- The Soviet era
- Oleksandr Gerasymov (1)
Alexander Mikhailovich Gerasimov (1881-1963) – Russian and Soviet painter, architect and art theorist, teacher, professor. Doctor of Arts (1951). The first president of the USSR Academy of Arts in 1947-1957.
Academician of the USSR Academy of Arts (1947). People’s Artist of the USSR (1943). Winner of four Stalin Prizes (1941, 1943, 1946, 1949). Member of the CPSU (b) since 1950.
From 1903 to 1915 he studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in the painting and architecture department, studied at A.E. Архипова, Н.А. Kasatkina, VA Serova, KA Cow. In the pre-revolutionary period, he worked mainly on landscapes, inspired by the Russian space, as well as the works of domestic “landscape” classic writers – Gogol, Turgenev, Koltsov, Nikitin, whom he could quote by heart.
Since 1909, AM Gerasimov has participated in all reporting exhibitions of the School. In 1911 he showed about ten works: “Bees are buzzing”, “Rye mowed”, “White night”. In 1912 – “The beaten path. Heat ”,“ Warm chernozem ”,“ Hoofs are thrown ”,“ Spring holiday ”,“ Winter road. Three”. These student works were criticized: “Gerasimov,” wrote the Moscow press of those years, “proved to be an interesting landscape painter… Others are still looking, and he has already found his way. A beautiful, original depicter of the spring landscape, he can be called a true poet of spring, a young poet wakes up. From the very beginning, AM Gerasimov declared himself an artist, following the traditions of n realistic art. “I loved life and the real in art. That’s why I liked the life of AE Arkhipov’s paints so much, ”he recalled. A. Gerasimov was attracted by such artists as A. Zorn, K. Monet. According to him, he valued sincerity, poeticism and integrity in them.
In Soviet times, he became famous as a portraitist. In 1929-1930 he wrote one of his best works – a portrait-painting “Lenin in the Tribune” imbued with heroic pathos.
Gerasimov is one of the most significant representatives of Soviet art, whose works became examples of the “official” style of the Stalin era. In the early works (1910s) tended to “light” impressionist painting in the tradition of the masters of the Union of Russian Artists, with color, etude style of writing with a wide textured stroke. From the mid-1920s he worked mainly on government orders, creating works in a strictly realistic way. They are characterized by ideological endurance, clarity of compositional construction, careful elaboration of details, “smooth” painting. He criticized formalism, defending the principles of “high ideological art.” However, in the 1930-40’s and especially in the 1950’s – early 1960’s he created landscapes and still lifes in a free picturesque manner, close to the early works.
His paintings were usually created by the brigade method, Gerasimov himself prescribed only picturesque details. Against the background of continuous party officialdom, Gerasimov took his soul in portraits of the creative intelligentsia, in book graphics, and sometimes in crude eroticism.
Gerasimov tirelessly fought against dissent in art. With his active participation in 1946 the Museum of New Western Art in Moscow was closed. Gerasimov’s disgrace in the second half of the 1950s was perceived by the public as one of the symptoms of the “thaw.”
With the beginning of the reign of NS Khrushchev Gerasimov was gradually relieved of all posts, and the artist’s paintings were removed from museum exhibits.