Landscape for Valery Shkaruba is an instrument which gives a possibility to bring to the spectator the world of ideas, images and feelings and which makes the contents of his creative work. Every object assumes importance under his brush, acquires a special sense.  It might be quite usual, hundreds times seen by us scenes, where the artist finds and reproduces on the canvas something that renders a magic effect, causes a wave of emotions and associations. In this case it is no simple naturalistic ascertaining of the fact of existence of the view as itself but its individual and poetic transmutation.  His landscapes bear philosophical and symbolical character at the same time in them there is no aspiration for an artificial complicating of the form in favor of any modern trends – it is merely a manner of expression. The value of an artwork is determined by the degree of its logic harmony and clearness; by the fact how perfectly the composition is built. How reasonable and accurate features of a landscape are selected. It is important to the author to understand and to formulate for himself a task in each work. The forms and methods of the further realization depend on the clearness of the comprehension. His art is considerable degree conceptual as it is always subordinated to expression of the beforehand and considered author's idea. There are no people in his landscapes. It frames an additional barrier of mystery, makes the atmosphere of a picture rather unreal, and allows to digress from pastoral sentimentally and to add large capacity and depth to the pictorial structure of the composition. Valery Shkaruba is a painter of analytic mind who always sees a final goal consistency going for its realization. The author's will and logic are structural forces that allows not lose in infinite variety of natural motifs. He possesses a fortunate ability to open a veil that hides an unusual beauty from outside eyes. The space is an important element of his landscapes. More and more clearly it acquires subjective appearance of a model of the artist's world and it expressed by means of compositions. Valery Shkaruba always strives to depict not precise view which was seen by him, but which was created in his imagination. He is an artist who possesses the pictorial thinking. He reproduces not “views” but the landscape's portrait.

The secret of the magnetic force of his modesty in motif, very simple composition, constrains in colour, laconic in subject development canvases is not so easy to discover. Outwardly all is almost always reduced to a simple, concrete and vitally true picture: bushes on a slope, a field covered with the newly fallen snow, road… However this simplicity does not restrict the real content, deep lyrical and philosophical sense of his pictures. Their imagery itself, plastic structure, modesty of the colour palette create that strong art figurativeness, which excites the spectator, responds in heart by a quivering feeling of pleasant recognition.

In his pictures the artist almost always favors the state of transition in nature – late autumn, early spring, twilight, evening, fog, last beam of the sun… He renders soft autumn light, indistinct colours of withered, prickly grass, cold twilight in the beginning of the winter. And each painting is penetrated by sensation of mild sadness, thoughtfulness internal tension and alarm. In the composition interpretation the artist emphasizes the real depth, uncertainness and infinity. A motif of the road occupies an important palace in artist's works. It may cause feeling of agitation and sensation of something imperceptible and unknown, of horror and mystery, gravity of the choice in the shelterless life. It can imperceptibly bring you something mysterious, unexpected and alarming.

On the first view the choice of this of that landscape motif seems accidental, but at close examination the decision turns out appropriate and reasonable. The composition is built on nuances. The artist creates a new dwelling place by means of colour and composition, filling it with depth and philosophical sense. Landscape elements posed on a canvas, sequence of a spatial planes–all are subordinated to the main task: to deliver the message of the author, to convey his emotional state to us, spectators.

It is important for the artist harmoniously to combine in his work impression of visual, emotional and rational character with pictorial devices, subordinating them to the expression of a certain artistic idea. Free from all casual, the image concentrates in itself the most essential thing and with increased intensity denotes ideas and feelings of the artist. Today need for beauty and harmony in human life is felt more and more clear counter to discords and disharmony of different destructions. Valery Shkaruba aspires to fill up this need with his works. Lets to start walking through roads and paths of his paintings to feel a whisper and a rustle of silence.

Valery Zhuk,

Professor of Art History,

the State Prize laureate of the Republic of Belarus

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