"I am not in love with cities,
I simply live in one. I want to express in my drawings all my visual impressions,
independently of whether or not I like what I see. I like to draw that which
I know well and what I see every day, but I do not want to portray objects.
I do not want to enumerate all I see, but to gather it together."
Dr Christina Lodder catalogue
"The abstract language of his
works is distilled from the urban landscape in which he lives, with its gaunt
buildings, tarmac streets and factories, its demolition sites, slums and rare
and precious vegetation. Kudryashov's prints and reliefs capture the austere
poetry of these surroundings and they sometimes incorporate the notation
of his own city experiences: explicit references to the houses, streets and
tramlines of Moscow, the stark outlines of half-demolished buildings, and
even violent incidents which he witnessed in his youth."
Mark Gisbourne on Oleg Kudryashov
"...an artist who sought a Russian
art that put aside the fake heroism of Socialist Realism."
"...born under Stalin it was for
him no longer possible to have such an utopian view of the role of art in
the service of the state."
"...His figurative drawings are
comical, satirical, and on occasion, macabre, yet still reflecting an essentially
Russian experience of life, humour and laughter being always the most subversive
of responses to a dogmatic ideology."
"Oleg Kudryashov's art is Russian
in every sense, without, it seems, the slightest trace of British or Western
influence. Indeed, it is of a specific Russian agenda, deeply indebted to
the modernist period before Stalin forced artists either to conform to the
propagandizing slogans of Socialist Realism's banal figuration , or to abandon
art altogether.....Stalin's forced curtailmment of a particular modernist
lineof enquiry left for him a whole series of questions unanswered, avenues
of thought and practice not investigated."
Dr Christina Lodder on Oleg
Kudryashov in Art Monthly
"Kudryashov's work inevitably
recalls the bold and daring experimentation of the Russian Suprematists and
Constructivists during the 1910s and 1920s, especially in the handling of
materials, the extension into and incorporation of real space, the dynamism
of the forms and to the process itself. The language in which these are expressed,
however, is Kudryashov's own."
"Kudryashov is not connected
with the Russian dissident art movement which is well known here (in the
UK) through the exhibition several years ago at the ICA. He did not exhibit
in that show, which consisted almost entirely of reworkings of old ideas,
lacking for the most part technical expertise and any inspiration. Kudryashov's
isolation from that group was of his own choosing. Similarly when he was living
in the Soviet Union he held himself aloof from successful, official circles
and the dissident movement alike. Kudryashov was not one of those artists
who manufactured paintings and sold them to foreigners living in Moscow.
In Russia, Kudryashov worked alone in great poverty and secrecy- burning
most of his prolific output. He followed his own path- making no compromises
with official requirements. That lack of compromise with accepted norms and
commercial expectations has also characterised his work in the West."