Artist Alexander Shilov Automatic translate
In Likhov Lane, where his poor post-war childhood passed, Alexander Shilov does not come often. Rare memories of that time warm the soul. And yet it was from there, from childhood, that this amazing story began. It was broadcast on radio that in Austria at the World Contest of Children’s Drawing, Sergei Shilov received the first prize. This event literally turned Sasha’s mind: if a brother can, why can’t he? After all, he also draws.
That was in 1957. Exactly forty years later, the State Gallery of Alexander Shilov opened in the very center of Moscow.
Gallery buildings on Znamenka have already become part of the usual appearance of Moscow. Today, to go around all the halls, it will take a considerable amount of time. After all, the number of paintings and graphic works exceeded one thousand. And twenty years ago, the collection donated by the artist to the city consisted of 355 works.
The transfer of paintings was preceded by a corresponding resolution of the State Duma, for which the deputies voted unanimously. Thus was born the State Gallery, which bears the name of the author of the paintings, to this day donating to the capital all its best works.
When in 1821 the Imperial State Secretary Peter Kikin together with Prince Gagarin, Count Dmitriev-Mamonov and other patrons of art founded the Society for the Encouragement of Artists in St. Petersburg, they hardly thought that their act would not only give a powerful impetus to the then Russian painting, but also brilliantly respond in two centuries in the work of Shilov.
At that time, the first, as they said, Alexander and Karl Bryullovy became pensioners. The society sent them on a yearly trip to Italy to study the world’s best art samples and improve their own craftsmanship. Karl Bryullov returned from the trip already "Great Karl". His "Last Day of Pompeii" was, in fact, the beginning of Russian painting.
Thanks to society, other geniuses of Russian classical painting passed through the Italian school. It was the works of these masters that shook the young Sasha Shilov when his mother first brought him to the Tretyakov Gallery.
The first years of the artist’s life were held in Likhov Lane. Sasha was raised by mom and two grandmothers. Over the years, bitterness from the need experienced at that time will always be mixed with happy memories of a child’s time. The first work experience was not associated with painting. The loader of a furniture factory had to carry something heavier than an easel.
Work at a furniture factory took all the power. But much harder than the work itself was the thought: will I really remain forever a loader? Meanwhile, in the life of Sasha Shilov it was a crucial period. He could not abandon the factory in order to concentrate on entering the Surikov school. We had to live on something. Day after day, having thrown off the clothes of a loader, he took a pencil or brush in his hands and drew.
Very early, Alexander Shilov began to treat his talent as a means of serving others and giving thanks to people close to him. This reverent attitude to the elderly was born to Sasha in childhood. It sprouted out of gratitude to the native people who are ready to sacrifice anything so that he does not feel need and hardship.
Brilliantly wielding a brush, Shilov himself could choose the creative method and objects of future canvases. And he makes a choice: he writes portraits of the elderly. His talent and inspiration are drawn to simple clothes and wrinkles.
“We should not renounce poverty and loneliness” - this commandment cannot be read without looking at expressive images. Once a simple person could still become a hero of the screen, literature and painting, but since the beginning of the nineties they were replaced by other heroes. Shilov’s fame and talent, his principles did not allow people to be cast aside, practically erased from modern culture, to be completely oblivious to oblivion.
He began to paint portraits of old men as soon as he felt real mastery in himself. And does it to this day.
After the art studio of the house of the pioneers, seven long years passed before entering the school. Alexander perfected his talent independently, constantly drawing friends, acquaintances and neighbors, making graphic copies of famous portraits.
Every day, the Shilov Gallery is visited by hundreds of people. Most seek here in search of harmony, the ideal. Sometimes people are simply driven by curiosity. They walk around the hall and try to unravel the artist himself. Looking for symbolic in objects, details.
Who besides the author has the right to insist on a special attitude to each of his heroes? But all of them, so different, with biographies and destinies, who could only cross here thanks to the artist’s conscious or unconscious choice, are of the essence: they are a little closer to the ideal on Shilov’s canvases. If you will, a little closer to the image that the Lord meant in each individual case.
And neither age nor social status matters. Do not sit down to the canvas, if you do not know why it is necessary to bring to the heart of the viewer exactly these features and this character. That is the principle of the artist.
Needless to say, each character of the portrait with meticulously, expertly written facial features, clothing details, accessories, interior has its own destiny. Sometimes it is a light romantic story, and sometimes a life drama.
