Galery by Lev Tabenkin


Despite all efforts spent in vain, I stay on the side of delusion.

I stand on the side of enthusiasm even if it is distant from reality. There is no measured and dosed aspiration. If it is not crazy, it is not real. If in real life you must come from what you "can" and not from what you "want", you will move not jot following this principle in art. "Want" and daring work here. Only it creates real breaks. In the fact, it proves that creative work is not only a human work.

It is senseless to force one's way in history of art entering in it from the backdoor like in a shop or from a service entrance.

The one of my father's pictures was called “Children Games". Here he had once again thought about his activity from the point of reason and of practical view. But turning back we see how serious lessons are transforming into a pile of trash. Only absurd and impractical withstand the test of time.

It's necessary not “to paint" a picture but “to experience" it. It is absurd to make it fester.

What's the expression "the poor in spirit" means? Maybe, from the logical point of view it's a naivety, a way to unrealistic aims.

Low horizon is a man's trouble. You see only nearest objects, not things in their combination altogether, and in the final analysis, you don’t see the complete picture.

The artist suffers, he struggles and dies in poverty, and then his paintings become "the safest way to invest money.” Now it costs a lot of money to visit the dog-hole in Auvers where Van Gogh had died. Everything is included in dirty games of enrichment.

A man imagines himself to be a screenwriter, but, in the fact, he is an actor in drama devised not by him. But he can try to recover his sights up to the understanding of this scenario.

The creativity of Krasnopevtsev, Weisberg and the father of mine was made in that epoch when people could not speak but things could.

Art is a fight with nothingness.

When a person grows up, he has no place in a sandbox anymore, there is a sequence of actions and to avoid ensuing consequences is impossible.

Quite obvious contradiction of today's world consists in the next: confidently moving on the way to slavery (which tendency is permanent), society forcedly covers itself for words about democracy and humanism. As a tribute to accepted values a sanctimony of political correctness appeared.

There is a narrow-mindedness that guards from self-preservation. For example, if your hero is Falk, you have lived your life not in vain, but when it comes about Courbet, a question needs to be asked: what are you engaged in?

When a person turns his ass to someone, he naively believes that his face something differs in a positive way.

The best life is the cheapest, but few people can understand it.

A man in his youth is a toy of his instincts and feelings, and in old ages he is a toy of his vices. It is a standard course.

In the Metropolitan Museum of Art where many masterpieces are collected, I was mostly impressed with "Armchair" by Van Gogh. He is the best of all. Zadkin portrayed him in the image of Christ not without reason. He was the same mendicant and noble. The man had no self-interest. He went farther all others.

Sometimes in a hard moment the fruits of your works give you a consolation. It's like a shadow of trees that you had planted.

One passer-by, returning home at night, stared at jolly company coming towards him. Forgetting to watch under his own feet, he slipped on ice, fell and broke his leg, and after he was carefully taken by the company to hospital. Is it better not to fear of future troubles but to live for today?

Everyone needs in somebody who doesn’t need in anybody.

Rhythm of painting and rhythm of universe are the same. To catch it is a task. Thoughts and ways are opened only in that case when there is a good will.

Ego is the most hopeless matter. Ego gets everywhere like a stamp, trying to assert its exclusivity. You must struggle with this ego, since only after dissolving in the world of reality and simultaneously abstracted ideas you will find your ego, which is not beginning but sequence, not impulse but result. And then your ego will be always new, it will be looking by hundreds of bright images, it will be always original. There is no need to fight for your recognition. Recognition will come itself as soon as you will have original ideas. Realizing they will accept original forms.

Neither events nor people are the same how a man would like to see them. And a man himself is not the same how he would like to be.

When I firstly came to the British Museum and walked in Egyptian halls, I felt a huge influx of energy, a sense of fearlessness and a sense of meaninglessness of fear. I think that truths included in objects of high civilizations, are transmitted to us too.

The “Hamlet" of Shakespeare is wonderful as a model of the world. Like no one, Shakespeare understood in his chronicles that life sways as a sea, senselessly, indomitably and inconceivably. If a man has definite purpose like Hamlet, he destroys everything around him.

Abstraction is something that exists in every real work of art. It is a synthesis, everyone goes his way to it. Therefore, to use it like method is impossible and ridiculous.

How far does immorality not match vitality? In his short life, a man cannot verify that these concepts are mutually denying each other.

Remembering the life of my grandfather, Ivan Ivanovich Mareev, I repeat as he: “If there are shoe-thread and awl, all the rest had already been.” There was no more exciting than to watch how he cuts raised heels with knife as sharp as razor. “Remember you should always cut from yourself but you should never cut to yourself," he said. If a man has got his own mind, he will be always remembered with pleasure.

All art events take place in souls of artists. Don't at exhibitions, projects, or in fantasies of some critics. Events are only spiritual breakthroughs and impulses.

A man should get used to the feet that in a life joys and successes are scattered as generously as tangerines at a charity Christmas party for the poor, but you should be able to live and to be happy without pittances.

Only moral qualities and human spirit should be worshipped but not talent It's just a given. And if there is something in the picture, that is a manifestation of your soul's beauty, if it exists.

To mistake is necessary too. If you are not mistaken about yourself and your opportunities, you haven’t strength to cope with an immensity of arising obstacles and challenges. I do not think that some knight would seize his sword, knowing that a dragon has no one, but seven heads.

Poverty is not everything. It is frightful when poverty begins correspond to the beggar's psychology. In that case there is no way out

Does an artist really obey the commandments of Christ and not collect “treasures in heaven"?

The tick of old clock on the dresser of my grandmother Anna Mikhailovna was the most beautiful sound in my life. These people had good relations with time. They were not in hurry. They came from that times when people lived on their land.

It's amazing how well barrack and brothel are united together, as in minds as in the fact.

After the death of masters such as Picasso, Moore, Miro the art was orphaned and the orphan was hurt by shameless and cynical crooks. Who will bring justice? And to whom will be given to possess such values and to have so much spirit?

To understand simple things is the hardest thing.

For me these speculations look ridiculous that in the Gospel something is invented, or it is invented at the whole, or attempts to distort its meaning. There is no such fantasy in the world which can invent even the slightest incident in the sacred history, so every of them are filled with true vital reality, are undoubted, truthful and genuine.

Once one artist met me at museum and said: "Hi, are you come to pray?" I agree that it is necessary to bow before high achievements. But there is no need in self-humiliation. In this case, you have no chance. Everything is done by people. Desire and daring should be impulses. And it is necessary to pray to God.

Is the story about Prometheus not the common for anyone who wants to steal fire from the heaven? There is no fire on the earth, after all. Gods are angry at such people, but it's interesting that people are angry too.

Art history is perceived and it becomes to be nothing of the kind as it seems to contemporaries in the foreseeable future. How did art critics imagine the art of the XIX century in these times? Puvis de Chavannes, Kabanel, Moreau - Bouguereau. And it turned out that it is unknown to anyone Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh.

To add anything to void is impossible.

They say that only the present belongs to the person, nor the past that doesn't exist nor the future that is known by no one. However, the present just as uncertain and independent from man’s power, like any other time.

You save yourself in work.


In the fine art we are witnessing a real miracle, a miracle of transfiguration of material: paint, stone, etc. into another, a spiritual substance. Here, as in the case with the Shroud, subjstance is transformed under the influence of unexplainable forces. And, in general, metamorphosis, transformation is the. inherent feature, the definition peculiar to every high artistic manifestation.