Posts Tagged ‘russia’

Artist of the moment………Serge Poliakoff



Serge Poliakoff was a Russian born French painter renown for his modernist style. Serge Poliakoff was born in Moscow, Russia in the year 1900. The artist was the thirteenth of fourteenth children. His father bred horses for the army so his family was well off financially.

Poliakoff briefly attended the Moscow School of Painting and Sculpting before dropping out and moving to Constantinople. He was able to earn good money as a musician.

As a musician his specialty was the guitar. Poliakoff played a uniquely shaped guitar called the balalaika.

In 1923, the artist moved to Paris, France.

In 1962, the artist became a French citizen.

Below a montage of works by Poliakoff set to music:

The artist was not only a great painter, but later in his career became taken with ceramics.

Poliakoff passed away in 1969.

Price range information: Works range from lithograph prints and etchings starting at $8,000 to original oils which can reach $800,000. Works in gouache range from $10,000 to $140,000.

What unique shapes the artist created.


Artist of the moment…….Leon Bakst


Leon Bakst was an internationally renown painter, costume,  and theater set designer. Leon Bakst was born in the year 1866 in what is now the country of Belarus.

The artist attended college at the Saint Petersburg Academy of Art in Russia.

Here a large selection of drawings and paintings that show Bakst’s skill at painting the figure and remarkable clothing:

Leon Bakst passed away in 1924.

In this clip we view more works by Bakst:

Price range information: Bakst worked frequently in watercolor and gouache. Prices range from $10,000 to $750,000.

If you enjoy the art of costumes and set designer be sure and check out my post on Erte, my favorite theater set and costume designer.


Artist of the moment…….Soyer Family…….Moses Soyer


Here we have another great family of artists, the Soyer family! We start with Moses Soyer…

Moses Soyer was born in Russia in the year 1899. Soyer was one of three boys from this family who went on to lengthy professional art careers. Moses Soyer came to the United States with his family and settled in New York City in the year 1912. His father was a Hebrew scholar.

Soyer is classified with the Social Realist artists, and for good reason, the Depression had a huge impact on the artist. Soyer was part of the WPA project along with his brothers. Moses Soyer used these paintings to push for the changes he wanted to see in America.

For his artistic education Moses Soyer attended Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design.

After the Depression Soyer worked with ballet dancers. These are great paintings that remind me of Edgar Degas.

Moses Soyer passed away in 1974.

In this clip a brief selection of works from Moses Soyer:

Price range information: Works range from $2,000 to $50,000. Soyer worked in watercolor, graphite, oils, and pastels.

The best thing I like about this artist is his keen sense of design. Many smaller works have three heads or figures each looking a different direction. This gives the work a great sense of life, but his brushwork makes it look as if it were executed with one simple stroke reminiscent of John Singer Sargent.




Artist of the moment……Leonid Gechtoff

Leonid Gechtoff was born in Odessa, Russia in the year 1883. His parents were older, in their 40s when they had Leonid. Leonid was known for landscapes with wonderful greys and texture. I compare his work with trees to modern artist Karl Dempwolf. Gechtoff worked mainly with oils canvasd.

Not much is known about the artist. He supposedly studied art in Russia. The family was in strife so they took off for Cairo, Egypt.

The artist did paintings of landscapes of the  American Southwest, Egypt, and marine paintings.

The artist had a daughter named Sonia Gechtoff who will be the next entry. She is an Abstract painter.

Leonid Gechtoff passed away in 1941.

Price range information: Most works available for less than $5,000.

Another artistic family!


Artist of the moment…….Abraham Walkowitz

Walkowitz was born to Jewish parents in Tyumen, Siberia. Walkowitz was known for his watercolors, especially of the dancer Isadora Duncan.  Duncan was a Modernist dancer, much in the same way Abraham Walktowitz was a Modernist painter. Walkowitz produced a large body of drawings and paintings. Walkowitz is a lesser known Modernist artist. In addition to his recurring subject Isadora Duncan, Walkowitz was known for his cityscapes, which were also very abstract for the time period.

Isadora Duncan was an American born dancer who was thrown out of the country for her sympathy to the Soviet Union. She died in  a freak accident. Duncan was a leader in moving dancing away from something up tight and rigid to more natural and free flowing types of moves. She moved to Europe and taught her style of dancing to many followers. Duncan enjoyed wearing long neck scarves. One day she was a passenger in a car that was involved in an auto accident. Her scarf became caught in the wheel spokes a tire, and snapped her neck and she died.

Walkowitz met Duncan as she was visiting the studio of painter Auguste Rodin.

Walkowitz was a great acquaintance of Alfred Steiglitz, the husband of Georgia O’Keefe. Walkowitz used his connections to show his work with other Modernist style painters in the gallery of Steiglitz in New York City.

Price range information: Works range from $1,000 to $60,000. Walkowitz worked in pencil, watercolours, and oils.

For his artistic education the artist attended the Academie Julien located in Paris, France. Walkowitz also attended the National Academy of Design.

In this clip many watercolours by Abraham Walkowitz and his favorite muse, Isadora Duncan:

What a great modernist painter! 


Artist of the moment…..Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson was an American artist born in the year 1899 in the city of Kiev, Russia. Her family emigrated to the United States in 1905 and as a child she grew up around Rockland, Maine. The United States Postal Service produced a commemorative stamp featuring the artist  in 2000 which is below. Louise Nevelson was most famous for her very large sized works made with wood. These works look like three dimensional puzzles. Some mediums used other than wood by Louise Nevelson include aluminum, metal, and plastic.


Nevelson’s father own a lumberyard when the family lived in Russia. When the family came to the States her father also would run a lumberyard and was made several successful real estate investments.

