Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

“The Garden of Earthly Delights”

This is the title of the exhibit the Karas Gallery opens today to show Oleksandr Roitburd’s canvases influenced by the oeuvre of Bosch
2 November, 2016 - 16:39
Illustration courtesy of the exhibit organizers

The exposition will display the master’s nine new works dedicated to the oeuvre of Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516), one of the most mysterious Dutch artists of Northern Renaissance, a brilliant representative of the Flemish school of painting. The Garden of Earthly Delights (c. 1500-1511) is Bosch’s best-known triptych which was named so because of the central part’s theme – Luxuria (the vice of lust). The original title of this artwork is not known exactly. It is researchers who called the triptych “Garden of Earthly Delights.” On the whole, none of the now exiting interpretations of the picture has been recognized as the only right one. Most of the theories about the importance of this picture were proposed in the 20th century.

“The Garden of Earthly Delights depicts Paradise, where the natural order of things has been canceled, and chaos and lust reign supreme, diverting people from the path of salvation,” Federico Zeri, a prominent art historian and author, wrote. “This triptych of the Dutch master is the most lyrical and mysterious work – in the symbolic panorama he created, Christian allegories mix with alchemic and esoteric symbols, which brought forth most extravagant hypotheses about the artist’s religious orthodoxy and sexual inclinations.”

It will be recalled that UNESCO has announced 2016 the Year of Hieronymus Bosch.

The surrealistic cataclysms of Bosch’s canvases impress not only with a realistic technique and the manner of painting, but also with feelings of the depicted characters. Oleksandr Roitburd and Hieronymus Bosch have very much in common – first of all, it is the question “what was the author drinking when he painted this?” from the uninitiated audience. Besides, both artists were accused from time to time of satanism and participation in orgies and secret organizations. Both artists play sarcastically and in a virtuosic way with fears, societal complexes, folkloric and dogmatic myths and their symbols.

According to exhibit organizers, “The Garden of Earthly Delights” project combines direct citation of the fragments of Bosch’s pictures with an absolutely recognizable manner of the 21st-century Ukrainian artist, which shows a certain contiguity of thoughts within the span of five centuries.

The exhibit will remain open until November 22.