Soviet Art

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Category Archive: Sculpture

Designer Eva Zeisel designer, ceramist and sculptor

Designer Eva Zeisel and her contribution to the development of Russian porcelain

Eva Zeisel, née Striker, is an internationally renowned designer, ceramist and sculptor, born on November 13, 1906. However, she herself did not like the modern word “designer” and preferred to call herself “the creator of things”. Eva lived 105 years and continued to do what she loved until the last day. During her long life, she managed to work in Hungary, Germany, the Soviet Union and the United States, and left a noticeable mark in each of these countries. The dishes that came out of her hands are not just beautiful: they are both delicate and functional. Rounded cups and handles delight the eye with smooth lines and fit comfortably in the hand. You can imagine these products both in a museum and in your home kitchen.

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Soviet sculptor-animalist Alexey Tsvetkov


Angel sculpture. Work by Soviet sculptor-animalist Alexey Tsvetkov (March 17, 1924, Russia, the village of Bukarevo, Tver Region – June 28, 2009, Moscow, Russia)

Soviet sculptor-animalist Alexey Tsvetkov
Aleksey Sergeevich Tsvetkov (1924-2009) – prominent Russian and Soviet sculptor-animal artist, a member of the USSR Union of artists. He was an Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, student of the most famous Soviet sculptor A. A. Vatagin. Veteran of World War II, Tsvetkov was a Cavalier of the Order of the Patriotic War of the first degree and Cavalier of the Order of the Red Star. According to art critics, Tsvetkov continued the traditions of Soviet animal sculptors. In particular, I. S. Efimov, V. A. Vatagin, A. G. Sotnikov, D. F. Tsaplin, along with his contemporaries A. V. Marts and A. M. Belashov. Traditionally, the artist created his sculptures using wood, metal, stone, porcelain and concrete, however, his favorite material was wood.
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Soviet sculptor animalist Boris Vorobyov

Soviet sculptor animalist Boris Vorobyov (November 6, 1911, Tomsk - April 25, 1990, Leningrad)

Celluloid beasts of the Soviet sculptor animalist Boris Vorobyov (November 6, 1911, Tomsk – April 25, 1990, Leningrad)

Soviet sculptor animalist Boris Vorobyov

Probably, each of Soviet family had porcelain or plastic animal figures at home, and the author of them was Vorobyov. The animal sculptor worked in various materials: porcelain, faience, ceramics, glass, wood and metal. He is one of the leading animal sculptors and artists of the Leningrad Porcelain Factory, Honored Artist of the RSFSR, participant of all-Union and international exhibitions. His works are in the Hermitage, the Russian Museum and the Tretyakov Gallery, museums and private collections.
Boris (Isai) Vorobyov was born in the city of Tomsk in 1911. Until the age of 25, Boris himself had no idea that he would become an animal sculptor and this would become the work of his life. During his life, he tried many professions: he was an assistant to a bricklayer, a school teacher, and even an air gymnast in a circus. Also, he served at a dairy factory and studied at the construction college. In 1932, he entered the Moscow Institute of Architecture and Civil Engineering, but in 1936 left it and moved to Leningrad to enter the Academy of Arts to become a sculptor.
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Soviet Russian sculptor Alexey Sotnikov

Soviet Russian sculptor Alexey Sotnikov. Lenin among peasants. 1957

Lenin among peasants. 1957. Work by Soviet Russian sculptor Alexey Sotnikov (October 3, 1904 – February 18, 1989)

Soviet Russian sculptor Alexey Sotnikov
The second half of the 50s has become a turning point in the development of all Soviet art, associated with internal changes in the country. Almost all Soviet artists captured new ideas in architecture and fine arts, the struggle against embellishment in all areas of arts and crafts. In particular, the artists – ceramists were in the forefront of the new movement for exposing the design and form. Thus, they reduced decorative elements, preferring the frank presentation of ceramics as a material. And A.G. Sotnikov approved this line precisely.
In 1957, Sotnikov created his famous Falcon, followed by a number of white porcelain birds. Noteworthy, a series of white birds brought glory to Dulevo porcelain factory.
At the first post-war International Exhibition in Brussels in 1958, the Falcon, along with his other works, received the highest award – the Grand Prix.
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Soviet wood artist Valery Vasilievich Zhigaltsev 1949-1994

