Larisa Astrein. From the interview in MOC
I didn't know Vladimir Vasilyevich, I had anticipation of him and when I got acquainted with sterligovets, with M. Tserush in 1977, and came to Lenin St., there was Tatyana Nikolaevna Glebova's exhibition, and I have got the feeling of something I loved… Then it seemed to me that everything was intuitively, I didn't even assume that the serious school was behind it.
Experience of art prompts: creative fate comes from cases which the right instinct guesses as happy, helping to make own efforts.
Before I visited drawing group which was conducted by Maria Alekseevna Gorokhova, the artist and the widow of the artist L. M. Yudin. Yudin had studied in the Institute of art culture together with Sterligov. And then I studied at Mukhinsky school as a designer, and then still I read Malevich's texts in the hall of the closed publications of Public library. Then in school there was a big tendency to avant-garde. These studies with Maria Alekseevna prepared me to new representations and to special luck - the meeting with Mikhail Tserush, the artist from Sterligov's group.
Artists of this group at Vladimir Vasilyevich's life comprehended new discoveries in art, special art and plastic opportunities. After Sterligov's death they continued joint studies under the leadership of Gennady Zubkov. In 1982 I have joined them.
I remembered very well the atmosphere of each other support. When I managed for the first time to make joints of forms (it was pomegranate) and all were so delighted that I doubly was delighted – it was bright feeling. It was the first step in overcoming of objects. Usually we brought different works, made at home and made in the classroom, discussed them all together and «many eyes» teacher-critic appeared to be exact, wise, impartial. It is impossible to overestimate such a method. We constantly remembered Vladimir Vasilyevich, quoted his words, it seemed that he was somewhere nearby, among us. Sterligov’s words about the nature of contrast, about graphic event, about necessity not only to see but also to understand, the words that the main thing in art – force, and the measure, the weight, the number (Trinity) were essence of monumentalism, all these words disturbed, led to the different thoughts.
At classes of Vladimir Vasilyevich the theme of «surrounding geometry» was discussed, when the task to generalize an object at which we look by the means of the law of contrast was given. And at generalization, in the graphic field there were no not valuable objects of space, there everything was valuable. If the realist drew the person, the background wasn’t valuable for him any more, it was something empty. And here one form connected to another through structure, division brought to it … Division was the way of overcoming an object in movement, the way to objectless feeling of space. In geometrical space everything was important, there were no illusory holes, as for realists. Realists had no such concept of contrast, and here we should feel that left and right were different things, the top and a bottom also, and everyone remembered the words of Vladimir Vasilyevich that two identical forms could kill each other… And my eyes began to open. I understood that it was possible to think by eyes, and during the work it was necessary to think by eyes, to see, and I felt that I was in other world.
The plastic principles of school of Vladimir Vasilyevich came from K. Malevich «everything was important in space». Therefore we could read a form from within, even more precisely, it came from Cezanne, for example, he drew drapery, drew both apple, and space around him. For an eye everything was equivalent: for him there were no weight material, physical. For an eye the sky was heavier, than the earth. For example, at a thunder-storm, we saw that sky was so heavy, and the earth was lighten, lightweight. If to proceed from an eye, there were absolutely other representations. But we knew that the earth was heavier, and we began to see so and to draw so. The rational representation imposed by practical experience changed the vision. By Cezanne as the table had been drawn? Before a drapery there was one line, and after a drapery – another as water in a glass refracted a glass form, and realists would draw one line through because they so considered, but not because they saw, and in life it could be seen that there was not one line. Vladimir Vasilyevich's school taught to think by an eye, sight, vision …
Meeting with the art and plastic world of Sterligov and artists of his school was as falling of a veil from eyes: they opened, began to think, found the beauty of the Divine World, wisdom of forms and colors of the terrestrial nature.
After such school artist's conscience stores from temptation to fall into decorative ease, helps to maintain tension on the way to something real.