Exhibit: Moissei Liangleben
What a joy
one of the most important exhibitions
the Palette and Chisel
has had in recent years.
Not just because the painting is good,
but also because it's a window
into a Russian artworld
that is almost completely unfamiliar
to all of us
(unless we were born behind the iron curtain)
The only Russian artists
found in American museums
are the avant garde - Kandinsky etc.
But there's a whole other world out there
of post-Impressionist Russian painting,
largely inspired by Cezanne,
and cultivated by the elite members
of the Soviet Artists Union.
Here's the text
that Moissei tacked to the gallery wall
to accompany his exhibition:
I am glad to have an opportunity to exhibit my artwork in this beautiful facility. This exhibition represents my earlier work as well as my recent painting and drawing, done almost entirely at the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts. After my graduation from the top Russian art university in 1952 I’ye participated in numerous art events and countless exhibitions all around the world.
During my long professional career, I enjoyed working in a wide variety of art techniques, ranging from oil painting, acrylic, and pencil drawings to such media as tempera, watercolor, pastel as well as lithography, etching and linoprint. The focal point of my art is personality. The human face and body have always been an endless source of creative Inspiration. In the past few years, I have spent lots of my time working with nudes. For me, it’s a great chance to show my sense of brightness and beauty of a model’s appearance. I truly enjoy this work and I’m happy to share my vision with you.
Welcome and enjoy’.
About the Artist:
Born In 1925 in Betorussia,
enrolled in the Surikov State institute of Art In Moscow,
after serving in the Red Army from 1943 to 1945.
While at the institute he studied under the tutelage of artists
like Sergei Gerasimov, Piotr Pokarzhevsky, Vera Favorsky, and Georgy Riazhsky, before graduating in 1952.
He participated in over 100 exhibitIons between 1951 and 1991.
Since 1991, Moissei has been living in Chicago and continues to create and exhibit new artwork at several local colleges and the City of Chicago Renaissance Court.
He has been an active member of the Palette and Chisel Academy since 1998.
Recent exhibitions include:
1993 3rd Annual Members Show of Senior Citizen’s Art Network, Chicago
1994 Later Impressions 1994 Art Network, Chicago
1994 Solo Exhibition In Riverfront Art Gallery, Chicago
1994 - October-November SCAN Fourth Annual Members show
1994 - Art exhibition at Truman College —1 place
1995 - Art exhibition at Truman College —1 g place
1995 - Russian Art Festival
1995 - Art Exhibition at HERITAGE Society
1998- Portrait Artists’ Show at the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts
1999- Palette and Chisel Annual Holiday Art Auction
1999- “Figuratively Speaking” Exhibition at the American Academy of Art
2000” Solo Exhibition at the Renaissance Court, Chicago Cultural Center
2000—2009. Regular shows at the Palette and Chisel Academy
2005 - Group show at the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts
The State Tzetlakov Gallery, Moscow
The State Russian Museum. St. Petersburg
The State Literary Museum, Moscow
The Historical Museum. Moscow
The State Theater Museum. Moscow
The Akhmatova Museum. St Petersburg
The Sverdlovsk Picture Gallery
The Perm Picture Gallery
The Magnitogorsk Picture Gallery
The Orlov Picture Gallery
The Kostroma Museum
The Norlisk Picture Gallery
The Novgorod Museum
The Cheliabinsk Picture Gallery
The Tiumen Museum of Fine Art
The Museum of Shusha (Azerbajan)
The Museum of the Bolshoi Theater
The Moscow City Museum of Fine Art
The Palette and Chisel Collection
One of Moissei's specialities
was portraiture of the intelligentsia,
and one of his most famous subjects
was the poet Anna Akhmatova
shown above in a life sketch
that he brought to the exhibit
(but had no space to hang on the wall)
Moissei was the last artist
to draw her likeness
Modigliani , her lover,
was the first artist to draw her.
By happy coincidence,
another P&C member,
whose father was also in the Soviet Artists Union,
was viewing the show
at the same time I was,
and he was able to translate
the conversation he was having
with the older Moissei.
And so I learned
that this is the painting
of which Moissei
was most proud,
because of its integration
of figure and ground
to create a kind of atmosphere.
Moissei also related
how making these paintings
was such hard work for him
he broke into a sweat
this one is my favorite,
although Moissei complained
that the model
had just gotten a nose job
that ruined it
as far as he was concerned.
that Moissei discussed
were the periodic revivals of academic painting
I think he considered
a recurring plague of locusts
as it taught painters
to imitate the smooth qualities
of a photograph.
self portrait, age 20
Moissei spent the war
as a soldier working in a chemical weapons factory.
This portrait was done right after
he was demobilized.
He's still wearing his military issue shirt,
but he has torn the markings of rank
off his shoulders.
60 years later
******** and here's the whole story in Russian *********