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Youri Messenjaschin, Optical Artist
Youri Messenjaschin, Optical Artist
Youri Messenjaschin, Broadway, 1998, 150 x 150 cm, oil on canvas
© 2000 by Prolitteris, CH - 8033 Zürich Switzerland

— Youri Messenjaschin – the installations, sculptures, oil paintings

Native of Latvia. Born in Arosa in 1941, His father was from Latvia, it is for that he obtained the Latvian nationality. During the invasion of the USSR, he lose the nationality. It remained stateless since he lost his nationality.

In Bern from 1970 to 1981, from 1982 till 1984 in Caracas and in Lausanne since 1984. Youri Messenjaschin grew in Lausanne. The artistic studies bring him to the Ecole Supérieure Nationale des Beaux-arts (his professor is Master Cami) and at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Études de la Sorbonne (art history, Professor Francastel) in Paris. From 1962 till 1965 he visits the Ecole du Beaux Arts in Lausanne. He works the carving with the painter Ernest Pizzotti. For the first time, he speaks about him in Expo Lausanne in 1964 by his glass sculptures and in acrylic.

Youri Messen-Jaschin wants to form in several directions. So he works two years in the "Centre de la gravure contemporaine" in Geneva. Then, we meet him in Zurich, where he widens the pictorial perspectives at the painter Friederich Kuhn the experience of the circle in the face. From 1968 to 1970, he acts in the Högskolan för design and Konsthantwerk University of Gotenburg, where he realizes and examines of kinetic textiles objects . It is in 1967 that he meets during an exhibition Jesus Soto, Cruz-Diez and Le Park. By speaking with these artists, he confides fascinated by the optical art. He decides to dedicate quite the searches towards the kinetic art. In 1968 Youri receives the first prize for the contemporary Swiss graphic art. The same year, he is the beneficiary of a scholarship of the Swedish State. In 1970, he realizes a Kinetic sculpture for the Gould corporation in Freiburg Germany. It is a steel sculpture and a copper of three tons and a half.

In 1985, Youri receives the world first prize of the culture " Premio mondiale della cultura " from Centro studie ricerche delle nazioni Calvatone Italie. He becomes also " Academician of Europe " of Centro Studi e Ricerche of Europe's Academia in Italy. Youri Messenjaschin is also in the "Who's Who", " Quid " and in the dictionary of the Swiss artists. The sculptures are enriched by the movement, placed in the environment (the movement of space), and completed by music sounds concrete (movement starts sounds). Its first searches with sounds and movement date the end of the 60s. Already in the 70s, Youri integrates into his optical art the neon, which he continues even to use today in his sculptures, his installation and the oil paintings.

The powerful surfaces with the monumental connected in the insertion of the third dimension mark Youri's works.

He participates in numerous international exhibitions and he received prices for the searches in the optical art, among others in Italy and in the United States.

His work exposed all over the world in numerous individual or collective exhibitions, is at the moment spread between private collections and national and international museums. The use which does Youri of the movement and the color as means of communication arranges him among the kinetic architects of the space.

Youri Messenjaschin is without context an eminent representative of the European culture.

— René Neuenschwander, art critic, Bern