Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Soviet artist Igor Aleksandrovich Popov 1927-1999

Soviet artist Igor Aleksandrovich Popov 1927-1999. Portrait of Alexandr Matveyevich Alexandrov. 1966. Oil on canvas

Portrait of Alexandr Matveyevich Alexandrov. 1966. Oil on canvas. Soviet artist Igor Aleksandrovich Popov (1927-1999)

Soviet artist Igor Aleksandrovich Popov
Honored Artist of the RSFSR, Igor Aleksandrovich Popov was born in 1927 in Kharkov. In 1951 he graduated from the Moscow State Art Institute named after VI Surikov, the workshop of S.V. Gerasimov. He lived and worked in Moscow, and was a chairman of the board of the Moscow organization of the Union of Artists of the RSFSR.
The portrait of Aleksandrov Alexander Martynovich (1966) shows the figurative characterization of the hero, a reasonable, calm, confident man. And the composition itself emphasizes his human significance and strength – a large, as close to the viewer as possible, as if the picture space is not enough for this man. Thick, powerful paints also help to reveal the uniqueness and integrity of his nature.
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Soviet Armenian artist Alexander Bazhbeuk Melikyan

Soviet Armenian artist Alexander Bazhbeuk Melikyan

The magician. 1965. Oil on canvas. Yerevan. Painting by Soviet Armenian artist Alexander Bazhbeuk Melikyan (1891—1966)

Soviet Armenian artist Alexander Bazhbeuk Melikyan
The small canvas “The magician” (1965) clearly manifests the coloristic mastery of the artist, his special festive attitude. Like a fairy, a young girl is preparing some kind of mysterious transformation. Femininity and grace are not only in the figure of the magician, but in the painting itself – in the noble harmony of the golden and red tones of the attire, in the overflows and flashes of the background.
Born in 1891 in Tiflis, Alexander Aleksandrovich Bazhbeuk-Malikyan died in 1966 in the same place. From 1904 to 1910 he studied at the school of painting and sculpture of the Caucasian Society for the Promotion of Fine Arts in Tiflis. Then in the studio of VN Mashkov in Moscow (1910 – 1911) and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Petersburg (1911-1913). The author of genre paintings, portraits, and landscapes, Melikyan found his subject early, which remained unchanged in all his further work. He sings of female beauty in portraits, circus scenes, in numerous “bathers”, “naked”, in compositions that do not have a certain plot (“Optical illusion”, “At the table with a dog”, “Four figures”). All these works each time in a new way discover the world of pure plastics and perfection.
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Soviet Estonian artist Evald Okas 1915-2011

Soviet Estonian artist Evald Okas (28 November 1915 – 30 April 2011)

Hiroshima. 1965. Oil on canvas. The State Art Museum of Estonia. Tallinn. Painting by Soviet Estonian artist Evald Okas (28 November 1915 – 30 April 2011)

Soviet Estonian artist Evald Okas – People’s Artist of the USSR, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR, and Honorary Member of the Florence Academy of Arts.
In the painting “Hiroshima” (1965), figures of people, shimmering silhouettes appear on a restless, hostile background. They seem charred in the colorful fire. A bright glow breaks from the center of the canvas, emerges through the rigid contours of the figures. All this fills the picture with mournful drama, and sounds like a formidable warning.
Born in 1915 in Revheim (now Tallinn), in 1941 Evald Karlovich Okas graduated from the Faculty of Painting of the Tallinn State College of Applied Arts. First time he participated in exhibition of Soviet Art in 1939. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 he was in the Soviet Army and served in a team of Estonian artists in Yaroslavl. Since 1944 he taught at the Art Institute of the Estonian SSR and Tallinn (since 1954 – professor).
Okas is the author of thematic paintings, portraits, and landscapes. The artist’s canvases store his immeasurable excitement in the face of large and small phenomena and events of the present day, interest in fates and people’s characters. Among his major works – “Residents of the Coast, Fishermen”, “Plant Construction”, “Horsemen”, “Burning Tiger”, “Estonian Girls”, and more.
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Soviet Moldavian artist Mikhail Greku 1916-1998

Soviet Moldavian artist Mikhail Greku

Seeing off. Canvas, oil. 1965. Museum of the Moldavian USSR, Kishinev. Soviet Moldavian artist Mikhail Greku (22 November 1916 – 9 April 1998)

