Gregory Orekhov presented his work Talmud – a stainless steel sculpture rising nine meters to the sky from the surface of a lake covered in thickets of reeds. The title refers to the collection of sacred Jewish texts, but the work should be perceived more metaphorically: it is a vertical line that stores the teachings, knowledge and experience gained by people. It has no end and symbolically continues into infinity, accumulating new things as long as humanity exists.
This is a larger version of the work which was first shown at Cosmoscow in 2022. “I stacked three thousand steel sheets, forming a relief on the sculpture’s facets,” Gregory says about the process of creating the work. The effect is one of book pages frozen in a metal column, assembled into a slender, but living form.
Formed from stainless steel, the sculpture reflects the surrounding landscape, “absorbing” the world thanks to polished mirror edges. This is how additional meanings appear – Talmud combines both the man-made and that which unconditionally exists in the world.
“Talmud looks upwards, like Brancusi’s ‘Infinite Column’, and this aspiration takes on a new meaning thanks to the title. The spiritual path is described in the language of sculpture. The vertical is directed towards the heavens. Orekhov translates identical pages from a short-lived and unstable state into a durable material. Knowledge, in its concentrated form, is a sequence of paper pages that has acquired the power of metal. The height of this giant – 9 meters – conveys a sense of the effort it takes to become a Sage,” concludes critic Mikhail Sidlin.
Design: Gregory Orekhov
Project Location: Senezh Lake, Moscow Region, Russia
Material: Mirror-polished stainless steel
Photo credits: © Nikita Subbotin, Konstantin Antipin
Gregory Orekhov was born in Moscow into the family of an outstanding russian sculptor and academician, Yuri Orekhov. From an early age, Orekhov studied in his father’s workshop, mastering various sculpture techniques and materials. He later continued his studies at the Ilya Glazunov Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. At the age of 25, after the untimely death of his father, Orekhov began to engage with administrative work at the Russian Academy of Arts, heading the “Sculptor” Foundation, created by his late father. In 2004, Orekhov founded the “The Creative Heritage of Academician Yuri Orekhov” museum, where he showcased a collection of the artist’s works, tools and photographs from the archives. In 2012, Orekhov returned to art full-time and began working in the direction of post-minimalism. He is true to his language: pure form + a metaphorical image. One of his central works entitled “Agatha” is named after his daughter, whose birth served as an impetus for the creation of this work and his artistic and life path in general.