By his world outlook Vladimir Galatenko is a typical romantic, who, instead of
portraying on canvas or on paper various states of the scenery, prefers to
transform or generalize them in his own lyrical feelings. His paintings are
carefully organized complex structures, which could be described as "visions".
This is a sort of artistic idealism, which draws us into a world of colours and
forms developing one into another smoothly and almost without notice, into an
atmosphere of light and shade, filled not with concrete objects, but rather
with their shadows.
The painter, as a rule, does not concentrate on minor details. He regards them
as a whole, together with the environment and the air surrounding them. It is
beyond doubt that such an approach has some limitations. Following the painter,
the onlooker puts himself in a musical frame of mind. It is pleasant to listen
to music and not to analyse it. Galatenko is quite satisfied with harmony,
which he found in nature and in himself.
Landscapes hold a special place in Galatenko`s work. It would be correct to
say that he, as an artist, was formed by landscapes. When portraying scenery,
Galatenko continues to be a free interpreter of what he sees, combining
specific and general things, the things which really exist and which he himself
Galatenko`s way from those landscapes to decorative and almost abstract
paintings. The mobility of lines, spots of light and colour, reaches its apogee
Book drawings feature prominently among Galatenko`s works. The romantic haze
that envelops prose works by Grinn and Paustovsky is reflected in Galatenko`s
illustration series. Despite the small size of those paintings, they produce
the impression of monumental compositions, which can be enlarged and used for
the decoration not only of small forms, but also of walls, ceilings and other
architectural surfaces. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the
creative endeavour of Galatenko is of a universal character, because he takes
up not only easel-painting, which is habitaul for him, but also applied
Big and small canvases and drawings by Galatenko often feature characters, who
fall under the category of "Eternal Femininity." The erotic element is not just
levelled down, but softened by the active rhythm of component parts of the work
and the overall decoratice pattern. The Two, for example, is made up of four or
five scenes and genres. Landscape and still-life are inserted in the interior,
and the latter, in its turn, serves as a frame for several portraits. All is
non-realistic, all is moving, like in a pleasant dream, which is impossible to
retell in the morning.
In his best works Galatenko is a poet of colour and light, a romantic of
decorative portrayal, who plunges us into any dreams or mirages, produced by
free creative imagination. Without classifying his best works by types, genres,
technique, materials etc., and analysing them separately, the way it is done in
chemistry, we would like to single out and group together some of his finest
and most virtuoso paintings, which could make a beautiful set. In all those
paintings realistic and accurately portrayed elements do not interfere with the
generalized and illusory atmosphere.
Vladimir Galatenko is a fine lyrical musician, who skilfully uses different
artistic instruments, which enable him to produce works resembling chamber and
symphony concerts on canvas and paper.
Bureau member of Critic and Art Science Section Moscow Artists Union,
member of International Art Science Association