Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Soviet artist Viktor Ivanov

Soviet artist Viktor Ivanov. Self-portrait at age 9. Oil. 1933

Soviet artist Viktor Ivanov (born 1924). Self-portrait at age 9. Oil. 1933

Look at children’s works of the artist – Self-Portrait at age 9, and a portrait of grandmother Natalia painted by 15-year-old artist. They talk about the early development of talent and persistent skill finding. Soviet artist Viktor Ivanov belongs to a remarkable constellation of Soviet artists whose artistic career began at the first youth exhibitions in the 1950s. Within ten years, their works were largely decisive for the Soviet art, and themselves “young” become mature great masters. Paintings of the artist are in the Tretyakov Gallery, the Russian Museum: “For mowing. In the tent,” “Family. 1945”, “Ryazan meadows”, “In the Eye”, “Cafe “Greco”. Almost all of them depict the native Ryazan land, and deep love of the author to the person – worker. Artist searchingly looks into the fate of the people of the village today, creates generalized, pathetic images, which bear the stamp of all Soviet people.

Viktor Ivanov. Portrait of grandmother Natalia. Oil. 1940

Portrait of grandmother Natalia. Oil. 1940. Soviet artist Viktor Ivanov

Already during his studies at the Moscow Art School, then at the Surikov Institute, Viktor Ivanov enjoyed unquestioned authority among his peers. They felt his creative strong personality, appreciated his inquisitive mind, artistically keen eye. But most importantly, they saw the seriousness of the tasks that the young artist sought to resolve, his obsession in comprehension skills.

People’s Artist of the RSFSR V. Zamkov, who studied together with Ivanov back in the House of pioneers, remembers the characteristic episode. “In the autumn, when the students of the Surikov Institute came from the Crimea after the summer internship, Victor usually brought a huge number of sketches. Having come to him in one of those days, I was amazed at how his room has changed. No etudes, but on one of the walls was painted the Crimean landscape in all its size: autumn grape harvest. In this picture appeared a brilliant ownership of pattern and outstanding gift of monumentalist.”

“Probably the most important turning point in my life was in 1957. I have graduated from the Surikov Institute, and independent creative life began successfully: immediately became the member of Union of Artists for two themed paintings, which many liked. Congratulations on the success, but then.. with all external well-being I had a feeling of anxiety. What was the matter? What I have learned in school, college – was not enough. … And then decided to go to the village in the Ryazan region, the homeland of my mother, believing that there I will discover something important. I got off the train at the station “Sheluhovo”. Quiet station, which was still in my memory about the distant childhood with my mother and brother”.

“It was a rainy spring. It was quiet, deserted. I do not know why, but this whole situation, despite its ordinariness, troubled heart. I took the album and began sketching what I saw and felt. In me there was a determination to paint and draw only what I care about, only that touches the soul. This is where I realized myself as an artist”.

Since then, every year, for a few months, I live in the village. All my work is about the Ryazan land, its nature and people. Portraying them I express myself. The most profound and serious work that requires unusual stamina and energy – the creation of the painting. It is of paramount importance in the visual arts, the pinnacle of the artist. No wonder it has a place of honor in the art. For the great artists of the past – Alexander Ivanov, Surikov – to create a picture was the meaning of life, a work for the Fatherland and the people.

In 1961, for the series of works “Cuba” V. Ivanov got the silver medal of the USSR Academy of Arts. And he received Gold Medal of the USSR Academy of Arts in 1985 for a series of paintings and drawings dedicated to the Ryazan land and its people.

Solo exhibitions of Viktor Ivanov took place in Moscow in 1976, 1982, 1995, 1998. His works are in the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum, Ryazan Regional Art Museum. Art Museum of Victor Ivanov opened in 2004 in Ryazan.

The painting “Cafe” Greco” depicts Soviet artists: Gely Korzhev, Peter Ossovski, Efrem Zverkov, Dmitry Zhilin and its author – Viktor Ivanov. Five artists during their stay in Italy went into the cafe “Greco” in Rome and sat down at the table, at which in the last century were Gogol, Alexander Ivanov, Dostoevsky, and other outstanding representatives of Russian culture. Cafe “Greco” was a place of meetings and conversations. Everything in this cafe remained unchanged, as it was a hundred years ago.

Soviet artist Viktor Ivanovich Ivanov – People’s Artist of the USSR, Member of the Russian Academy of Arts, Member of Peter’s Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received State Prize of the USSR and the RSFSR State Prize of IE Repin (1968), laureate of International Prize of MA Sholokhov. He was born in 1924 in Moscow. In 1939-1944 studied at the Moscow Art School of Surikov. In 1950 he graduated from Moscow State Art Institute of Surikov, where his teachers were Vladimir Pochitalov, AA Osmerkin, AM Gritsay. In 1950- 1960 worked in the mainstream of “severe style”. His manner of painting characterized by cut-line, structural clarity, wide plane. Subject of canvases – life of a Russian village, provincial Russia.

Soviet artist Viktor Ivanov

Sources:
Viktor Ivanov, illustrated album. 2002
Magazines Young artist, 1981, 1984
Journal Ogonyok