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Nikolai
Mikhailovich Guschin
Russia 
1888−1965
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“Embarking on the path of the creative should abandon the quiet, calm and betonnogo dispensation of his personality. That sacrifice can only one who knows the ecstasy of creative who goes beyond the limits of the world...”.

The author of these words addressed to young artists, was destined by no means “calm and betonie” existence, and life is bright, full of unexpected, sometimes tragic turns. The complexity and contradictions of our rapid, steep century was reflected in the fate of the artist Nikolai Mikhailovich Gushchina (1888-1965). Contemporary revolution and two world wars, the difficult years spent in exile, and after returning home he known the bitterness of non-recognition of his work. But he always maintained the vitality and generosity, devotion to his art.

Son of rural teachers from Vyatka province, Nikolai Gushchin childhood and adolescence spent in Perm, on the Kama river. Here he graduated from school, showing, along with artistic and literary ability. Then for two years studied at the St. Petersburg psychoneurological Institute, while pursuing painting and drawing in a private Studio. Secrets of the external world, problems of history, psychology, logic — and that's what he was attracted to at that time. Much later N. Gushchin wrote:

“Philosophically, who knows the world, that he should be a world... the very formulation of a daring task to know the universe, is possible only when he himself is the universe...”.

Apparently, it was in these years consists in the artist's mind truly philosophical conception of the world, there is a desire in the art to speak more categories-characters.

In the autumn of 1910 N. Gushchin in Moscow: he had passed the exams in the School of painting, sculpture and architecture. Engaged in a portrait class at S. V. Malyutin, and senior courses in the Studio of acclaimed colorist and gifted teacher of K. A. Korovin. The latter, obviously, had a considerable influence on the N. Guschina, his fascination with the emotional impact of color and texture painting. Impulsive, passionate, avoiding the pattern of a young artist finding his way in painting. One of the earliest and strongest impressions — Impressionists, whose works he saw in Moscow, at exhibitions and in private collections. It attracts a sober observation of life in the works of E. Degas, harmonically strict construction in the works of P. Cezanne, changing color in the works of C. Monet and A. Renoir, expressive understanding of the world in the paintings of V. van Gogh. Modern, says Gushchin, access to such forms in painting, which would open up space for the expression of the artist's personality.

“Our art must be new and subsume rastsvetnye without shores” — these words of V. Kamensky surprisingly in tune with the aspirations of the young artist. There is information about meetings N. Gushchina not only Permyakov V. Kamensky, but V. Mayakovsky, V. Khlebnikov, David Burliuk. The undoubted effect that had on Gushchina Russian futurists, added impressions of his first trip abroad — a trip to America and Japan, done on the eve of the first world war.

Responded briskly artist on the revolutionary events of 1917. Returning to Perm, it falls into the atmosphere of the intense cultural life of a large provincial town. The graduate of the Moscow school now he teaches drawing and painting at the House of folk arts, participates in the organization of art school and the “Union of free artists” — the first creative enterprises of Prikamye. And in October, 1918, “proceedings of the Perm Council” reported that

“...near the mass graves of those killed in the glorious battle for socialism, comrades, that in the poplar alley near the building of the first gymnasium hastily to erect a monument to the fighters for freedom, according to a draft prepared by a local artist Goushchin”.

This monument stood for just two months, it blew up Kolchak, who entered the city at the end of the same year. Warned about possible reprisals, the author of the project was forced to escape from the city. Unfortunately, it is not known neither photos nor images of the monument and to present it only in the descriptions.

Early drawings N. Gushchina, of which very few survived, academic; they testify to the undoubted talent of the author and enough serious training. Note the “Portrait of mother”, “portrait of a nephew of Victor” — chamber pencil drawings, executed in Perm in 1917-1918.

Paintings of 1910-ies almost unknown. It remains only to rely on the critic, hiding behind the initials G. G., who gave a small overview exhibition of works by N. Gushchina in Tomsk in 1919.

