“It may seem that the artist Nikolay Sergeevich Danilevsky belongs to the tradition
of thinglessness. It is not quite so, he rather paints phantoms of the things,
phantoms of the seen, at that he does it with some excellent taste revealing great
artistic culture delicately working up the painting surface. It is exactly the paint
layer eloquence called “canvas humming” one hundred years ago, that is the most
important advantage of the master as well as attractive codified motifs and the
system of subtle plastic allusion.”

M. German

Artist Danilevsky’s Time.

What we remember, what we know about time? Yesterday, tomorrow, they exist
just now, just in the frame, the frame of our life that we create using some separate
recollections of the past and the future. We cannot see it. For us it is static at that
very moment at that very second. So are the works by Nikolay Danilevsky, at first
sight they are monumental canvases with some constructional clearness showing
the linearity of our world. But the world is little by little revealing its versatility
due to absorbing some symbols, and the audience already sees another reality
invented, or more exactly brought together using some pieces of recollections and
feelings of the artist.
The artistic work of Nikolay Danilevsky is based on the special philosophy of
time. It has become some connecting “substance” in the artist’s world. It might be
the canvas size or creating a set of paintings where in each new work one more
minute passes, but 5 or 7 minutes rather than one. They are passing evenly calmly.
The time is revealing transient images that are bringing together the whole life of
the artist.
The object of the artistic work has one life, but it runs through it twice. At first
when the artist creates his work, then in the opposite direction when the audience
opens the object for themselves. This system of the perception is on the basis of
Nikolay Danilevsky’s artistry. The second birth of the artist’s work goes more
slowly than the first its life, as the legible structure and the clear form of the
composition are being highlighted. But with the time passing, the time spent to
examine the surface of the canvas, the space of the painting begins to broaden in
several directions. New and new details are getting open, the details that tell the
audience the stories created by the artist.
Nikolay Danilevsky says, “My artistic work is my personal”. The true art should be
only like that getting its birth from within the artist. All canvases are full with
certain images that have been accompanied the artist all his life, they are the
paintings on the walls of his apartment, belonging to his ancestors icons,

carved motifs of the old furniture, lacy weaving patterns, some small things that
used to be the first personal treasure an many other things. All that leaves its mark
on the personal world-view, learn to understand how the destiny should be shaped.
The things leave the same memory “marks” like we can see in the paintings by
Danilevsky. However the artist is never quite frank with the audience. He is
covered up with the haze so characteristic of all his works. The world becomes
monochrome and not too deep. We needs to make just one step forward to find
ourselves in the inner space of the painting, in the world that exists sometimes in
reality and sometimes in our imagination, but it is hidden in the recollections of the
audience or the author.
Besides time, man’s life is perceived through sensation. Children cannot
understand an object without touching it and adults cannot exist beyond the tactile
perceiving of the world alike. The works by Danilevsky are characterized with
such surface texture never going beyond some invisible level precisely determined
by the artist. Some unnatural embodiment comes out. The wold of Danilevsry’s
works is non-material. The perception of his canvases is based on the human
empirical research of the external world. Changing or completely eliminating the
materiality of the object Danilevsky gives it some new texture. It does not matter
what function is performed by this or that object in our world. This “haze” created
through monochrome painting hangs over everything. Colours as well as primary
type of the form are not important. In some his early works completely geometrical
compositions are built on the rhythm of colorful spots: cobalt blue, lake and etc.,
but later the artist makes a conscious transition from the colour to halftones and
then to monochrome painting. There is just the image and some associations at a
glance at the canvas. Visual line is built using the interpretation of the form. When
the materiality is eliminated, the spectator is focused on the inner movement of the
painting sometimes going up, sometimes expending in the space. And the images,
illusions, are comes up as separate dots, as recollection sparks.
Any art is always reflection of the world and life of a certain person, the artist. In
the works by Nikolay Danilevsky this thesis gets its new interpretation.

Figurativeness of his works is characterized by uncertainty with everpresent hit
upon the subject and bringing the composition to the balance point, up to the very
end of the idea completeness. The artist’s works are like the reflection of the life:
there is a real life and there are “postcards” with the help of which we recollect and
imagine that may be completely different life, the life of our recollections. You can
play with the life “postcards” as the life plays with man. You can invent another
life for you, remember the past and imagine the future. The theme of the game
(game of life) can be seen in a lot of separate works and sets by Nikolay
Danilevsky. Sometimes it is quite open as the artist uses absolutely materialistic
things (cards, card suits etc.). Sometimes it is seen in the ideological aspect of the
work, i.e. the painting is “assembled” of some rectangular “postcards” overlapping
each other and coming under the previous “cards”. Sometimes the whole work is a
kind of small photographic card of the beginning of the XX century, with some
vague silhouettes of ladies and flours that conceals a lot and can us about
everything. It is exactly the way our life is constructed of some separate events, the
consequences of the events overlap each other and the destiny of the person comes

Elena Korvatskay, the art critic