Ivanovich Shevchenko

Russia • 1926−1997


Artist V.I. Shevchenko was born January 8, 1926 in the village Kolybelka, Voronezh region in a large peasant family. In 1939, the family moved to Liski, where Vasily Shevchenko entered a technical school, later evacuated to Sverdlovsk. From there, he was conscripted to the army in 1943. He received two Orders of Great Patriotic War of I and II degree, medals "For courage", "For services in battle", "For a victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945" and a medal of Zhukov. In January, 1945 he was heavily wounded at Konigsberg. A long treatment followed, numerous operations in Chernyakhovsk, Saratov, Moscow.

Since 1950, V.I. Shevchenko lived in Lipetsk, worked as an artist-decorator at the ferroalloy plant, in the tram administration. Systematic art education he could not get, he studied painting himself. At this time, the visual culture of the city was formed into a kind of "Lipetsk school", which was represented by such bright individuals as: V. Sorokin, V. Dvoryanchikov, M. Vinogradov, V. Korolev, E. Salnikov, A. Sorochkin. Since 1972 V.I. Shevchenko worked in art-production workshops of regional branch of RSFSR Art Fund (1972-1986).

There he felt himself a legitimate member of the artistic community, developed his own unique style, combining a child's view of the world with mature spiritual experience. His oeuvre - the element of symbols and allegories - attracted the attention of art critics, he was talked about as a non-conformist and rebel in painting. He was surprising both as an artist and as a person. He called his favorite color the scream: "Any color can scream, speak, sing. Painting is a dialogue with the viewer. A dialogue needs not to be wordy. But to be heard". His paintings are parables about good and evil, birth and death, love and hate, destruction and creation: "I paint ideas that need a long time to nurture, so they acquired expressiveness, and then the color does not need to think, it comes by itself.

The first recognition of his talent and originality took place abroad. The first exhibitions were held in France, Germany and England. In 1989, a personal exhibition of Shevchenko was held at the Moscow Gallery of Modern Art. In 1990 the artist was accepted as a member of the Union of Artists and Graphic Artists of the International Federation of Artists of UNESCO, in 1991 he became a member of the Union of Artists of Russia.

В. I. Shevchenko wrote more than 1000 works. He participated in regional, all-Russian, international and foreign exhibitions since 1960. He had more than 15 personal exhibitions, one of the last, after his death - in the Museum of Naive Art in Moscow (2012). He also made documentaries about his work (including "Into the Dense Forest with the Mysterious Moon", 1987) at the Gorky Central Documentary Film Studio.)

Shevchenko's works are kept in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Voronezh and Lipetsk Regional Art Museums, the Art Museum of them. V.S. Sorokin Art Museum, as well as museums and private collections in Japan, Italy, Germany, Finland, Korea and the USA.

Voronezh art historian V.D. Dobromirov notes: "The impeccability and boldness of compositional solutions, high pictorial talent, combined with the idea of the infinity of the universe and the greatness of the moment of life put Shevchenko's work among the greatest phenomena of contemporary world art".

The artist died on February 22, 1997.
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