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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Ekaterina Moré












Ekaterina Moré

1976
Born in St.Petersburg, Russia

1985-1990
Childhood in Far East/ Russia
Kamchatka Peninsula and Sea of Japan

1991
Return to St.Petersburg

1996
Relocation to Germany
First large-size paintings

2001
First exhibitions in fine-art galleries

2003
Glas collections for Ritzenhoff AG

2004
Glas und porcelain collections for Rosenthal AG

2005
Paintings for bar from Maritim-Hotels in Berlin

Seit 2001
Various solo exhibitions in Berlin, Hamburg, Paris, Oslo, Düsseldorf...

 















Icons of our times -
feminine figures as a metaphor for human dignity
Ekaterina Moré's paintings are not illustrations or portraits in the conventional sense but much rather symbolic images which evolved from deep emotions. With her impressive depictions, the artist shows her great respect for the feminine force. It was not by chance that deities in the dim and distant past were feminine. And in our times as well, the woman embodies many characteristics which the artist harmonizes in her works in an ideal manner. The dawning century will be feminine - or it will not come to be. The isolated male side, the cold striving for power and the brutal force often connected with the patriarchy have reached their limits. A new age begins. Positive accents in this direction are set by the artist's figure of the woman - erotic, sensitive, yet powerful and self-assured.

In 1976, Ekaterina Moré was born in then Leningrad which, in the early 1990s, was given back its original name of Saint Petersburg. Today, the artist is living in Germany's Rhineland. Early on, her parents specially fostered her artistic talent since her family had always held the fine arts in high esteem. Her great-grandfather had already studied at the Baron Stieglitz Academy for Design which was closed during the Russian Revolution. Her grandfather attended the Art Academy in St. Petersburg. Her father worked as a sculptor to counterbalance his military career as an officer; and together with her mother who was an independent artist, he designed stage settings for the local theater.

Such early contacts with the fine arts aroused Ekaterina Moré's interest in painting and drawing in a very particular way. Already at a youthful age, she showed professional promises. And so, in her early works she developed an impressive synthesis between traditional Russian painting and avant-garde art. Although she never received any academic fine arts education, she soon found her very individual expression as a painter and successfully became accepted as an artist in the West.

Among Russian artists, she was no exception with her great interest in western art. In former times, looking to the West used to be characteristic for Russian avant-garde artists and has also been amply documented in the abundant art collections - especially in Ekaterina Moré's hometown of Saint Petersburg. She had become familiar with western European painting during her numerous visits to the Hermitage. Her first artistic examples were Postimpressionist painters such as Gauguin, Cézanne and van Gogh. Later also Tamara de Lempicka, the famous Polish painter who had lived in Paris for many years; from there she had gone to the U.S.A. and still later moved to Mexico. Tamara de Lempicka and Ekaterina Moré have a few things in common. To be mentioned in this respect is the artistic development of the two women as it evolved in showing more and more one central figure - self-assured, yet erotically feminine. Also to be mentioned as a common ground: Until the October Revolution, Tamara de Lempicka had spent some happy years in Saint Petersburg, Ekaterina Moré's native town.

Due to her parents' professions, Ekaterina also came to know the vastness of the Russian landscape and the differences of its regions. She grew up at the Russian-American outer border - on the Kamchatka peninsula and the Sea of Japan. Her visual experiences there broadened her artistic horizon in a very special way. In her memoirs about that time, Ekaterina Moré provides a very impressive description of the Kamchatka peninsula. The world of the resident Chuktchi people and the Koryaks with their colorful costumes, shamanistic traditions and their special ritual dances has left lasting impressions. This deserted region in the extreme north-eastern part of Russia certainly is the complete opposite of the world of salons and t�te � t�tes which Ekaterina Moré paints today. But perhaps her sensitivity to special light and color effects stems from the experience with colors in that region: It remains dark all winter, and in the extremely short summer time, the bursting force of colors has a very intensive effect on the senses. Just as this intensive Nordic light sharpened Ekaterina's perceptions, the desolation and the vastness of this sub-arctic region possibly made her deal intensively with her inner images. She discovered art as the universal language of humanity which connects the different cultures and gives people the opportunity to meet their inner child.

