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EVGENY ILYIN (1904-1982). Paintings

EVGENY ILYIN (1904-1982). Paintings

29.05.2014 — 29.06.2014

In the 1920s-1940s Evgeny Ilyin painted Volga landscapes a lot. His early landscapes were filled with sonorous decorative colour strokes. Gradually, his landscapes became deeper and more developed tonally. Both of his approaches united in his work of the fifties. His love of pure colour joined the mastery of creating wide spatial compositions, and his ability to convey the moods of nature.


Evgeny Ilyin (1904-1982)

Evgeny Ilyin was born in Samara. He studied in M.I.Stepanov's art studio at Samara's People's University in 1918-1919. In 1919 he joined the army and fought in the Civil War until 1922. Between 1922 and 1925 he studied at the Workers'Faculty, evening classes for adults preparing for higher education.

In 1926 he moved to Moscow and was accepted into Vkhutemas-Vhutein where he studied until 1930. His teachers were the famous artists Aleksander Osmerkin, Konstantin Istomin, Alexander Shevchenko, and David Shterenberg. In 1930-1931 Ilyin worked as an academic secretary in fine arts at Narcompros (People's Commissariat for Education). In 1928-1932 he was a member of the Moscow branch of the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (AHRR), and a member of the Russian Association of Proletarian Artists (RAPH). In 1932 Ilyin was accepted as a member of the Moscow Union of Soviet Artists. Since 1934, Ilyin's artworks were shown at exhibitions in the USSR and abroad. His painting "Chapaev Before the Fight" was chosen to represent Soviet art at the exhibition of Soviet art in Philadelphia.

During the Great Patriotic War Ilyin went to the front as an artist-correspondent. He sketched liberated cities, portraits of soldiers, and was there with the soldiers breaking out of the encirclement in the Battle for Velikiye Luki. Ilyin's painting "Boyan" that he created in 1948 became a sort of a ballad, an anthem glorifying the victory.

In the 1950s and 1960s Ilyin worked a lot on historical canvases. He created a series of paintings devoted to V.I.Chapaev, V.I.Lenin, and N.G.Chernyshevsky.

In 1965-1968 Ilyin taught at the Graphic Arts department of the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute named after V.I. Lenin.

In the seventies, Ilyin created mainly portraits and landscapes. In 1980 he completed the major painting "Morning at the Collective Farm". The painting reveals the influence of the favourite artist of Ilyin - V.I. Surikov.

Evgeny Ilyin's solo exhibitions were held in Moscow in 1949, 1971, and 1987, and in Samara in 1972. In 1975 the artist was awarded the title "The Honoured Worker of Culture of the Russian Federation." During those later years the artist often returned to his early unfinished works, spending several years working on some of them.

Paintings by Evgeny Ilyin are part of the collection of the State Historical Museum (Moscow), the Museum of Contemporary History of Russia (Moscow), Volgograd State Museum of Defense, Smolensk State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve, the State House Museum of N.G. Chernyshevsky (Saratov), Samara Regional Nationak History Museum, V.I.Chapaev Museum (Pugachev), the Central House of Aviation and Astronautics of M.V.Frunze (Moscow), and ROSIZO (Moscow). A large part of the heritage is represented in galleries and private collections in Russia, Austria, Spain, Italy, France, Turkey, and Japan.

MAY 29 - JUNE 29, 2014

EVGENY ILYIN (1904-1982). Paintings

Evgeny Ilyin's biography is somewhat typical for an artist of the socialist realism tradition.

There is a wonderful series of Volga landscapes from 1923-1924 shown at the exhibition. His early landscapes are filled with decorative color strokes.

Gradually, his landscapes developed tonally and became deeper in expression. One of the best works of the master is a still life he created in 1938 with a reproduction of Serov's "Girl with Peaches" in it.

A clear reference to the traditions of Viktor Vasnetsov can be seen in the "Portrait of a Fisherman" of 1946 and in the monumental canvas "Boyan" (1948).

The fifties were very productive for the artist. Thematic painting remained his main genre, while he also created landscapes, portraits and still-lives. His love for pure color is coupled in his works with masterful construction of wide spatial compositions and his ability to convey the moods of nature. One of the best works of the period is the landscape "Khosta", created in 1952. A wide range of rich blue, green and golden ocher tones reminds of the connection of the Russian impressionism with the European artistic tradition.

Like with many artists of the era of socialist realism, the most interesting works we discover over time are not the ideologically "correct" paintings created by the official request, but the less obvious ones made for the artist's own pleasure. They are the true gems really letting into the world of the artist.

Join us for the Opening of the exhibition on Thursday, May 29 at 6.30 pm