Erarta presents an exhibition of paintings by Vladimir Ovchinnikov — one of the most famous artists of "underground art" in Leningrad of the 1960s – 1980s
Becoming of Vladimir Ovchinnikov as an artist was happening in the 1960s, when a circle of free artists began to form in Leningrad and Moscow, which later would be called nonconformists. Like many creative people of that time, Ovchinnikov fundamentally did not want to receive artistic education in the Soviet ideological institutions of higher education, preferring to self-education. In March 1964, Vladimir Ovchinnikov with Mikhail Shemyakin, and other young artists organized an exhibition of their works in the State Hermitage in the Rastrelli gallery, which lasted only two days, than it was closed. Already by the mid-1970s, Ovchinnikov was one of the most active participants in the movement of non-conformists, his works began to attract foreign collectors. Since the mid-1980s numerous Ovchinnikov’s exhibitions were held in the United States, France, Germany, China and other countries.
Painting of Vladimir Ovchinnikov is always figurative; a plot plays a great role in it. In the works of the 1970s there are a lot of Leningrad’s countryside everyday life scenes, in which the biblical and mythological characters are quietly introduced. In later works, the artist turns more to literature of the 20th century, developing the theme of absurdity as the timeless essence of our reality. Dmitry Ozerkov, the manager of the project "The Hermitage. 20/21" writes that "the unique creative style allows you to recognize the work of Vladimir Ovchinnikov in any environment. It is not only the motives, which are repeated from picture to picture: the angels, centaurs, chess figures. We can recognize it as if a very picturesque “body” of paintings: constant diagonal composition, constant ocher and brown shades in the palette, the famous isolation of corpulent figures from each other. Any his picture is as if internally voluminous, all shapes, objects, interiors are filled with personal power, and therefore it does not mix with each other."
Vladimir Ovchinnikov was born in 1941 in Pike Lake Station in Perm region, in 1945 with his family returned in Leningrad from evacuation. In 1962-1963 he worked at the Kirov Theater, in 1963-1964 in the State Hermitage Museum. In 1970-1971 he organized one of the first exhibitions of Leningrad underground artists in his own studio. Since 1986 the artist's solo exhibitions were held at the Museum of Soviet underground art in Jersey City (1986), Hermitage (1996), Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow (2000), Gallery "Hay Hill" in London (2003), a gallery of "Mimi Fertst" in New York (2004). Vladimir Ovchinnikov was awarded the title "Honored Artist of Russia" and was awarded the Silver Medal of the Russian Academy of Arts. Works of Vladimir Ovchinnikov are in collections of major museums in Russia and other countries — The State Hermitage Museum, The State Tretyakov Gallery, Russian Museum, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Zimmerly, Museum of Fine Arts in Beijing.