Matviy Vaisberg

Paintings from the series "Pur Vital", "Judaic Desert" and "Sky"

Pur Vital

This series of paintings is based upon the artist’s visits to the nursing home, "Pur Vital", in Schträubinger, Germany, where his mother resides.  Goethe once said, "art has to express what is good and difficult", a theory clearly evident in Vaisberg’s paintings.  The portraits include individuals whom Vaisberg knows well, and others whom he has simply observed. The vast distance between Ukraine and Germany does not allow him to visit the nursing home more than once or twice a year and yet Vaisberg is able to poignantly depict and portray "the circle" of his mother in the nursing home, painting portraits from memory in his studio in Kyiv. The work reflects the artist’s desire to “witness” rather than “intrude”… yearning to be a son.

Judaic Desert

Vaisberg started the Judaic Desert series in 2001, after his first visit to Jerusalem. With his newly discovered impressions of the Great City and the desert, Vaisberg continues the series in 2006 and 2007, entitling it the Jerusalem Sea. The emptiness of the Judaic Desert is an illusion. Vaisberg’s desert is filled with time intervals, which he exposes through his use of line, dimension and light. The intervals are visible through the wrinkled space on the canvas, reflecting layers of ancient history and static existence.  There is no room for living beings in his paintings. The burning sun of the desert makes it impossible for one to exist and yet Vaisberg’s paintings somehow suggest a human shadow that fills the emptiness of the Judaic desert.


The view from Vaisberg’s seventh floor studio window is the city of Kyiv, of which he is greatly fond. Unfortunately, the last few years have resulted in unrecognizable change of this great city, led by talent less officials and soulless builders. Now only the canvas and its flat dimension allow Vaisberg to return the deconstructed cityscape seen through his window into ideal proportions. The canvas provides a relief for the artist to observe the sky that is not yet filled with skyscrapers.  Vaisberg’s series Sky compares the beautiful skylights of Kyiv and Jerusalem…where his soul finds refuge in the past.

by Andriy Mokrousov
Kyiv, 2007