Composition is one of the basic artistic disciplines. Together with classical studies in painting and drawing, it comprises the fundamental body of knowledge and skill acquired by students at the Academy of Arts for further application in practice. It is a universal basic "toolkit" for graduating professionals in painting, illustrating, and drawing.

There are rules for how to correctly complete assignments for composition – the laws of perspective, arrangement of the composition, figurative drawing, and academic drawing. During their second year in the Graphics Department, students must create a series of easel sheets on a particular theme in watercolour, ink, pencil, or tempera.

This exhibit presents the work of second-year students in the Graphics Department from 2014–2016. During this academic period, we tried to assign a composition project that would demonstrate artistic mastery while also allowing students to formulate their own approach to the theme's issues and develop critical analysis skills. Common Ground is a theme of locations in the urban environment (the metro, supermarkets, residential neighbourhoods, fast food joints) and the commonly accepted ideas of what we encounter in everyday life. The key requirement in this assignment was for students to apply their personal experience interacting with their environment and their own artistic viewpoint to try to create new aesthetic designs and images, and materialize them using traditional graphic and painting techniques in a four-sheet series. Without a pattern to follow, the students had to start from scratch by encountering the world around them, relying on sensory experience.


Curated by Leonid Tshe, artist and professor of the Academy of Arts