Soviet Art

USSR Culture

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.

 Self-portrait, 1977. Soviet sculptor Adelaida Germanovna Pologova

Self-portrait, 1977. Soviet sculptor Adelaida Germanovna Pologova (1923-2008)

Distinguished by great plastic variety and impressive innovation of solutions is her composition “Self-Portrait (Sculptor and Sculpture, 1977). The genre motive – rest after work, is not a theme of peace, but an ongoing dialogue between the author and his creation. According to the sculptor, she found it very hard to part with her work. “They become for me living animated beings. It seems to me that they still live with me for some time, although they have long been taken out of the workshop. In fact, it is a rare example of sculpture in sculpture.

The portraits created by the master have a vivid individual expressiveness. Noteworthy, among her models, the sculptor preferred people of the creative professions. In particular, pianist Maria Yudina, physicist Alexander Kazansky, sculptor Gennady Lankinen, painter Alexander Bogoslovsky (junior), graphic artist Boris Kocheyshvili, and art critic Valentin Lebedev. Each of them remains in memory for a long time due to non-standard plastic moves-metaphors. Often, giving the heroes their wings, the sculptor likens them to angels and thus denotes their good nature.

Meanwhile, the favorite genre of the sculptor – figured portraits. In the composition “Artist B.P. Kocheyshvili” her friend and pupil depicted at the moment of communication with the invisible spectator by the interlocutor. Sitting across the chair, surrounded by interior layout rooms, he says something animatedly, like a mime, actively gesticulating with thin, plastic hands. The dynamic figure as if involves in its orbit the surrounding space, transformed under the pressure of the hero’s energy portrait. According to the recollections of the model, Adelaide Germanovna first cut out the outstretched fingers of the wooden model, but they “turned out to be short, and one immediately broke off.” Then Kocheyshvili, in whose presence the sculpture was born, “went to the forest and wandered there for a long time, looking for ten branches, similar to his fingers, applied for comparison. Pologova liked this idea and immediately replaced her thick fingers with twigs.”

Heroes of the composition “Art critic VA. Lebedev and his Muse” is her friend and the main researcher of her work, Valentin Alekseevich Lebedev with his favorite dog named Artem. The sculptor has given each figure a single wing, metaphorically transferring the inseparable inner connection between the owner and the pet. The dog resembles the winged horse Pegasus, a symbol of inspiration and contemplation.

Soviet sculptor Adelaida Germanovna Pologova

Soviet Art magazine