Press and Others_2. From Sverdlovsk to Monte Carlo 




The European MagAZine,
21-27 SEPTEMBER 1995

From Sverdlovsk to Monte Carlo
Anne-Elisatseth Moutet

>>>>>AT 47, the painter Gueorgui Chichkine has had a busy 21-year career in Russia. His work began to be shown regularly a quarter-century ago in Sverd-lovsk (now Yekaterinburg once more), his native town as well that of Boris Yeltsin, the local CP boss, whom Chichkine never met.
>>>>>Two group exhibitions, one in Bulgaria, another in Ham-burg and Dusseldorf, landed him a Parisian gallery, ADS, on the posh Boulevard Pereire, last year.
>>>>>Since then, like many paint-ers before him, Chichkine has discovered the Mediterranean, and recently held a successful exhibition at the Hotel Maj-estic in Cannes of works parity painted at nearby Vallauris.
>>>>>Chichkine is a slight, unas-suming, youngish-looking man who rather incongruously sports a tiny, straggly ponytail bound by a ribbon. It is the most conventionally "artistic'' feature about him: for the rest, his dark-blue velvet smoking jacket, quiet tie and dark trousers make him look like several of the Russian diplo-mats seen at the private view to his current exhibition at the Russian embassy in Paris.
>>>>>The son of a noted violinist and of an opera set decorator, Chichkine remembers that he spent most of his formative years with his grandmother who was equally artistic and invited arty types to the house. His father left their home town several times to work with other orchestras, and the boy and his mother stayed behind. Chichkine hasn''t met his father since he was 14.
>>>>>Young Gueorgui studied music and the violin, but from the age of six he was happiest when painting. He studied fine art and architecture at Sverdlovsk university and had his first student show in 1974.
>>>>>"Because I didn''t belong to any group, to any mode, I found it sometimes hard to express what my painting is about," he said diffidently. "I was not a socialist realist, but no full-blast surrealist either. I just had my own style."
>>>>>After a course at the Stroganof Applied Arts Institute in Moscow, Chichkine joined the Union of Painters in 1985.
>>>>>Innokenti Smoktounovsky, in his youth an unforgettable Hamlet on the Moscow stage, is priced at Ffr50,000 ($9,750), a snip for a work of such quality.
Anne-Elisabeth Moutet


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