Igor Melnikov’s and Edward Lentsch’s paintings share an ability to speak directly to the human psyche. Melnikov was born in Moscow and spent part of his childhood in Siberia, under the Russian Communist governance. Melnikov places the human child in his otherwise minimal paintings, with blessings scrawled in undecipherable Russian on the frames that surround and protect them. Melnikov considers himself a conceptual, rather than a narrative artist. He attempts to present an image we all recognize—the child—one with which we have no negative associations. He considers the child to be the vessel for the human spirit, from which the viewer can taste the essence that binds us all together. To quote art critic Suzanne Deats, “When people weep in the presence of Melnikov’s paintings, it is not from pathos but from recognition of a forgotten part of themselves…They are the archetypal souls that exist intact at the core of each person.”
Edward Lentsch approaches painting in a manner of primordial creation. He mixes earth, raw pigment, and other natural materials to create the atmosphere of the cosmos.
It is possible to explore each of these artists’ works for extended amounts of time. Like the mind enters Melnikov’s paintings through the eyes of the children, the space and texture of Lentsch’s paintings allow the eye to meander in the sublime beauty of one’s inner world.
Both Igor Melnikov and Edward Lentsch have works in outstanding collections throughout the world. Melnikov’s works reside, as well, in several museum collections.