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Evgenia Sare’s incisive art

By Christian Noorbergen
Art critic, exhibition curator, 2018



Evgenia Sare’s incisive art



Each of the chubby, comic faces in Evgenia Sare’s bare-boned expanses looms admirably, audaciously, against the arid backdrop of a quasi-moonscape. Her landscapes are eerie stage sets scooped of their innards to be populated with feverish humans. She cuts through the pit-props of reality, her incisive, astonishing characters permanent players in a scabrous fairytale for faux-naif grownups; they are touching in touching something in us that echoes the agony of the daily grind. An eternal childhood for which there can be no cure.


A fairy realm of private transgressions


The faces take centre stage. They form splashes of brightness, isolated or reflected in the fleshly mirror of coupledom, or scattered like crumbs across the canvas in a host of touching, all-too-human beings, united in play, chance, celebration, or tenderness. This is the sumptuous theatricality of banality abandoned by modernity, and superbly – albeit unassumingly – breached by its own inner world.

              The paint seems as if smoothed and polished by thousands of minute brush strokes. It could almost be a polished surface, policed inwardly by a myriad of tiny, tender, respectful, sidelong glances. All these elements corrode the surface of the work and sear the sparse elements of its rough, deliciously perverse charm, like a perfumed, amorous zephyr wafting through our own personal labyrinths.

              Each work has the sacred aura of a timeless icon, squaring up to that which is most human in all of us. We see ourselves in them, and are lost. A fleeting moment of ecstasy from unexpected expectation when the dull, dormant daily routine bursts into a fabulous, festive spectacle.


A numberless, prettily scabrous body


Living flesh punctuates the empty expanses with fantastical embodiments that are knotted yet fluid, larval and bloated, yet replete with joyous sensuality. Evgenia Sare’s compact, milky, stolidly swollen paint-flesh, biteable in its density and striking in its proximity, blooms with a lively, seductive pink, as acerbic, unspoken, latent, clinging irony imbues the scene. The work is redolent with an air of absence, a rarefied atmosphere of slight devilry, a hint of sulphur, and a pleasing touch of clownery. A whiff of the abyss, no doubt, made palatable, even sweet-scented, by the remarkable, sumptuous mastery of the palette. Underlying the delicate obscenity of each minimally directed set piece hums the chaotic power of a primeval body clad in full pomp, an archaic, precious body, the hidden blueprint of all other bodies.


Subtle gaze-traps


Evgenia Sare is a formidable, discreet magician whose spells enrapture the merest of mortals. Our certainties are her playthings. She fracks and fissures outer appearances to lay bare the tranquil joys of everyday existence. Hers is an active, secret, playful magic. She digs, like a child with a spade, into the fathomless enigma of being. She ransacks the mystery of spaces and beings. She clings like a barnacle to the grotesque yet pleasant life that teems on the underbelly of exhausted humanity. In this insidious, bewitching art, sovereign and subterranean, the hidden world hearkens to the secret obverse of outward appearance, giving rise to a sense of rustic medievality. Sarcastic murmurs here hold the keys to the city.

              Where modernity churns out images to the point of sating the gaze, Evgenia Sare invents prodigious sleights of hand to create subtle, loving, witty gaze-traps. Laying bare the underbelly of culture, Evgenia Sare is a rare, profoundly singular artist, her arms open to embrace space.

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