BIOGRAPHY

 

Dimitri Kozyrev was born in 1967 in Leningrad, USSR. He moved to United States in 1991. Kozyrev received his MFA from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2000 and his BFA from Ohio University in 1997. Since then Kozyrev has had multiple solo shows at Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CA, Benrimon Contemporary, NY, NY, David Richard, Santa Fe, NM, Golf Coast Museum of Art, FL and Breese Little, London, UK. He has also been in a number of group shows at museums and galleries in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Tucson, Houston, Amsterdam, London, Krasnoyarsk (Russia). Reviews of his work have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Artweek, Artforum, Huffington Post, Art Itd., Artinfo, Wall Street International and many on line publications. For the past ten years he was a Professor of Art at The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. He lives and works in Salt Lake City, UT.

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

 

Lost Edge | Last One series: My interest in the intersection between actual, physical landscape and mental landscapes, coupled with recent world events, led me to reflect on the ruins of war and the human impact wars leave behind on landscape. Modernist, constructivist methods of rearranging pictorial space are used to reflect on the scars that wars have left behind, mentally and physically, but also the way that landscape and nature heal these scars and how the events and people who created them become forgotten. I have titled this body of work “Lost Edge.” I use the word “edge” because I draw a comparison between the notion of the avant-garde in war and the art world. In the early 20th Century, the avant-garde was at the height of its importance in both realms. Now, however, I maintain that just as the concept of the military avant-garde has been “lost,” because of changes in methods of warfare, the avant-garde in the contemporary art world, has also lost its edge. The source material for this body of work is images of ruins of the once mighty fortifications of the Mannerhiem Line, built to protect Finland from the advances of the Soviet military avant-garde. Finland’s attempt was valiant and not in vain; however, this war and the lives that were lost in 1939 are largely forgotten. The fortification lie in ruins, and nature is slowly reclaiming them. Similarly, the “cutting edge” of the contemporary art world seems to have become blunted. Viewers of the avant-garde work of many visionary artists of the early 20th Century were shocked, challenged and inspired by The Malevich’s Black Square and The Urinal of Marcel Duchamp. Because of changes in society, like changes in warfare, it has become difficult for today’s contemporary artist to generate the same level of response without resorting to vulgarity.

 

Lost Landscapes series: This body of work stems from observations based on the driving experience. Using freeway systems as the investigative constant, this paintings and drawings attempt to recreate the pure structure of urban landscape. In recreation, the original experience is replaced with the image of “lost” landscape. The environment along the freeway structures is essentially lost for the driver in the fast movement of the vehicle, because the driver’s attention is always directed forward; the landscape disappears on ether side of the driver, and only fragmented elements of it imprint in the driver’s memory. Fast driving reduces the visual experience from detail to generality and we never can reproduce the whole picture of the trip, only scattered elements as if they had been caught by a strobe light. These pictures are not meant to be a representation of the urban landscape, they are landscapes: landscapes for the speeding driver or landscapes for gallery goers. Moreover, these images have the potential to become a part of the road “language,” they may serve as information signs for a specific point of interest or they may be entertainment pictures to break the dullness of commuting. The formal resolutions of these pictures are influenced by the ideas developed by Russian Constructivists and later by Bauhaus scholars. Only minimal elements are chosen for my pictures in order to affect the viewer in a matter of seconds; these images must have only that amount of information, which is essential for the message I am about to deliver.