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Alexander
Davidovich Drevin

Russia 
1889−1938
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Biography and information

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Born in Wenden Livonia province, now Cesis, Latvia in 1889, he was Shot in 1938, Studied in the nautical school in Riga, Drevin for participation in the revolutionary events of 1905-1907 were arrested. Later he enrolled in the Riga city art school. His early work tended towards impressionism. From 1914 he lived in Moscow, where the collection of S. I. Shchukin saw the recent opening of French art. Drevin participated in exhibitions, and in 1915-1917 he was a member of the group "Jack of diamonds". After the revolution, he worked in the new Soviet artistic institutions: the Department of fine arts of Narkompros and taught at the VKhUTEMAS, and in 1920 he headed the Museum of painterly culture. At this time, the nature of his work: the painting becomes more emotional and creates a broad dynamic strokes. The late 1920's-early 1930-ies was a time of frequent journeys that the artist made with his wife Nadezhda Udaltsova – to the Urals, Altai, Kazakhstan and Armenia. By the early 1930s manner Drevin was subjected to sharp criticism, he was suspended from teaching, and in 1938 arrested and executed. Drevin strongly influence both on his contemporaries and artists of future generations.

One of the leaders of Russian avant-garde 1920-30-ies., A. D. Drevin has consistently defended the principles of easel painting. His unique style of painting has almost no analogues in the Russian art of the XX century, Despite the fact that the artist's work easily be separated into several periods, it appears remarkably solid in spirit, in the internal dynamics of its development.

Drevin turned to art rather late: he first picked up a brush when he was nineteen years old. To learn painting professionally, he began in the Riga city art school (1908 - 13), where he studied under the famous landscape painter V. K. Purvita. Already during his studies in Riga Drevin participates in city exhibitions.

In 1914, the artist moved to Moscow and was quickly drawn into the atmosphere of the capital's creative life. Widely known cycle of paintings "Refugee" (1915-17). The military theme is not manifested in the works of Drevin directly, nevertheless has left its mark on the beautiful Stroy songs ("Supper", 1915; "Refugee", 1916, etc.).

In 1918-20 Drevin in search of a new content of art turns to abstract painting. In the works of this period he is so close to lucita - the direction of Russian avant-garde, headed by M. F. Larionov. Already here pronounced originality of talent Drevin - painter: color of his paintings are always strict, based on a combination of a few colours, subtly variable.

Querulous achieved, the artist continues his search in the early 1920s he returned to figurative art, desiring to be more direct and closer to nature. It, nature, and will occupy a Central place in the further work. Drevin seeks to open a new path in art, believing that the achievements of the avant-garde, including his own, are not the solution to the artistic challenges posed by modernity.

The 1920s, for him - a time of constant trips to Russian villages and small towns, to the Urals; it is enriched by new experiences, gets a new, beautiful sense of nature and hurry to Express it with paint. Work in this direction brings him to the artist N. A. Udaltsova, who in 1920, his wife. In 1923 paintings Drevin and Udaltsova exhibited at the Moscow exhibition together with paintings of former members of the Association "Jack of diamonds", by A. V. Lentulov, I. I. Mashkov, P. Konchalovsky. Their mother plastic searches in painting. However, Drevin characterized by extreme determination, strong-willed, temperamental smear ("self-Portrait", 1923).

A little later, in the paintings of "Ural cycle" (1926-29), the artist walks away from the external expression of the beginning of the 1920s to the internal restraint, elastic color saturation. But the full force of Drevin declares himself as a Mature master in the following cycle the picturesque, made the trip in 1930 to the Altai and East Kazakhstan. "Altai particularly influenced me with its colourful nature, more space; his extraordinary power of light has changed my art," Drevin said in his Autobiography. It is in this uninhabited edge the artist has experienced a complete unity with nature. Neuroscientist vision of nature and its realization on canvas shows in his unique technique of the painter, which is not "cracoviae nature", as it recreates its densely superimposed colors. The color in these pictures is not bright, but weight and dense, the details are missing - they are absorbed by the colorful layers. Recognition of the motif is minimized. Composition is extremely simple, but monumental.

The value of painting "Altai cycle" in a soft, almost vibrant glow colorful surface, its textured plastic richness, wholeness pictorial space of the paintings ("ROE", 1930; "Landscape with white house", "Bulls", both 1931; "Barka", "Descent in a parachute," both in 1932).

Since the late 1920s, official criticism accuses Drevin in "formalism", in "self-contained picturesque". The artist is protected, assuring his opponents that his paintings "have an educational character, which aims to improve the means of scenic expression and artistic skill". Achievements of the talented painter have not at the time.

In 1933-34 he Drevin travels to Armenia and creates a new series of paintings in which he, at first glance, is retreating from its position in the direction of more traditional art ("the Construction of the railway bridge in Yerevan", 1933). Important role here plays the pattern appears linear clarity of composition that is easily "read". But this new stage in the development of the picturesque style Drevin - another round in his attainment of "a new harmony with the forces of nature."

By the end of the 1930s, the craftsman becomes more realistic. The life and works of Drevin ended abruptly: he was arrested by the NKVD and perished, most likely in 1938

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