“The most interesting part is the impressionistic period... Independently picturesquely felt “Svetoslav”, “azure Garden meetings and NESDIS”. The last is the most Mature, perhaps, the thing the entire show, the first trace of serious feeling. Said the artist, painting becomes independent and no longer forms of literary expression, which suffered so much the other things...”. Along with the impressionistic period, the author of the review says about the “elements of cubism and futurism”, especially evident in “portrait of Walt Whitman”, adding, however, that “the artist as one, and another for perceived externally, mechanically... not realizing the real values of their values beautifully-revolutionary”. But the main conclusion and General assessment of the achievements of a young artist: “...the little number of studies and sketches that were exhibited at the Central post, valuable to Tomsk and Siberia in General — where the last time exhibited such a mass of weak and inept, Amateur things. Here, at least visible, though not ripe, immature talent, but still talent, which can be used in future work to give much.”

Through Siberia N. Gushchin comes to China, where for several years actively working, participating in exhibitions, teaching in a private Studio. Then N. Gushchin is sent to Paris “for rhythmic refinement,” as he will write later in his autobiography. Indeed, the sojourn in France gave him the idea of old and new European painting. In the Louvre, the Luxembourg Museum, he considers his paintings admired the Impressionists and their followers. High level of painting culture, the expressiveness of the art forms, their precise and rapid evolution inherent in French art, raising the sensitive receptivity of the artist to modern trends and styles in painting. The Works Of N. Gushchina exhibited at exhibitions in Paris, London, nice, Monte Carlo, notice his sophisticated French critics. “That's absolutely original and very clever an artist,” said George Averill and Louis Cappotti wrote a small book called “Nikolai Gushchin mystery and his portraits”, is still the main source of our information about the foreign period of the artist's work. More than forty paintings and drawings included in the catalogue of a personal exhibition of N. Gushchina, held in Monte Carlo. Among them — “Harmony in blue”, “virgin forests”, “Clown musician”, “a Sad waltz by Sibelius”, “Anemones”. Imagery of his paintings speaks of him as a symbolist.

Repeated appeals N. Gushchina to the Soviet Embassy asking to return home finally, in 1947, was a success. Now his life is connected with Saratov, Volga. Many residents still remember this tall man in a dark take on gray flyaway, hair with “gait soaring birds”, with some amazing facial expression. Almost daily it can be found in the art Museum, where about fifteen years N. Gushchin worked as a restorer. He watched closely as the picturesque of the Fund, carried out a complex and sometimes restoration of paintings.

Not without the help of the artist V. M. Yustitskogo, which N.M. Gushchin was familiar before the revolution, he received a tiny eight-room in an old two-story house on elm street. This house, where lived two talented artists — N. Gushchin and V. Yustitsky, preserved until now. The walls from floor to ceiling was hung with paintings by N. Gushchina, on the Desk — books on art, philosophy, old things from the past “foreign” life; “Adam” and “eve” — black wooden statues, basalt Egyptian cat, and the most simple, necessary things in life — the narrow bed with a painted canvas for a covering, chairs. I have heard the poetry and conversations about art and philosophical disputes around N. Gushchina was always a lot of people, especially young people. Communicating with them helped the artist to overcome the aggravation of loneliness.

“Still in Moscow, the atmosphere is different, writes Gushchin 8 Jun 1961 I. A. Svetlakova here in Saratov, stuffy — very narrow-mindedness and philistinism Terry jammed. So I stayed there for some time, and how many of the most interesting meetings?! To meet you come to me the young poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, invited me to his poetry, arranged for students... arose immediately in touch with them and chat, and young people I not only love, but she is my only religion...

The whole atmosphere was filled with real live life, boiling, and then he was starting to feel the same twenty”.

