№ 3

Index of works "Kalmakov-Nude.jpg" through "Kalmakov-Self_Portrait_with_a_Black_Woman.jpg"
After lying in darkness and obscurity for thirty-seven years, Kalmakoff's works were finally exhibited at Galerie Motte Paris in February of 1964. This led to the discovery of twenty-four new works in Metz - including an entire series which once decorated a chapel dedicated (ironically) to the resurrected called Chapelle Fortin du Resurrectoire. Four years later, another exhibition followed at Galerie Jacques Henri Perrin. Finally, in May of 1986, a large exhibition of his collected works was organized by Musee-galerie de la Seita, resulting in the colour monograph: KALMAKOFF, L'Ange de l'Abime, 1873 - 1955. A documentary film by Annie Tresgot (also called L'Ange de l'Abime) provided interviews with Kalmakoff's contemporaries. Through these various sources (all in French), a shadowy and fragmented picture of the recluse emerges. And yet, the works themselves - many of them self-portraits - invite a myriad of speculations onto the artist's life and his very unique view onto the world. Did his spiritual ideals drive him towards an extreme asceticism, which then had the contrary effect of releasing onto his canvases a rich profusion of repressed eroticism, effeminism, misogyny and narcissism - culminating in delusions of Satanhood and even Godhood? The enigma of his life and works remains unsolved - a labyrinth into which the speculative writer (and curious reader) wanders at his own risk...