concentrated, drawing artists with a wide variety of aesthetic views to its borders.

In 2001, the Dash exhibition of contemporary Belarusian art opened in Berlin at the Tacheles House of Artists, in which Rodin was represented. This event changed the fate of the artist. In the huge (700 square meters) exhibition hall, Ales' monumental paintings were exhibited for several months, he held daily master classes for visitors - he set up an easel in the middle of the room and worked until three in the morning on another canvas in front of the public. Gradually, the space occupied by Rodin became a place of creative experiment, open to the participation of young artists from Belarus. It is impossible to say exactly how many people during this time found a free shelter here, how many started their path to art through Takheles, thanks to Rodin's support. Takheles became something like an informal Belarusian cultural center. Ales Rodin's activities made it possible to invite about 50 artists from various artistic fields to participate in the "Dash" festival, which has become an annual event: performance, multimedia, experimental music, sculpture, etc.

In addition, Ales Rodin was engaged in performances. The artist's performances are usually long in duration. For example, the famous performance "Suvyazh", which Ales presented together with Zmitser Yurkevich at the first "Novelties" festival (1999), took place for several hours, when the audience watched motionless figures, and it had to be perceived as a kind of theatrical performance. spectacle.

The artist's magnum opus is the painting "Millennium Mythology", measuring approximately 15 x 4 meters. It is about her that Ales Rodin said in an interview: "History is a lie that over time becomes the truth. The artist creates certain myths, fueled by historical and contemporary events, and reveals his feelings of time, space, how everything is interconnected with to society. This symbiosis gives a state of endless race. I have always been very interested in the rhythm of life. It was in "Takheles" that I caught the global pulsation of the earth. People, society whisper their points of view - and myths are created. In the picture there are images of people who prefer a passive way of life, and there are those who cannot sit still, they are constantly running somewhere, exploring something, encountering this huge and thorny world... It is in this context that "Mythology of the Millennium" is written. A powerful system of knowledge of the environment is laid there. I started this painting in In 2009, I have been working on it since then. It is not known how much longer I will write it. If the work is interesting to me, I spare no time. The picture can double, triple..."

It's a shame that there won't be a sequel..."

  • baranovichi
  • belarusian avangard
  • brutalism and thrаsh
  • collage
  • metaphysics
  • scenic practices & techniques
  • surreal
  • всёчество