N. Gushchin, existing as a person in 1910-e years, for thirty years of life in exile, apparently, was little changed as an artist. An enviable success, a well-known material well-being meant little to him. The main thing — to live and work in their native land, for his people. He returns in almost sixty years of age, and unspent creativity is implemented in Saratov.

In many works of the postwar period N. Gushchin remains faithful to the symbolism. “Rautendelein — forest fairy”: perhaps this picture is directly related to the pictorial “interpretation” of the once popular drama of the fairy tale G. Hauptmann's “Sunken bell”, which appeared in Russia in 1901, translated K. Balmont. Rautendelein — whimsical of the silf, a symbol of the creativity of the artist. But a dance eternally young female characters, in which human and natural-disaster fused “Ryabinka”, “Dewdrop”, “Twig”, “jewel”. Girlish slim, almost angular figure “Berezniki” is us in a halo of tenderness and shyness. Often the artist finds the gift of awakening in the viewer a sense of hope, dreams, faith in the ideal. But sometimes in his heroines guessed demonic, disastrous beginning (“the fortune Teller”, “the Seagull”).

“...I often think that beauty is the goal of our lives, and the purpose of the latter, — writes N. Gushchin in one of the letters. — Not beauty as a cultural value, and the beauty of existence, i.e. the realization of the chaotic ugliness of human relations in the real beauty, the beauty of living.”

Do not these words lies a kind of creative programme of artist? Is it because his beautiful images of women are not perceived as a reality and as a symbol of faith, comfort, a certain ideal? On the other hand, eyewitnesses and stylistic reminiscences of art Nouveau, with its pantheism, clennett of man and nature followed, however, the picturesque (technical) innovations.

N. Gushchin sought to bring the painting “to faces of two elements — music and words,” sought to create “visible music”, calling the task “interesting and difficult”. Remember that the idea of the synthesis of painting, music, poetry is highly characteristic of the early XX century, and the experience of its embodiment is found in A. Skryabin, M. Vrubel, M. Ciurlionis. Difficult words mood, fantastic day-dreams, misty sometimes associations are felt not only in the program “music” the works of N. Gushchina, such as “Nocturne”, “moonlight Sonata” “Bach”, but in the symbolic compositions (“Eternity” with her deep, “space” blue), and almost always in the artist's landscapes.

The musical sense of the nature of the artist. Considering his landscapes series (“seasons”), we seem to hear the cheerful, green noise of spring, the Golden bells of summer, the sad violins of autumn. Gushchin observes nature closely, as a realist, but it always felt romantic. A bizarre mix of reality and fiction gives a touch of fabulousness to his landscapes (“forest Fairy”, “fantasy forest”). Romantic perception of the natural world gives the exciting force and natural landscapes of the artist. N. Gushchin wrote often bluish twilight of the Volga and the vivid sunsets reflected in water, trees with dense shady foliage, agitated by the wind. And often, this free, written in one or two session study he was no worse than the product of carefully conceived, worked on for a long time (“After the rain”, “Reeds”, “Summer. The ravine”). In many field studies, the artist solves the problem of style is not as interested in the object, how much his attitude.

Nearly two dozen marine sketches brought N. Gushchin at the end of 1963 from Koktebel. They are perceived as free improvisation music: over the sea fluctuate streaks of clouds lit by the setting sun comes a wave after wave of a thunderous flow of paint. Bright temperament, a romantic impulse, emotional energy, expressed in the colors of his paintings capture. There are no lines, everything is just color, rhythm colorful horizontal planes, located on the canvas along with a number of descending steps.

Painting technique N. Gushchina nondescript, — it is soluble in a many of the achievements of modern painting. We will meet with him and a small, fast, irregular brushstroke of the Impressionists, and a long, undulating stroke, brings to mind the colorful concentric vortices of van Gogh and mosaic bright square of the stroke.

