The artists, Samuel Akkerman and Jan Rauchwerger are connected with the fact that both were born in Ukraine, as well as their friendships over the years. Today they are not only famous artists who are invited for exhibitions to museums and galleries of the world, but also the influential painters with their followers and students. Both have created their distinct and unique world.
The exhibition “Shibbolet” by Samuel Akkerman is extremely relevant for today’s Ukraine. The author’s idea touches the thoughts regarding the human being in the dimensions of national conflict, death, life and love. Separation and unity. The visual author’s symbols require knowledge of history and theology from the viewer. Shibboleth (an ear of wheat), God’s gift of life and native land, which the neighboring people pronounced different ways: “sybbolet” immediately pointed to the stranger. It was the first “motto” word, which separated society into ours and others like a knife. But, as the author writes in his text for the exhibition, a “word shibboleth-sybbolet”, embroidered on the two sides of the fabric with an entire joint picture of trust, the whole flag on the crossroad of the Halaaditians and Efremlians’ interrupted evil ways are echoing for our memories”. In the works of the artist we can see, along with much more complex values mentioned above the characters: an ear of wheat, blades, crossing paths pattern that combines two different composite planes. The author cleverly uses not only historical characters. All the artistic means have great importance: the symbols of colors, compositional arrangement of things, the character of lines, general emotional character of each piece, even the texture of the paper. The specified wide arsenal of conceptual and plastic means creates the unique conceptual and emotional impact on the audience directed by the major philosophical author’s idea: “Future is in in today’s acceptance of all the words’ ornaments on the world’s retina”
“Pastels” exhibition by Jan Rauchwerger is important for today as in an environment of social and national conflicts, economic and even military threats it asserts humanistic values, emphasizes the importance of privacy and personal nuances of emotion. The works of the author are clearly “quiet”, they have nothing against “ostentation” officialdom, scholastic rhetoric distancing from life. On the contrary, the author represents a kind of his own diary, which was warmed with memories, gentle humor, quiet contemplation of everyday things. Even the titles of works emphasize privacy: “Puddle in Winter”, “First Snow,” “Satin Gown.” The favorite master’s technique – pastels – contributes with its softness and privacy perceptions. The small size of the works is not accidental. Due to Jan Rauchwerger’s pastels the extremely important for European culture layer is becoming up-to-date. The layer, which was opened by Proust and James Joyce, and later by brilliantly embodied in the New Novel, New Wave of French cinema, Italian neorealism, unofficial films of the 70’s in the Soviet Union – namely, internal speech, which as a diary allows to look into the depths of a semi-conscious, intimate, and unique associative images. But these “quiet images” as history of resistance of artists to totalitarian ideologies of the twentieth century shows, have a great importance but not “quiet” value to society and its democratic development.