Soviet Moldavian artist Mikhail Greku (Mikhai Grecu) – Laureate of the State Prize of the USSR (1990), Honored Artist of the Moldavian SSR. Born 22 November 1916 in the village of Faranovka (now Odessa region), Mikhai Grecu studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest (1937 – 1940). In 1947 he graduated from the Republican Art College in Kishinev. Greku is the author of paintings, landscapes, and still lifes. First of all, he was one of those artists who was purposefully seeking to enrich the language of modern painting. The sphere of his creative search includes the comprehension of the traditions of folk art, and the development of new principles of poetic narrative and pictorial metaphors. And also the experiments in the field of textural expressiveness (the triptych The History of One Life).
Meanwhile, in the painting “Seeing Off” (1965), the artist turns to his favorite theme – the life of the Moldovan village. The artist shows off the new recruits as a traditional autumn holiday. In the depiction of people, the acute characteristic is combined with the typical, which gives the images both authenticity and poetry at the same time. The artist creates the feeling of the holiday through juicy decorative elegance of the painting itself.
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Soviet Ukrainian artist Mikhail Ryasnyansky 1926-2003

Komsomol wedding. 1970. Soviet Ukrainian artist Mikhail Ryasnyansky 1926-2003

Komsomol wedding. 1970. Painting by Soviet Ukrainian artist Mikhail Ryasnyansky 1926-2003

Soviet Ukrainian artist Mikhail Ryasnyansky

Born May 17, 1926 in the old Russian city of Taganrog, Mikhail Ryasnyansky showed his artistic abilities since the early age. Even a 3 year-old boy, in a kindergarten, he was called “artist”. Noteworthy, aged 10, during an art exhibition in Moscow, he received an award – diploma of fist degree, even among adult participants.
Mikhail Ryasnyansky participated in the Great Patriotic War – from September 1943 to April 1944. He was an ordinary of 305 infantry regiment of the 108th Guards Rifle Division. However, demobilized in connection with a serious wound and concussion. Awarded the Order of the Patriotic War II degree and medals: “For courage”, and “For victory over Germany”.
After demobilization, in 1944-1947 he studied at the Rostov Art College of M.B.Grekov. Then, worked in the Rostov branch of the art fund (1948-1950). In addition, he studied at the painting faculty of the Kiev Art Institute, workshops of prominent Soviet artists T. Yablonskaya and S. Grigoriev (1950-1956).
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Soviet Ukrainian artist Leonid Chichkan 1911-1977

Soviet Ukrainian artist Leonid Chichkan (August 21, 1911 - December 13, 1977)

Hutsuls sign an appeal for a pact of peace. 1952. Painting by Soviet Ukrainian artist Leonid Chichkan (August 21, 1911 – December 13, 1977)

Soviet Ukrainian artist Leonid Chichkan

Born August 21, 1911 in Ekaterinodar, Kuban region of Russia, Leonid Ilyich Chichkan graduated from the Krasnodar Art College (1933). After graduation, he entered the Kharkov Art Institute. Unfortunately, he was not able to finish the institute due to the WWII. Member of the Great Patriotic War, he was awarded the Order of Glory 3rd degree, and medals. After the war, in 1945 he graduated from the Kiev Art Institute (workshop of A. Shovkunenko). Member of the Union of Artists of the Ukrainian SSR, he was a permanent participant of republican, all-Union and foreign exhibitions of Soviet art (since 1942). In addition to painting, the artist taught at the Kiev Art Institute (since 1952), and since 1971 – a professor. Honored Artist of the USSR (1969).
Master of still life, landscape and portrait painting, as well as genre paintings, he mainly painted on the theme of the life of Hutsuls. Famous works of the artist: “We will revenge” (1945), “Blue Distances” (1953), “Ukrainian Souvenirs” (1957), “Olexa Dovbush” (1959-60), “Spring” (1968), “Celebration. 1939” (1970), “To Partisans” (1975), and “Evening in the Carpathians” (1976).
Leonid Ilich died on December 13, 1977 (Kiev, Ukrainian SSR). His works are in the museums, galleries and private collections in Ukraine, Russia and abroad.
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Soviet artist Nikolay Belyayev 1916-2004

Soviet artist Nikolay Belyayev (28 May, 1916 - 18 December, 2004)

Happy. 1949. Painting by Soviet artist Nikolay Belyayev (28 May, 1916 – 18 December, 2004)

Soviet artist Nikolay Belyayev

Born in the city of Tsaritsyn, Nikolai Yakovlevich Belyaev showed his interest in drawing since childhood. First, he visited the private studio of the artist Durnao. Later, he studied at the Moscow State Academic Art School in memory of 1905 (1936-1940), workshops of PI Petrovichev, SI Frolov, GN Gorelov, and KI Finogenov. Then, he perfected his education in the Studio of Military Artists of M.B.Grekov (1939-1942).
Veteran of WWII, he was the correspondent of the front-line newspaper “Red Warrior” and the magazine Krasnoarmeets (1942). Participated in the fighting in the 16th Army. In 1942, seriously wounded, he lost his left hand. Perseverance and hard work helped him to continue his journey in art. He was awarded with orders: Patriotic War I degree, Labor Red Banner, Friendship of Peoples and medals “For Military Merit”, “For Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War”, etc.
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