The art of Yuri Pimenov, People's Artist of the USSR
On the anniversary of his birth (November 26, 1903) we revisit Pimenov's work through 50 of his best pieces.
Yuri Pimenov, one of the great artists of the Soviet Union, was born November 26, 1903. Over the course of his remarkable career he captured many aspects of Soviet life. In 1972 Aurora, the Soviet art publishing house, issued a retrospective of his work that included many of his best pieces from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Pimenov tackled varied themes and his work included forays into movie and stage posters as well as theater set design. But to me where he truly shines are in his streetscapes, his portraits of people -- often at work or in the city -- and in his sometimes unnerving, atmospheric stills.
Among the 50 pieces here 1937's New Moscow is considered one of his masterworks with its sense of vibrancy, energy and transformation. Tyre Tracks (1944) is a haunting winter scene during the war. Pouring Rain (1967) and Kaliningrad - Rain (1968) are two of his works that include rain, a backdrop which he greatly enjoyed using. The Beginning of Love (1960) is a very romantic take on a daily transit commute while another portrayal of a couple, The Argument (1968) reminds a bit of Rockwell.
"Marusia, lunch time" (1951-56) marvelously captures women construction workers, while Wedding on Tomorrow's Street (1962) is a favourite of mine as a wedding party is finely decked out in total contrast to their surroundings, a new housing district under construction. This type of contrast is seen again in Trendsetters of the New District (1961) and Roads (1969).
The Call of the Road (1959) captures that feeling that comes when on the verge of a new journey, while Waiting (1959) is stunning with its uncradled phone leaving one uneasily wondering just what is going on on yet another rainy -- and in this case seemingly bleak -- day.
Pimenov won many of the Soviet Union's highest artist's honours. He died in 1977.
“I love to paint rain. This world can be a very beautiful, if a person is currently set at the beauty. If a person has bad at heart, if he is disappointed and sad, rain will put into him melancholy. Urban rain is full of different images and moods. It brings to the artist no less richness of sensations and feelings than the field, covered with gray veil of autumn, than the sparkling drops on pine branches, and the sun through the steamy air of wet forests. On the theme of rain in the city are created a lot of variations in art, and, of course, will be done very much in painting and poetry, and film. In fact, every day we are in a volatile nature, and only absolutely apathetic people are completely...indifferent to it” - Yuri Pimenov
Boule de suif, Film Poster, 1934
Golden Nude, 1932
Woman in a Hammock, 1934
Rose Nude, 1932
Still-life with Straw Hat, 1936
Figure Study with a Pitcher, 1932
Portrait of Zinaida Reich, 1934
Still-life with Telephone, 1934
Portrait of Varia Shitakova, 1935
The Art of Intrigue, Playbill, 1935
The Wedding, Film Poster, 1935
Peter, Film Poster, 1935
Portrait of Lydia Eremina, 1935
New Moscow, 1937
Railway Station in Autumn, 1945
Tyre Tracks, 1944
Still-life with Orange, 1944
Tania Komarova, 1944
The Flower Seller, 1944
Drop-curtain design for the opera Pagliacci, 1957
Composition on the theme of the opera Pagliacci, 1968-69
Drop-curtain for the play La dame aux camelias, 1946
The Ball at Olympia's, Scene design for the fourth act of
La dame aux camelias, 1946
Composition on the theme of the play
La dame aux camelias, 1968-69
Strawberries and Cream, 1956
Pouring Rain, 1967
Paris, Ruse Saint-Dominique, 1958
The Call of the Road, 1959
Venice, The Straw Hat Shop, 1958
Venice, Washday, 1958
Venice, The Lonely Flower Seller, 1958
The Argument, 1968
Kaliningrad, Rain, 1968
Things Old and New, 1967
Lunchtime at the Spa, 1961
The Beginning of Love, 1960
A Pane of Glass, 1966
"Marusia, lunch time!" 1951-56
Between Work and the Theatre, 1960
Working Clothes, 1967
Trendsetters of the New District, 1961
Epona, Goddess of Horses, 1965-66
Wedding on Tomorrow's Street, 1962
Portrait of Tatyana Samoylova in the Role of Anna Karenina, 1966