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 Aleksandr Deyneka

Born:   May 20, 1899
Deceased:   June 12, 1969

Painter, graphic artist, monumental decorative artist and sculptor.


Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Deyneka went down in history of the Soviet fine arts as the author of various paintings and drawings, frescos, mosaics, and sculptures.

He was born into the family of workers in Kursk. The boy studied in the Kharkov Art College. In 1919 — 1920 he served the Red Army and then moved to Moscow, where he graduated from VKhUTEMAS (the Higher Art and Technical Studios) in 1925 of. In the 1920s he worked as a graphic artist, his works published in the magazines “The Atheist by the Machine”, “At the Machine”, illustrated N. Aseev and A.Bartho’s verses, and Henri Barbyus’ novel On Fire. The Defense of Petrograd was the first painting by the artist. It was followed by other works: Lunch Break in Donbass (1935), Nikitka — the First Russian Flyer (1940), Future Pilots (1937), etc.
His paintings unmistakably stood out with profound ideas and great professional skills. Deyneka was fond of unexpected foreshortenings, dynamic turns, and was attracted to monumental art forms. It was not by mere chance that in 1964 Alexander Deyneka was conferred the Lenin Award for his monumental art works, namely Good Morning (1959 — 1960), Hockey Players (1959 — 1960), Milkmaid (1962) and Red Guard (1962).
Alexander Deyneka fruitfully worked on the sports subject. He was a fan of people who are powerful not only spiritually and morally but physically as well. His characters are tall young men and well-built girls radiating with health. The painting Relay on Ring B (1947), mosaic Skiers (1950), sculptures Hundred-Meter Race, Running Sportswoman and many others are a convincing proof to that.
Alexander Deyneka felt the charms of Russian landscape in a very special way. His numerous works dedicated to the Russian nature, are poetical and filled with heartfelt warmth and lyricism. However, even in landscapes he remained the master of extraordinary artistic expression and dynamism.

Alexander Deyneka was an artist of enormous gift, and passionate irrepressible temperament. His original skills and ingenious talent make a whole era in Russian visual arts. The artist kept intensively work in days of the Great Patriotic War as well. One of his best painted multifigured compositions - Defense of Sevastopol — was created in 1942.
Unfortunately, the creative biography of Alexander Deyneka had both recessions and gloomy days, though through no fault of his. He was labeled to be a formalist. For this reason his mightiest painting Defense of Petrograd was not exhibited for a long time and was kept hidden in a museum store room. In that hard period he was strongly afflicted, but did not cease to aspire and work, always remaining essentially steadfast in his artistic views.
Alexander Deyneka created his own unique art style, which become a model of art of high intensity and moral purity.

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