Everything is as in life, only in comparison with the chronicle and routine that remained behind the windows of the gallery, here, in this world, everything is more colorful and sublime.
When there is an interesting job, Shilov goes to bed with only one thought: to wake up as soon as possible.
Such nights were given to the artist when he worked on the painting For Faith and Fatherland. Mother Adriana became a hero of the portrait - a woman with a unique destiny. During the war years she was a scout and performed feats that even men would envy.
The artist himself didn’t notice how the test of poverty once was replaced by something completely different. It all started when he began to lean toward the genre of romantic realism in the Surikovsky school, in spite of the official method of social realism, through which the germs of impressionism, avant-garde and abstractionism penetrated.
New trends were fascinated by many teachers of the school. Shilov himself never considered it necessary to hide his attitude to other areas of painting. Impressionism and other fashioned "isms" he does not recognize.
He had to pay dearly for his conviction and commitment to romantic realism, the classical manner of writing. After two years of study, teachers refused to take student Shilov to their group, they lowered his grades. He almost proclaimed a boycott. But Alexander Shilov did not change himself.
In 1972, the head of the Cosmonaut Training Center, Vladimir Shatalov, invited student Shilov to the Star City to take part in creating the gallery of portraits of the first cosmonauts. To this day, the artist remembers this with gratitude. After creating the cycle, he is awarded the Lenin Komsomol Prize. And since then, fate has already borne Alexander Shilov to meet the most serious test.
He came out of the shadows and received public recognition. It was the first step to glory.
Only a few years will pass, and the young artist will be entrusted to represent the Soviet Union in France. This will be the first international exhibition of paintings by Alexander Shilov. Parisians who have seen quite a lot will be greeted with talented and understandable works. Addressing the artist, the famous poet and novelist Louis Aragon will say: "You have preserved realistic art for Europe."
Few people know that at first three halls in the Kremlin were set aside for the Shilov Gallery. However, the regime object hardly met the important criterion: accessibility for admirers of the artist’s creativity. Then the city administration offered the mansion of architect Tyurin on Znamenka, erected in the 19th century just under the art gallery.
The fate of the country in persons
On May 31st, the 97th, the gallery opened the doors. By that time, the master’s popularity was so high that it was both a natural and unprecedented event at the same time. It seemed that all of Moscow had gathered that day on Znamenka. Was Alexander Shilov himself happy these days? To understand the feelings of the artist, you should know what kind of drama preceded this stage of life. Do not go crazy, do not sleep, do not fall into depression after this can not everyone. Died sixteen daughter Masha.
After that, the artist began to drink and almost gave up work.
In the days when hope and hope were not abandoned by my father and all my close ones, many people who were not very close were stretching their hands. When Masha was on treatment in Austria, Mstislav Rostropovich unexpectedly got in touch with Alexander Shilov. This participation in the fate of his daughter after years causes the artist a sense of gratitude. Gradually, he returned to work.
In the gallery are several portraits of Maria Shilova. But the one where she is in a pink airy dress, as if illuminating the hall with a special unearthly light. You can see how people stand for hours in front of the portrait, looking at the facial features and literally tangible folds of the dress. If we talk about the soul and heart of the artist, so they, no doubt, are here in the portraits of her daughter. These portraits are very personal, and therefore could remain in the collection of Alexander Shilov himself. But by the artist’s will these works became the property of the state.
In 1980, Alexander Shilov, probably the first Soviet artist in the postwar period, was sent on probation to Italy. Like Karl Bryullov, with whom artist Shilov has an unmistakable external and spiritual similarity. Italy shook Alexander for life. He roamed the same streets of Venice, Florence, Rome, where his great predecessors roamed, and did not get tired to admire the eternal beauty that the geniuses of the Renaissance had left to the world. He generally believes that everything beautiful in world art stems from recycled Italian images.
Music, architecture, painting and poetry - this is what has for centuries shaped the soul of man, awakened in him a sense of beauty. And there is no other subject capable of cultivating these qualities from a young age.
There were times when people were suspicious of reproducing their image, whether it was a wooden or stone sculpture, a portrait painted with a pencil or brush, or even a photograph. A mystical assumption was spread that a portrait of a soul remains, which later is not subject to its owner. Many works of world literature are devoted to the influence of a portrait on the fate of a character.
