Yuri Gerasimenka was born in 1948 in Belarus near small town of Vileika. He was dedicated to the graphic expressionists’ tradition of depicting the human form, especially in dramatic movement.
In his series, “The Sign of Trouble,” his pieces are inspired by the writings of the novelist of Vasil Bykov. There, the trepidation of oncoming war becomes the overarching narrative as Gerasimenka delves into the psychological portrait of the human soul through an accentuated gestural language of pain. Yet alongside these terrors, Christian allusions arise to grant signs of hope.
Illumined crosses speak of trusting in the nobler qualities of sacrifice and courage that step forth out of the darkness and ultimately triumph over them. Hence, in the midst of horror in such scenes as soldiers surrounding a Christ-like body lying on the ground or a civilian praying over a bomb, beseeching that it does not detonate, grace and suffering, physical peril and magnetic beauty come alive. This period of Gerasimenka’s work marks his highest artistic peak as a graphic artist and constitute the most valuable part of his diverse artistic retrospective. With his use of powerful pictorial language distinguished by emotional vitality, daring compositional decisions, and unmistakable dynamism, the artist brings light out of darkness, hope out of despair, contrasting them to a fever pitch.