Composition. 1995. Lithograph on paper 57 x 76 cm. Edition of 8
was one of the members of the Sotvorchestvo Group, from St Petersburg, who aimed to push the boundaries of art into the spiritual realm. On completing his Master’s at the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg, in 1982, Kliot returned to the place of his birth to paint a series of portraits of the miners of Donetzk. We are not presented with a pictorial tableaux to glorify ‘the people’, we are instead given a series of single, helmeted heads, bringing us face to face with humanity. In 1992 the group held an exhibition in Aberdeen, sponsored by Mobile and the British Council, which eventually led to Kliot’s settling in London. As well as portraits Kliot also loved to paint landscapes, which he saw in terms of life and human activity, and his response to beauty or bleakness was always depicted as part of peoples lives. His spiritual understanding of the Russian landscape was also brought to bare on English scenes – his ‘Autumn, Hampstead Heath’ of 1995 a good example, not presenting us with a picture postcard view, but conveying the pervasive mood of an English Autumn. In 1998 Alexander Kliot’s life was tragically cut short when he died of cancer, contracted whilst painting the miners of Donetzk.