Paint pours a continuous mass, like molten lava, showing its splendor. N. Guschina a heightened perception of color, used for decorative effect, but to achieve psychological expression. Methods of writing a variety. Sometimes all sculpted and easy outline applied only at the end, dyes are put it smoothly, boldly, “hills, smallpox coloured” (V. Khlebnikov). The texture of the painting is no less important than composition, drawing, color, rhythm, thought Gushchin. Various methods of applying paint to balance the composition, to identify the main, to place emotional accents.

N. Gushchina, like most artists of modern times, gets a very special sense that the old master almost did not come to the fore, the very process of painting, time, pace. The canvas is viewed not only as reflecting reality but as a field activity of the artist, and the author does not “break” the surface the illusion of depth, but rather seeks to give the feel that this is the plane on which you create the “new reality” — an artistic image.

The present philosophical and psychological confession of the artist — his self-portraits. “Inner eye” with the sharp features and a stone chin, where man ruthlessly “thrown” to the bottom of his soul. “Your fate is broken, like a medal in your face harsh,” wrote Louis Chappatti about this work. The image of the artist with the rare power of credibility created in the “Psychological etude”. A luminous halo surrounded by a clearly written head, the shadows around her turned into black holes. We understand the loneliness, the tragedy of this man, his sad and painful thoughts about life, his inner vitality. And finally, “My Symphony” — the expressive image of the artist-Creator who orchestrated the cosmic elements.

Graphics N. Gushchina more traditional than painting. The artist is fluent in many graphic techniques — lithography, pencil drawing, charcoal, sanguine. Most of the surviving works — the emotional, soulful portraits of his contemporaries. The model most often from the environment of the artist, his friends and acquaintances. Delicate maiden portraits (“Marysienka”, “Blue dream”, “portrait”), along with lists associated with work on paintings. Among them — “Rautendelein — forest fairy”, “the Awakening” (from “the Struggle for peace”) — preparatory drawing for the painting “With you, Lumumba”, presented in 1962 by the peoples ' friendship University in Moscow. Perhaps the portrait graphics N. Gushchin brings him to neo-classicism with the traditions of the Petersburg school of figure, prominent representatives of which in 1910-e years were A. Yakovlev and V. Shukhaiev.

In complex mixed rather picturesque, than graphic art-filled cycle semi-abstract compositions “Fantasies” (1962-1964). The artist forces the viewer to guess the vague outlines of volatile elements — sky, sea, clouds, rain drops, wind gusts. A rhythm of colour, and the wavy lines he tries to convey a certain state, as it transmits and music.

“Saratov” period was fruitful, not only for creativity N. Gushchina. Here he showed the other his gift, perhaps, no less than the artist's talent, is the gift of teacher. Not long was he a teacher at the Saratov art school in the late 1940's, but left a trace in the hearts of many young painters. Under the direct influence of N. Gushchina was formed by the artist M. Arzhanov. Actively working now V. Salt, V. Lopatin, V. Chudin in the years of its formation has received a great impulse from his older friend and teacher, although in the future, each of them went their own way.

The first exhibition of works of Nikolay Mikhailovich Gushchina, held in Saratov state art Museum named after A. N. Radishcheva in early 1987, has collected more than 170 paintings and graphic works. The most complete picture you can make about the work of N. Gushchina in the years 1947-1965. Whole periods of artistic evolution remains unclear — too little circle of found work. The exposition gave the reason to include N. Gushchina and pictorial symbolism, in a unique way in term of 1910-ies in the postwar period, and to the artists of the neoclassical direction, especially in the chart; we can also speak about elements of impressionism, romanticism and expressionism in his paintings. One thing is clear — the impact of the most significant tendencies in contemporary art resulted in the unique style of the artist. Nikolay Gushchin implies a range of topics, images, unusual compositional solutions, found the letter.