In the far east of Russia, she had thus developed good basic prerequisites so that, in Germany, she could further continue her artistic ways. After her move to Germany, she began to paint large-format pictures which soon attracted the interest of collectors and gallery owners. Already in 2001, the artist had her first successful exhibitions. Soon thereafter, her paintings were on display not only in Düsseldorf and in other German cities, but also in Moscow, Oslo and in Paris. Product designers saw the potential and the impressive power of her figures; and they transferred Ekaterina's themes to high-quality luxury products - for example, company Rosenthal used them on its valuable porcelain tableware. Interior designers also took note of the artist's attractive and exciting themes. They used them to good effect at very special places. Where would such salon scenes be more fitting than in actual salons, such as the bar of the Maritim Hotel in Berlin?

Ekaterina Moré's feminine figures have an inner beauty - this is what makes them soulful and alive. They radiate self-assurance and integrity - characteristics pleasantly touching the viewer. The attributes of the persons bring the type of depiction close to pictures of saints. As with Russian icons, a sort of symbolic picture is created which is here embedded not in a religious but rather in a worldly and mundane context. It is particularly important for Ekaterina Moré to make a personality's complexity come together in an organic unity. This unity consists of the interplay of apparently contradictory impressions. It not only concerns cold rationality and warmhearted emotions. In her depiction of the complexity of human life, Ekaterina Moré goes far beyond this and exposes nuances deep down. Ekaterina's female figures give the impression of being proud and self-assured, yet at the same time compassionate and motherly. They appear open and unapproachable at the same time; sisterly intimate, yet oddly strange and unrelated. The artist develops from all these facets the ideal image of the woman which we can meet on the same level as masterly icons which are also ideal images uniting antagonistic personality traits - seemingly good ones as well as allegedly bad ones.

The technique of painting such pictures cannot be classically realistic. The artist much rather forms an artificial world entirely different from the real world -- a theatrum mundi in a pure form for the viewer's enjoyment. She keeps her figures in a kind of limbo between elegant exterior appearance and introverted nature. This tension between the inner and outer world in her paintings provides a very distinctive atmosphere and nimbus. The scenes' vague and indeterminate complexity additionally provides a particularly suspenseful feeling. Especially the artist's double portraits are masterly in this respect. The protagonists are here on the same level: Similar elegance and personal aura - and their particular nuances being expressed with utmost sensitivity. It shows the artist's broad range of the palette to expose even the smallest nuances of a personality. A slight, almost invisible intimate touch underlines the closeness between the two protagonists. The viewer's fantasy thus gets going by an irresistible force. Who would not yearn for such unfathomable intimacy and closeness?

Because Ekaterina Moré pays her respect to the female figures in her works with an inherently harmonizing complexity, they are provided with an exceptional personal strength which at times causes a feeling of unease in the viewer. They seem far removed from everyday life and on the world just for themselves. They are thus literally autonomous and combine knowledge and dignity. The costume, the jewelry and even the surroundings of the pertinent central figure - these attributes of femininity - absorb the aura of the central figures and provide the color supplement to the shapely feminine bodies which are the center of the artistic composition. Not unlike Renaissance paintings, Ekaterina Moré is not only concerned with the effect of the colors' luminescence but also with the materiality which she brings to great effect with a brilliance of colors. With her excellent skills of the craft, the artist presents us the meeting of minds with her artistic examples which at first seems rather remote due to the risqué nature of her compositions. Are her depictions the pictures of saints of our times - very modern, mundane successors of classical iconic figures? Similar to the Renaissance paintings which are also charged with subtle eroticism, Ekaterina Moré's works certainly also allow such assumptions.

Art Historian Dr. Helmut Orpel

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