Vladimir Sakhnenko was born in 1930 in the Sumy region of Ukraine. He studied at an art school in Voroshilovograd and then at the Surikov Academic Institute in Moscow. Sakhnenko started professionally as a painter who worked in a traditional vein of the Russian school of painting. He eventually became fascinated by ceramics and devoted the rest of his professional life to this art form. In this media, Sakhnenko succeeded to make everything from the finest ladles and wine bowls to large composite sculptures. Sakhnenko was unbelievably productive in his creative work. The artist was absolutely devoid of snobbery which explains why it is impossible to divide his oeuvre into applied and fine art.
His clay vases and amphorae, fantastic fishes, frogs, crocodiles and monumental reliefs that feature birds on trees and fantastical creatures all form the world of bright and decorative artifacts, an entire culture of ceramics. Abstract patterns and figurative compositions embellish his works and point to many associations from the history of folk and contemporary art. However, Sakhnenko did not try to stylize the established style; he embodied his individual artistic and plastic view of the world. This becomes clearly obvious when one looks at his black and white abstract canvases of the late 1970s. These works show how the artist’s process aimed to shape forms out of abstraction and also to explore flat surfaces before focusing on dimensions.
In the early 1980s, Vladimir Sakhnenko created numerous pastose and bright painting pieces including portraits, still lives and narrative pictures. Compositions of these paintings are constructed of chromatic geometrical figures. They reveal decorative thinking of the ceramist Sakhnenko, as well as the painter’s monumental method that creates magnificent, archetypical images on the basis of generalized and stylized drawing.
Vladimir Sakhnenko passed away in June 2008 leaving behind a rich body of artwork. Many of his works still adorn public buildings in Moscow, Tula, Yalta and Samarkand. Erarta is the holder of the most representative collection of Sakhnenko’s ceramics.