Thoughts about life and death, of beauty and eternity, about the mysteries of nature and the human spirit N. Gushchin expressed in the “unknown” form of in “riot of colours” of his paintings. That's a kind of creative credo, formulated in the letters of the artist, the inscriptions on the back of the painting:

“There is an abstract morality? I think not, because one or the other morality is only the form of our behavior. The deeper manifestation of the human spirit, the lofty morality. Creativity however is a frantic desire to “unknown”. To pass the “unknown” need “unknown” form. Yes, an artist must paint what he sees, but to see it needs the eyes of the spirit which is not of light is of day and outside light nights.”

A comprehensive and fair assessment rarely falls to a painter-contemporary. Some see it as genius, others seek to prove that he is a phenomenon almost ordinary. Serious study of a creative way Nikolai Mikhailovich Guschina, his ties with the past and contemporary art is yet to come.

Materials used:

- Pashkova L. "Frantic desire for the unknown". Years and people. Vol.5. - Saratov: Volga book publishing house, 1990.

Son of rural teachers. Childhood and adolescence in Perm. Upon receipt in the Perm secondary education went to St. Petersburg, where he finished his General education Department of the Neuropsychiatric Institute. At the same time studied painting and drawing in a private Studio. In the autumn of 1910 N. Gushchin studies at the Moscow school of painting, sculpture and architecture. He studied with V. A. Serov, S. V. Malyutin, Korovin. Participated in exhibitions MUZHVZ since 1911, the 44th exhibition of the Association of traveling art exhibitions (TPHV), PG. — M., 1915, the Second Spring exhibition of young artists (Moscow, beginning 1917).

In 1917-1918 he taught painting at the Academy of fine arts in Perm, in his project was built the monument to the Fighters of the revolution, blown up by Kolchak in 1919 year. In 1919, through Siberia goes to China. In China a number of solo exhibitions in Harbin, Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. In 1922 he moved to Paris. Since 1934, lives in Monaco.

In France he participated in many group exhibitions in Paris, exhibited at the Royal Academy in several cities in Germany. Without losing Soviet citizenship, participated in the International exhibition of decorative arts in Paris 1925 (Soviet pavilion), which was awarded a Gold medal. Held solo exhibitions in Paris (gallery Carmine, 1927) and nice (1926, 1943). A number of exhibitions in Monte Carlo.

Before returning to Russia consistently has success in art circles and society. Was the expert Council of the Louvre, and participated in many social actions. His works are bought by museums of Paris, Grenoble, Monte Carlo, nice.

During the Second world war he was a member of the French Resistance, was awarded the medal.

In 1947 returned to the Soviet Union. Due to the official ban on residence in Moscow and Leningrad, chooses to life a city on the Volga — Saratov. Works as a restorer in SGHM them. Radishcheva. Despite an official ban on teaching activities was declared "ideologically alien", became the spiritual leader and has formed around a group of young artists, whom later were conditionally called "circle art Gushchina": M. Arzhanov, V. Chudin, V. Salt, V. Lopatin, L. Pereletova, Yuri Mashkov.

Most of his paintings of the "Soviet" period came after the death of the artist in the collection SGHM them. Radishcheva portrait of Mahatma Gandhi (C., M.; 1958) were transferred from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR as a gift to Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961. The painting "With you, Lumumba!" purchased by the peoples ' Friendship University in Moscow. Solo exhibitions were made possible only with the adjustment period, first took place in SGHM in 1987.

In 1910-ies were close to the circle of the futurists (friendship with Mayakovsky, Burlyuks, V. Kamensky, etc.), but painting has formed its own style, combining the elegance of art Nouveau and symbolism with the energy of expressionism and Fauvism brightness. To stylistic features of the plastic language Gushchina can be attributed to rare for the twentieth century as a clear and sharp picture with great freedom cottonelle solutions. The texture of the painting (especially the works of the last Russian period) rich, pasty smear can coexist with smooth landscapes the texture is usually more homogeneous than portraits and compositions. The color in the works of the last period of forced, intense, with every inch of canvas contains a large number of shades. In Europe, it was famous as a brilliant portraitist, in the press focused on the identity of the artist called a genius.

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