But it seems that no one undertook to investigate what part of his soul the artist leaves on the canvas. And not only the soul. When working with pastels, Alexander Shilov leaves parts of his skin on the portrait, erasing the tips of his fingers until blood. The painstaking and complex technique of pastels today is almost lost. And once it was brilliantly owned by Lyotard, Rosalba Carriera, Russian painters Levitan, Shcherbakov, Laktionov.
Of our contemporaries, no one has achieved such perfection in this art as Alexander Shilov. Among the world masterpieces of pastels is the portrait of Mashenka Shilova, created by the master in 1983.
In 2009, the Shilov Gallery had to push its limits and transfer part of the collection to the renovated premises in the neighboring buildings on Znamenka. The reconstruction required the involvement of not just professionals, but builders and investors with the highest qualifications and responsibility.
Nevertheless, the artist himself penetrated into each stage of the repair so much that it literally turned into a foreman for this time. He personally solved all economic issues. When everything was behind, he once admitted that it was a real battle, which cost him several years of life.
Looking into the soul of his heroes, Alexander Maksovich involuntarily exposes his own. All his feelings, passions, preferences - in full view. He knows this and insists on his world view. And the most important thing here is the restoration of social and historical justice. The artist not only returns the concepts of "heroism", "feat", "glory" of their forgotten values, but also completely differently distributes places on the public pedestal. In the special world of the Shilovsky Gallery, veterans are honored and respected every day, and not just May 9th. The author himself is ready to tell with admiration about the feat of each of his character. One of them, Gevork Vartanian, is an intelligence agent who became the prototypes of the main character of the Tehran-43 film.
There are more than thirty portraits of the heroes of the Great Patriotic War in the gallery. In November 2005, work was completed on a portrait of the legendary pilots Nadezhda Popova. She fought in the bomber night women’s air regiment. It was these famous female pilots that the fascists called "night witches." In total, she carried out more than 850 sorties.
Where is the spark that makes a man a hero? And is it possible to catch her glow, looking at the portrait? After all, the artist does not change anything in his eyes, or in body proportions, or in posture, to show - here he is, a hero, a hero, a superman. He is the same as each of us. He would take off his military tunic with orders, and he would be shoved somewhere in a subway or a shop. This generation was not taught to fight for a place under the sun in a peaceful life. This is their weakness and strength.
The uniqueness of the gallery is that the portraits of important people are side by side with simple and obscure images. On the Shilov canvases there is no entrance with special passes. The veterans themselves, who became heroes of the portraits, are even embarrassed by the justice that falls on them. And the gallery visitors convey some biblical sense of equality of people.
The recognition never avoided Alexander Maksovich. Back in 1985, he became a national artist of the USSR. Since 2001, is an academician of the RAS. His name is one of the planets.
At the turn of the century it is difficult to divide generations. All of us, of course, living in the 21st century, sprouted from the twentieth century. Under the arches of the Shilovsky Gallery, day by day they are trying to weave this delicate matter of respect and mutual understanding. Between the old and the young, the poor and the rich, and not very happy.
Genuine art is what excites everyone - the peasant and the president. This is the artist’s credo. The day came when Vladimir Putin himself confirmed this by going through the halls of the gallery and leaving an entry in the guest book.
The author himself claims that in each portrait one can catch his attitude towards the hero or heroine. Still, the portrait is not a cartoon, and often the viewer’s imagination takes precedence over his insight. Thus, many beautiful portraits of ministers of the Church does not at all indicate the piety of the artist. For Shilov, the personality, the character of his hero, is always more important. If we talk about the clergy, then rightfully a special place in the life and work of the artist held Vladimir Rodzianko, Bishop of the Orthodox Church in America.
Almost from the first days in the gallery are chamber creative evenings. Under the arches of the hall there are voices of outstanding singers and music of the best performers.
The name of the master, his fame attract not only fans to the gallery. There are those who come here with prejudice, but, to their credit, they do not consider it possible to talk about rumors and newspaper criticism about the work of Alexander Shilov. As a rule, such a visit has the strongest emotional, aesthetic impression and produces a revolution in consciousness. Meanwhile, the artist does not consider it necessary to persuade opponents in the discussion. Much more obvious are the pictures themselves.
Article prepared by Vadim Ivanov, site manager it-will-help.com
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