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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Daily LIFT #922

"Karl Marx", and "Vladimir Lenin", oil on paper portraits, Aleksei Alekseevich Shovkunenko, USSR -- Daily LIFT #922

From the Great Soviet Encyclopedia 1979:

Born Mar. 9 (21), 1884, in Kherson; died Mar. 12,1974, in Kiev. Soviet painter. People’s Artist of the USSR (1944). Member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1947).

Shovkunenko studied at the Odessa Art School from 1901 to 1908 under K. K. Kostandi and at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts from 1909 to 1917. He worked in watercolors. Shovkunenko produced psychologically probing portraits of B. I. Iakovlev (1944), S. A. Kovpak (1945), M. I. Litvinenko-Vol’gemut (1947), and M. G. Lysenko (1947)—all at the Museum of Ukrainian Fine Arts of the Ukrainian SSR in Kiev. His works also include industrial landscapes, for example, the series The Dneprostroi Construction Project (1930–32, Museum of Ukrainian Fine Arts) and colorful landscapes of the Ukraine and Moldavia, notably Spring (1955, Odessa Art Museum).

Shovkunenko also taught painting, becoming a professor at the Kiev Art Institute in 1935. His pupils included A. M. Lopukhov and V. G. Puzyr’kov. A recipient of the T. G. Shevchenko State Prize of the Ukrainian SSR in 1970, he was also awarded the Order of Lenin, three other orders, and several medals.

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