Soviet wood artist Valery Vasilievich Zhigaltsev (24 March 1949 - 1994)

“Curious neighbor”, wood painting. Soviet wood artist Valery Vasilievich Zhigaltsev (24 March 1949 – 1994)

Soviet wood artist Valery Vasilievich Zhigaltsev

The wood has always been marble and granite of Russia. And the closer to the north, the more sonorous, softer and more mysterious it became. But as in old good time, today you have to be a master to see a fairy-tale buffoon in a log and, in worthless little chips, a round dance of charming young girls. And not only skill is necessary, not only talent, there is a need for a soul, consonant with the living and warm spirit of wood, credulity to it. Such a master was Valery Zhigaltsev who worked in Kirov. According to Zhigaltsev, his teachers became wonderful Dymkovo masters and old turners, with their rough hands making out the thinnest musical boxes with numerous secrets.
In fact, the heart of the artist’s works lies the style of Russian lubok (folk pictures). Zhigaltsev developed various themes in the toy: folk festivals, the history of transport, Russian proverbs and sayings, and others. All the artist’s works are imbued with subtle humor and kindness.
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Soviet sculptor Vasily Alekseevich Vatagin 1883-1969

Soviet sculptor Vasily Alekseevich Vatagin (1883-1969)

Penguin with baby. 1960 Wood sculpture. The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Work by Soviet sculptor Vasily Alekseevich Vatagin (1883-1969)

Soviet sculptor Vasily Alekseevich Vatagin

Born in Moscow in 1883, Vasily Alekseevich Vatagin – Russian animal painter, sculptor and scientist-zoologist. The founder of the Darwin Museum, Alexander Fedorovich Kotts, was one of the first to draw attention to the talent of the young artist. Practically from the very foundation of the museum in 1907, the collaboration of the painter and sculptor V.A. Vatagin and director of the museum A. F. Kotts began. Vatagin, rightfully considered co-founder of the Darwin Museum has created more than 400 paintings, as well as about 100 sculptural works for 40 years of work.
Since childhood he was fond of drawing, and aged 15 he attended the studio of watercolor artist NA Martynov. In 1902, Vasily entered the natural department of the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of Moscow University. Also, he studied at the studio of the painter K. Yuon.
After graduating from the university, the artist made several trips to the zoological gardens of Western Europe, visited Central Asia, India, and northern Russia. There he performed a large number of sketches of animals and birds, which later became indispensable helpers in various works. Among them – zoological illustration, easel painting, book illustration and sculpture.
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Soviet sculptor Adelaida Germanovna Pologova 1923-2008

Go and save my trail. 1987. Soviet sculptor Adelaida Germanovna Pologova

Go and save my trail. 1987. Wood, gesso, gilding, painting, State Tretyakov Gallery. Soviet sculptor Adelaida Germanovna Pologova (1923-2008)

Soviet sculptor Adelaida Germanovna Pologova

Laureate of the USSR State Prize (1989), Adelaida Pologova belonged to a pleiad of sculptors of the 1960s, who ignored the traditional canons, giving an original view of the world. Her work – the creativity of a free and extremely original thinking sculptor. The peak of Adelaide Pologova’s creativity was in the 1980s, when she created, according to Soviet artist Dmitry Zhilinsky, “the finest sculpture of our time” – “Go and save my trail”. This is a masterpiece of the sculptor, which later gave the title of one of her posthumous exhibitions.
Her professional education A.G.Pologova began in 1942 in her native city of Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg). She grew up in a creative family where her father worked as an artist-decorator at the State Opera Theater named after A.V. Lunacharsky (1923-1925). The echo of the very early children’s theatrical impressions will later appear in the structure of many works by Pologova.
Having graduated from the faculty of painting of the local art school in 1948, she entered the Moscow Institute of Applied and Decorative Art (MIPiDI). In 1952 Pologova entered the Leningrad Higher School of Art and Industry named after V.I. Mukhina (LVHPU). She graduated from the institute in 1955 on the specialty of “architectural and decorative sculpture”. Born the same year her son Alyosha became a hero of her works for life.

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