|"Self-Portrait in Ukrainian Shirt" 1953|
He cheated death so many times that his entire life is a miracle. He survived the 1933 golodomor in Ukraine, a burst appendicitis in 1939 while in the Army (before newly discovered penicillin use it was considered untreatable), a heavy air bomb concussion in a first siege of Kharkov in 1941 that left him in coma for three months...
With all that he created ART, a kid from Kharkov, the first exhibition in his life was a 1939 World Fair in New York out of all places... he was part of the Soviet Children Art pavilion... While recovering from his concussion in Novosibirsk, he met and studied with the director of the famed Tretiakov Gallery that was evacuated to Siberia and who was Levitan's student.
He went to Repin Academy after the war and became part of the core generation that revived a full glory of classical Russian Academic tradition and method. He melted that capability into decades of fearless stylistic feats. He moved mountains in ART. He became one of the founding influences of Severe Style with his 1958 "Dawn." He participated in 11 All-Union exhibitions, the most prestigious in the USSR, a rare fit for a maverick artist who enjoyed public love, but never held any official post in the soviet art bureaucracy. Because of this public love of his work he had a high mass media coverage of his Art totaling around 30 million in circulation. His output is truly gigantic. He painted masterpieces. He loved life and was loved back generously. He loved people and his own visual brand of humanistic rendition of very depths in personal characters made him unique within Socialist Realism. He touched universal humanity while faithfully portraying a nation. He lived ART to his last breath. He is a Star that guides, a true compass.
|"The Land" 1968|