Ludmila Vostretsova Art critic Member of the Union of Artists of Russia. CO-CREATION.

A prominent physiologist Alexei Alexeyevich Ukhtomsky reflecting on happiness of humanity, exceeded his science and launched a new field within philosophical anthropology. He formulated the law of an honored interlocutor, when we all are made aware of the dominant of another individual's face.

Natalia Zemlyanaya belongs to the generation of Petersburg's artists who develop progressively the art traditions being rooted in avant-garde art.

This trend is clearly expressed in the current artistic life of St Petersburg. Every work of the artist is a text in which a sensitive and attentive viewer is able to perceive some underlying messages, to read this text in the context of the worldview and world outlook of the time and era.

At first glance, Natalia Zemlyanaya's works are easy to perceive. The emotions of the expressive color flowing from the depths of the compositions capture you at once. However, we perceive only the things our dominants are ready to perceive. " Priceless realms of real life do not hit our untrained glances", Ukhtomsky claimed. "But painting addresses not only eyesight, but also the whole “sensation family”, heart and mind… So, in terms of music, we can say that painting is performed by the whole human being whether it be an artist or a viewer" wrote Professor Sergey Daniel, the first art critic of Zemlyanaya's works.

The works of 1990s can be united by the term color shapes. Those are metaphysical compositions, related particularly to universal notions: space of the cosmos - space of a picture. In abstract compositions, the color takes over the spatial and rhythmic relations. In the works Labyrinth, Tension and Balance, Blue Oval, Yellow Rhombus and others, you can discern the echoes of both Wassily Kandinsky with his search in the fields of colour and Kazimir Malevich who developed in Suprematism the idea of the elements that make up the structure of the universe - squares, circles, ovals, rhombuses...

From her teacher, Lyudmila Kutsenko, the artist absorbed the appreciation of structural moments in painting. In the multiplied faces of the labyrinth, we start to perceive the mobile structure in the fragments.

In her paintings of the following decades, Zemlyanaya seemed as though she split the core of painting, unloosing color, the energy of color.

The names of the works are often really specific - Summer, Trees in Blossom, Flower, Morning. Yellow Cloud, Town at Sea... But this is just a tuning fork, helping the viewer get an emotional vibe of the painting. Local spots and lines that build shape and space take a life of their own acquiring sonority, fauvist open-mindedness or glimmering of one color through another. The artist covers the space widely, as if she takes a quick glance, and she can see the main directions and proportions. What I mean are not quantitative proportions, but rhythmic ones that set the mood. That may be the reason why Zemlyanaya prefers large-size pictures. Rational and emotional elements of her works are in dynamic balance, but emotions often prevail. Emotions are her technique. It is she who controls the coincidental art moments that arise as soon as the brush touches the canvas, transforming the dissonances and chaos of the world, its contradictions and contrasts, into a new harmony.

Knowledge of the art of the past not only refine your taste, but also helps find your own artistic path. This is what her mentors taught the artist.

Natalia Zemlyanaya does not seek to virtually imitate the shapes of nature. She just transforms nature, and creates a kind of prototype of nature, based on her intuition and imagination. " Creativity anticipates the transformation of the world, this is the sense of art" Berdyaev argued.

If we try to define the style of the artist's work, the first thing that the comes to mind is abstract expressionism. There is no room left for chance and chaos in her abstract compositions. They are reconciled and based on the balance of color shapes. However, this style of the early 20th century is "burdened" by the color field paintings of the late period of Mark Rothko.

Natalia often presents flowers growing directly on glades, flowering trees and bushes: White Rose, Yellow Rose, Yellow Bushes, Trees in Blossom... Probably, in classical art they would be called landscapes, but even here, first of all, the artist is fascinated by emotions, by admiration for the living blossoming world. She tries to capture and reflect the inextricable relation between man and nature.

Osip Mandelshtam seems to have put it more accurately than anybody else:

For us the artist reproduced The lilac in the deepest faint, And on the canvas he diffused Like scabs, the piercing steps of paint.

He grasped the density of paint, And the parched vision of his summer, Warmed up within the lilac brain, Dilated in a stifling slumber.

Finally, I must note another feature of the artist's work. She has continuously been interested in the subject of music. Music in Zemlyanaya's works is not a theme, but she conveys music itself as color, lines, rhythm. The spontaneity of the momentary impression here switches to the rhythms of the music. As if echoing the syncopations and intricate rhythms of jazz compositions, the strokes build a fluctuant, lively plane of the canvas.

There has been some events, concerts, with a "live" synthesis of music and painting. During such a concert Natalia Zemlyanaya "co-created" a painting. These improvisations were attempts to synthesize musical and artistic vibrations - the synthesis which, in their days, artists, musicians and art theorists who were at the root of the Russian avant-garde largely discussed. I mean Wassily Kandinsky, Mikhail Matyushin, Nikolay (Mikalojus) Čiurlionis, Alexander Scriabin. Artist Viktor Borisov-Musatov wrote a curious entry in his diary: "I am staying home alone and playing concerts for myself... But I use all the colours instead of sounds...I am improvising... The dreams of mine are always ahead of me... The make whole symphonies for me... My thoughts are colors, my colors are melodies..."

In St Petersburg, where artists and spectators have been inculcated a taste for the traditions of the art of the Russian avant-garde, the artist's work is in demand, as evidenced by the numerous exhibitions where the artist participated.

This year Avanscena magazine (№3) published an interview with Natalia Zemlyanaya, where she answered a question " What is the main task of art for you?". She said: "All of that is simple for me. Helping people take a new look at the world."

The name of the exhibition, Co-Creation, implies that the artist invites viewers to step forward and become her co-locutors and co-creators.