Sergei Sviatchenko: Collages

At the end of October SCHLEBRÜGGE.EDITOR published the first monograph to focus exclusively on the prolific collage output of our friend Sergei Sviatchenko. Edited by Rick Poynor, whose essay provides an engaging critical overview, it gathers Sviatchenko’s most significant work from the past 10 years and shows little seen collages from his early years in Ukraine before he moved in 1990 to live and work in Denmark. The severe reductiveness of Sviatchenko’s image manipulation sets his collages apart. Works from his long-running ‘Less’ series consist of only two or three elements floating on a jarringly bright background. The fewer fragments he allows himself to work with, the more crucial the acts of selection, excision and montage become. Depthless backdrops deny his collage constructions a sense of location and push them forward as graphically sculptural objects. The swift cuts that Sviatchenko makes into his source pictures give them angular new outlines that can verge on abstraction. The elegantly designed monograph is illustrated with 165 images, selected to bring out salient themes in Sviatchenko’s continuing development, which has made him one of our favorite collage artists since we discovered his work.

Each day our relentless image culture confronts us with an overwhelming deluge of new images. Sviatchenko’s strangely dislocated and sometimes otherworldly interventions offer moments of unexpected balance and repose.

Sergei Sviatchenko‘s work has been exhibited in Denmark, Germany, Italy, France, Canada, UK and USA. After an architectural education in Ukraine, his early output was based on collage, which remains central to his thinking and practice. Later, he turned to abstract painting. He has created large-scale paintings and collage photomurals for companies and institutions. In 2002, he founded Senko Studio, a non-profit exhibition space in Viborg, Denmark, where for seven years he curated shows by emerging artists and photographers.

In 2009, he founded the website Close Up and Private, a photography project dedicated to the visual language of classic style in clothing. This year Sergei took his endeavors one step further, in a concept which features continuing collaborations with an international rage of heritage brands and skilled craftsmen. With the new project, named Private Classicist, Sergei aims to create a solid range of classic menswear items that verges on pushing the boundaries of current minimalist fashion towards the classic style championed by Sergei himself and through his work.

Rick Poynor is a very prominent British writer, lecturer and curator, specializing in visual culture. He began as a general visual arts journalist, working on Blueprint Magazine in London. After founding Eye magazine, which he edited from 1990 to 1997, he focused increasingly on visual communication. He is writer-at-large and columnist of Eye, and a contributing editor and columnist of the publication Print. He also published a series of books, among which are ‘Obey the Giant: Life in the Image World’ from 2001, ‘No More Rules: Graphic Design and Postmodernism’ published in 2003, and ‘Jan van Toorn: Critical Practice’, published 6 years ago. He is Visiting Professor in Critical Writing in Art & Design at the Royal College of Art, London.

Order the beautiful book here.