In this clip we view some of Louise Nevelson’s sculpture works:

She was married briefly to the owner of a shipping company. The couple divorced but had one child. The child’s name was Myron or “Mike” Nevelson who would go on to be a professional artist. As an artist Mike Nevelson focused on modernism and abstraction. I love this families of artists! Below some examples of Mike Nevelson’s style of art (born in 1922.)

For her artistic education Nevelson enrolled at Hans Hoffman’s School of Art located in Munich, Germany. In later years Nevelson studied the art off etching and printmaking with Stanley William Hayter. Hayter was an educator and world renown printmaker and below an example of his art. Nevelson also enrolled at the famed Art Student’s League of New York City.


Nevelson worked as an assistant to famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. He also worked for the WPA as a teacher.

Nevelson was a participant in the Venice Biennale.

Her first solo exhibition was in 1941, whilst in her early 40s.

Louise Nevelson passed away in 1989.

In this clip we visit a show featuring Louise Nevelson that took place in Rome, Italy:

Louise Nevelson was also known for her unique and flamboyant style of dress. Often the artist would black mink eyelashes, silk scarves, and a black cap.

Louise was grandmother to another artist profiled here already, Neith Nevelson. What a creative family!

Its just amazing to see how many multiple generations of artist families exist worldwide. Myron worked with wood, but loved working with the figure.

Price range information:  Works in graphite, monoprints, and etchings can be found starting at $3,000 up to larger sized paintings reaching as a high as $400,000. Many works in wood range from $10,000 to the low six figures.


Artist of the moment……George Hoyningen- Huene

George Hoyningen- Huene was an internationally renown photographer born in St. Petersberg, Russia in the year 1900. Over his career he worked for many fashion magazines including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Huene was most popular in the 1920s through the 1940s where he gained fame for his unique images of the human figure.

Huene’s father was a nobleman. Huene had two sisters who both went on to careers in the fashion industry as designers.

Huene’s family left Russia after the revolution moving first to London, England and then Paris, France. In Paris he met Horst P. Horst, already profiled here, and the two became romantically involved.

The artist went on to enjoy a long career in movies. Huene shot celebrity photographs and even was a special assistant on many movies helping with color consulting. This was when the industry was just experimenting with technicolor.

George Hoyningen- Huene passed away in 1968.

Price range information: Works range from $3,000 to $30,000.

In this clip a selection of works from George Hoynington- Huene’s lifetime of work:

From an artist’s view my favorite images of the artist are the ones showing the silhouette of a figure interacting with a basic geometric shape. The women holding an object that appears to be a hula hoop. The shapes and design are very intriguing.


Artist of the moment……Ivan Shishkin

Ivan Shishkin was a fantastic painter of the forest landscape born in Yelabuga of the old Russian Empire in the year 1832. For his collegiate studies the artist attended the Moscow School of Painting and Architecture. Shiskin went on to study at the Saint Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts. Ivan Shishkin was a master of anything to do with the forest be it painting, printmaking, or drawing.

In this clip a great montage of Shishkin’s landscapes set to relaxing music:

A soviet astronomer named a distant planet after the artist.

Ivan Shishkin passed away in 1898 at the age of 66 years old.

Shishkin was the lead professor of painting at the St. Petersburg Academy for 25 years.

Price range information: A wide variety of prices exist as prints can be found for a few hundred dollars up to original oil paintings which have broken the $3 million dollar barrier at auction.

What a fantastic painter of the forest and trees. Some other artists who paint wonderful trees include Richard Schmid, Albert Handell, Karl Dempwolf, and David Foley.


Artist of the moment….Russian “Banksy” Pasha P183…Pavel Pukhov

Pavel Pukhov or Pavel 183 was a wonderful street artist from Russia who critics called the next Banksy. Pavel was born in the year 1983 in Moscow, Russia. The artist kept his government identity a secret, but did share that he had a communications degree. For his design style P183 was known to render in black and white and enjoyed working with the eyes the most.

Pukhov was great at putting street art in public places and waterways with several works having just eyes peering out from under bushes or shrubs.

Sometimes the artist would even use fire in his artwork.

His most famous work is probably the glasses made using a streetpost as one side of the glasses. The work was made in the snow but shows a remarkable sense of creativity.

He was signed to a theater production company to help with designing sets. This company actually announced that P183 had died at the age of 29 years old of unknown causes. This was in April of 2013.

In addition to painting P183 occasionally worked in three dimensions.

In this clip we see a great montage of works by Pavel P183:

price range information: Sorry none available.


Artist of the moment……Ilya Kabakov

Ilya Kabakov is a contemporary artist born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine in the year 1933. Shortly after his birth his family left the Ukraine for Uzbekistan in order to avoid persecution by the Nazi party. The artist is a painter and also creates installations. To date he has made over 150 installations.

price range information: Sorry none available.

One recurring theme of the artist was flies.

For his artistic education Ilya Kabakov attended the Leningrad Institute of Arts. Kabakov graduated from the Surikov Art Institute.

Started off his art career by illustrating children’s books. This happened in the late 1950s.

It was against his government’s wishes to allow anyone to be an artist as he had hoped, illustrating children’s books was the only way an artist could exist in his land.

In the 1970s Kabakov began to experiment with Abstract- Expressionist. Towards the end of the decade Kabakov even tried conceptual art. This group is now seen as a great force, but at the time the artist’s involved were prohibited from showing their works in public. He group was a big break through for conceptual art in Russia. At the time the government arm the KGB looked into the affairs of the artist.

In this clip we view a show given for Ilya Kabakov in 2012:

The artist represented Russia at the Venice Biennale in 1993.

Ilya Kabakov is now based out of Long Island, New York in the United States.


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