Krai \ Brink
Art4 Museum, Moscow, Russia and Art4 Gallery, London

Borderlands, unstable spaces and how humans relate to those types of landscape are a source of continued interest for Filippov, but his use of drawing as a means of artistic expression is relatively new. As he puts it, ‘For me, drawing was always something casual, something involving sketching, but now I have a much stronger relationship to it. [. . .] Drawing is a starting point that can lead to other art forms and to a different view of art as a whole’. The works in Brink are not based on photographs or preparatory sketches. Filippov’s ‘familiar’ landscapes are an ethereal space with a recognisable horizon that operates as point of focus to draw in the viewer and encourage meditation on perspective, pattern and colour. Using the medium of drawing to create landscapes depicting elements of his past, he creates an expanse in which we can contemplate our own journeys and find common ground.

When I return home, more than anything I value the fading away of one control and the appearance of another. Other vital rhythms come to the fore, a place where things can remain incompletely defined. In depicting landscapes, I do not focus on the details. I want to show that which never comes into the frame. Those events that remain beyond its perimeter represent the potential for meeting.

Gradually, a system of signs forms, and a set of tools which can help to describe these impressions.

Each tool has its own intonation. The choice of tool and the configuration of material and place produce a large proportion of the work. It may be that the work is defined long before the beginning. Selecting, sorting through variants, trying all possible combinations along the way: this process forms the basis of the artwork and is an important part of my method.

Working with drawing begins from the child’s idea of the relationship between paper and pencil, from how (and how fast) a single sheet of paper will be filled and the next begins to be sketched out. Repetition reveals what I cannot see. Drawing cannot be approached speculatively, without practice, and this surprising detail keeps bringing me back.
For me, drawing was always something casual, something involving sketching, but now I have a much stronger relationship to it. Today, some means of producing art make me doubt my resilience. Drawing is a starting point that can lead to other art forms and to a different view of art as a whole.

It could be said that I always draw the same subject. An averaged perception of the basic relationships of the horizon line, the boundaries of the frame and the airy perspectives form the space of a ‘world’ that is vaguely reminiscent of my travels and images of the place I am from (the town of Gornyak in Altai Krai).
All of my previous works are indirectly embodied in drawing, and for this reason I do not use photographs or preparatory sketches. Sometimes I make a rough outline of the composition, ideas about the relationship between empty and full. It might be a sudden rupture of the boundary of the drawing within the sheet of paper, a repetition of the movement of sun-like dots, a scattering of looping lines that ‘staple’ the viewer and the paper, or schematic images of space (lakes, frameworks of buildings, smoke). The opposition of near and far, sharp and blurred. All of this forms a dictionary that I use and supplement from time to time.

The relationship between humans and the landscape forms the basis of my practice. While observing existing places I discover the story of interaction and also the desire for division and transformation. In what way one influences the other, how the space itself is able to change a person and how a person, in turn, is open to finding possibilities for existence within a defined territory. In my field work I aim for places that have ‘average’ qualities, that cannot interrupt my gaze or my artistic gesture.

Drawing was always on the periphery of my pursuits, a supplementary element that filled the spare time between field work and activities at Elektrozavod Gallery. At the gallery I focus on the dialogue between the artist and the exhibition space. Drawings are too independent. They are the carriers of their own space, and this quality demands a different type of interaction: close contact, personal discussion. I always saw drawings as a ‘ticket’ to the rest of my practice.

By drawing I can return to that state in which the relationship between the world and me had not yet formed, when I perceived art as a distant pursuit for people with special knowledge or a gift. Today, I really need this return.