«Jewish Observer»
February 2002
5762 Shvat

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Irina Klimova ... Her voice is calm, her colors are mild. Graphics isn't a clanking cymbal. This kind of art is like a lute or a harp (we can see their ancient symbiosis in "Musician", it's like an illustration to David's psalms) Fools in Klimova's "Circus" go as famous knights. Her "Madam" is great, like a gothic princess - and she's also playful. "A boy on the ball" ("Pyrim") with all his figure is addressed not to the vanity of vanities but to the ancient Jewish writings. For a long time the painter was afraid to approach the Saint Letters as she felt her great responsibility, because behind each letter there was certain meaning measured off by milleniums and that couldn't be rearranged or have alternative versions.

The color prints made by Irina Klimova in a little room "Kinora" have two moods. Suddenly the gloom loses its color, it becomes the color of wine, the green color has a kind of mild kress-saladness shade and there are white blanks between bright spots...

It's all about her, it's all hers: different people and things: an alarm-clock and a cap, "dead and alive" nature. Different styles of Irina Klimova's graphs can be arranged in a number of series, genres: birds, a circus, still life pictures, portraits of old Jews, national holidays. It's all, isn't it? Not at all. Her birds are not just birds (as it seems from the first sight) - they are personified souls. In the ancient holiday one can see the iconography of popular modernism. (The author gives some tragic sounds to the holiday in "Pyrim" but as the word "pyr" means "lot", one sees a distant shadow of Fortune and the motive of a mask - the conditions of an anonymous lot).

Klimova's prints are unique and it's their strength. The structure of the image is strict, only shades change ("Menora" is menora in all her graphic modifications).

"Red" becomes "green" as spring changes winter, summer - spring, without crossing out anything but only confirming the individual logic of the gesture and one feels tradition even in the aesthetic plan. Let's recollect the Soviet period: the "gloomy" Jewish graphs, first of all, Tishler's graphs.

Clusters of spots on the graphic sheet look like clusters of dusky leaves, wood and exotic: a slight wind touches the top, makes its surface bushy and turns over the mosaic of spots. You can touch Irina Klimova's prints as the pages of a herbarium: the rough surface is one more conformation of their ease. It's also a conformation of her long study of the Jewish culture in Ukraine, her travelling over Galicia and Podolia, her touch with the cemetery stones. There she saw a bird winded round by a snake. It's an image from ancient Leviafan personified in the author graphs long before seeing it. Presentiment realized in confirmation.


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© 2002 Jewish Confederation of Ukraine - www.jewukr.org