Soviet artist Yuri Kugach 1917–2013
Soviet artist Yuri Kugach (1917–2013) – Winner of the Stalin Prize of the second degree (1950), People’s Artist of the USSR (1977), member of the USSR Academy of Arts (1975). In 1936 he graduated from Moscow art school of memory of 1905, in 1942 – the Moscow State Academy of Fine Arts named after Surikov; in 1945 – post-graduate studies. In 1948-1951 he taught at the Academy. His works are kept in the State Tretyakov Gallery, the art museums of Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov, Omsk, Kiev, Kharkov, Lvov and others. Kugach had excellent teachers: Nikolay Krymov, Igor Grabar. Kugach was one of the favorite students of Sergei Vasilievich Gerasimov.
Already in the years of study, Kugach showed distinctive talent. Preserved his sketches he made on his comrades. They were made quickly, but with such expressiveness that even now we can easily find out who is drawn in them. They say about the talent of a painter, the ability to understand the essence of man. His small sketches were a revelation, they are real masterpieces made with the highest craftsmanship.
First of all, Kugach is a bright and original artist, and he is immediately recognizable among other artists. He is realist, and realism is an endless variety of personalities. Kugach is a wizard that guided all his talent on the revival of easel painting in its true sense. There is nothing in his painting designed for external effect, there is no flashiness, bravura painting, and his pictures contain genuine artistic depth. The peculiarity of genre painting lies in the fact that the viewer can watch such artwork for hours. Even in everyday inconspicuous plot, if it is genuine, there are always some details or character traits by which we would pass, if not the artist who pays attention to them.
Soviet artist Yuri Kugach
On materials of Soviet magazine “Young Artist”, 1978, 1985, 1988