At the turn of the 19th-20th centuries, there was an active change in the plastic language. Most clearly in Russia, this phenomenon showed itself in the mainstream of the Moscow sculptural school, which further resulted in the building of original plastic systems. This phenomenon affected the works of many contemporary Moscow sculptors. The research focuses on the problem of the subjective author’s experience of an object in portrait genre on the example of works by Aleksandr Rukavishnikov, one of the leading sculptors at the turn of the 20th-21st centuries. As the object of the research, the works in which the master represented the image of the mother were selected. The analyzed time period is twenty-five years. From 1988 to 2012, repeatedly referring in his work to the image of the mother each time the sculptor interpreted it differently. It could be an abstract image of the mother-progenitress, a paraphrase on the theme of the Mother of God, an allegory, or an image expressed by the formalistic method. However, A. I. Rukavishnikov never turned to the direct portraiture. This conclusion is the evidence that any of the presented works, despite the subjective motive, due to a certain imaginative abstraction, can be interpreted as an art object. It also suggests the removing of genre limits and the formation of new structures in modern sculpture.
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