Aleksey Gostintsev. From an interview of the MOC

Once, sitting in kitchen in the Peterhof apartment, Vladimir Vasilyevich Sterligov said that the floor, walls, the ceiling are conventions, the circumstances in which God has placed us, so look for the meaning of what is happening, there is nothing casual. Houses, everywhere bouquets, a dry grass through which images of Andrei Rublev, Dionysius illuminate, small bottles, apples, all of them are ready still lifes. Once Alexander Vvedensky said that pharmaceutical bottles reminded him the angels. Here and in Sterligov. Walls are painted with frescos, there are dry grass, reproductions, icons, apples. Everywhere there is a mystery. In rooms angels fly.

My acquaintance to Vladimir Vasilyevich has happened when I still studied at school. . When Gennady Zubkov came, he spoke: «Look, Vladimir Vasilyevich waves to us from a window, from a balcony».

His form is a revelation because it doesn’t remain anything. The reality of that time was plangent, but with Vladimir Vasilyevich everything became absolutely different.

Vladimir Vasilyevich has said such a phrase: "Every person is an artist". Each person draws his own  world". And the artist among other things shows on examples of the works, how he has passed through the life”. And looking at the exhibition, I see tremendous human life which he has endured. Vladimir Vasilyevich studied with K. Malevich, and then he passed through prison camps, and the war where he has been wounded, after this concussion, he could not stand, falling all the time, then he was evacuated to Alma-Ata. He was on friendly terms with Kharms, Vvedensky, with Schwartz Evgeny Lvovich. When he returned to St. Petersburg from evacuation, passing by Schwartz's house, he saw his own pictures - it were the only things that had remained. Because the bomb got into the house where Stergligov’s works were stored. And all of them had been lost. And several times Vladimir Vasilyevich started his life from the very beginning. But we see wonderful, joyful, actually happy life, when we look at his works.

Inspite of dramas and tragedies Vladimir Vasilyevich was the person of the highest life, tremendous mind and when he spoke, the death silence came even in halls LOSHa – Leningrad union of artists.  Everyone was silent and devoured every word. Because nobody could speak, except him, in my opinion, so.

My acquaintance Mischa Ivanov called Sterligov to some extent Anti-Malevich and "Anti-avant-garde", but it might be unfair. But there is the grain of truth because Malevich had brought art out of naturalism, out of burgher conditions of the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, to the sacral problems, to the Space. And Vladimir Vasilyevich has returned art to the Nature. Also he showed the Divinity of the nature. At his home everywhere little pieces of papers were overspread, obviously some reminders. As a rule, there were statements of St. Apostle Paul. Apostle Paul has such a remarkable phrase: "The fruits of the Holy Spirit are: Love, Joy, Peace, strong patience…". It seems to me, that the same is true for art: if there are all things listed, – then it should be art.

I remember how Vladimir Vasilyevich spoke: "The New Sky and the New Earth" as the Apostle Paul had told, everything had struck, and the religious attitude to life for him was very alive.

When I came to Vladimir Vasilyevich, I had been still engaged in the photography, and I brought two small pastels. Vladimir Vasilyevich said: "Tatyana, look how nice they are. Did you draw them from nature?" – "No, it even didn't come to my mind to draw from nature". – "Tatyana, look how great it has been constructed. In past I also was able to do so".

Once Vladimir Vasilyevich said during the analysis of our works: "There is no silhouette". I asked: "What is a silhouette then?" Vladimir Vasilyevich replied: "I don't know, -, it is a secret". At classes with Matyushin’s tables Tatyana Nikolaevna said: "Volodya, Matyushin had used an ochre color here, but you took orange". – "Nature of these flowers is identical".

In 1973 classes, homework: "Try to leave the center of the etude white and to organize its environment. That is connected with the term "surrounding geometry". Spring in a landscape and a cloud should influence the form. In fact it is interesting and important for me till now.

Aleksey Gostintsev. From an interview of the MOC