“We are Love” announces Cheinis’ first ever solo exhibition. As I go to the second floor of the North York Central library in Toronto, I am intrigued and puzzled. Who in the age of the constant threat of people becoming cyborgs and talk about human alienation and preoccupation with technologies, could give their exhibition such a resolutely optimistic title?
The exhibition consists of about a dozen medium sized paintings depicting different stages of artist’s life, her milestones on the never-ending road to self-discovery. The paintings are personal not only because they borrow from artist’s life experiences but also because they are intimate in their pictorial language. Created in a naturalistic style they are full of symbols which are although recognizable – sun, human figure, mirror – are full of personal meaning and significance.
These newly reinvented symbols were not only highly personal and often mundane but suggested intangible, ideal, immaterial conditions of truth, love, and grace. For Evgenia Cheinis love is the underlying principle of human’s aspirations and emotions. Romantic love but also love of life and universe becomes the main subject of this exhibition. And yet, as with any symbolist paintings the main focus is the ideal and for that we do not need to know artist’s life, we can create our own story and our meaning.
PhD Professor of Art History at University of Guelph