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Today, we live in a rather complex age, when people are overwhelmed and over-exposed to
various types of “overs”, including information overload and excess of various stimuli.
Hence, our age, is yearning for simplicity and simplification. We are aching to get down to
the point, remove all excessive detail, reduce the amounts of data and move over to the next goal. Or simply to switch off. One needs to get to the basics in order to survive. From this
point of view, schematism is the art for this age: it leaves only the gist, the skeletal structure
of the phenomenon – just exactly like we do in our everyday life.
We live surrounded by schemes: circuit, electrical, electronic etc. Schemes are abstract,
pragmatic and precise. Their underlying principle is logic. Schematic drawings, and schemes
or diagrams as a method of self-expression has existed for a long time. The first cave
paintings can, perhaps, be easily referred to as schemes rather than drawings. Like any
diagrams, they generalise and reduce. Precisely at this point, when the image is stripped of all
excessive detail and presented to the viewer as a purely functional mechanism, it may also
reveal its mystical potential and certain universal structural principles.
Schematism is a frame, a structure underlying any artwork. Being an independent style,
schematism is the art of combining shapes, colours and signs / symbols.
Previously, this type of art was in demand but now the world is replete with symbols and
signs that have turned into independent entities, like road signs or computer icons. Visual

symbols have acquired a major importance and significance of their own, joining into
networks and forming spatial volumes.
When compared to a painting, the scheme is devoid of the richness of colours inherent in
painting, or of the airy lightness of a watercolour. On the surface of it, schematism operates a
limited set of signs, formulae, lines, shapes and forms. However, this is not the case. There
are no limits and restrictions to this kind of art: one should only exclude logic when operating
signs and forms or abandon formal methods while providing information. In our case, it is
imperative to place aesthetics above everything.
The line, point and word should be our guiding principles, and, gradually, the painting will
emerge out of their combination. A formula or a table devoid of meaning, takes on a different
meaning. In the same manner, artists use old newspapers in their work to make paintings or
collages. As a combination of colours and pigments transforms into an imprimatura
foundation for a painting, in exactly the same manner, signs and symbols form layers of an
artwork's compositional background.
Discipline is a contrast between what one wants and doesn't want. The straight line is a
discipline. On its own, it is a pure diagram, which nobody is interested in. But when one add
the element of ‘non-discipline’ to that straight line, one ends up with ‘free art’. One needs
rules, and also needs to break them in order to make art.


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