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Evgeny Chubarov (1934- 2012)

 

A painter, sculptor, draughtsman and graphic artist, Evgeny Chubarov is one of the most mysterious artists of his day. His passion for painting arose in childhood, partially due to the influence of his father. In his youth, Chubarov desired a prestigious profession, honing his drafting skills while studying to become an engraver at vocational school. After graduation, he was conscripted in the military and stationed with the Baltic Fleet.

In 1950’s-1960’s ~ In the late 1950’s, Chubarov worked at the restoration studio of the sculptor Dmitry Tsaplina. In 1961, he married Lyudmila Gukovich, a pediatrician. During these years, while continuing his painting, Chubarov realized a passion for creating wooden sculpture. He garnered the material he needed thanks to useful contacts with an engineer from a local brick factory. According to his wife's memoirs, the works were life-size portraits that resembled photos of the victims of Auschwitz. The paintings and graphics of the 60s show Chubarov's interest in Eros, both physical and psychological forms of "life energy," and instinctive impulses of Characterized Figuration.

In 1970’s-1980’s ~ Chubarov moved from simple compositions towards a new interpretation of the relationship between painting and the body, erasing the border between the figurative and the body. The artist worked on his famous series of powerful multi-figure ink compositions, filling each canvas or work on paper with more faces and bodies that were rarely bound by a common storyline. In 1986, Chubarov was admitted to the Union of Artists. In 1988 he transferred from the original expressive figuration to complete abstraction. It is his large, powerful and energetic abstract compositions that brought fame to Evgeny Chubarov in the international market.

Chubarov considered himself an heir of the Russian “archaic” culture, drawing a parallel between his technique and the ideas of Malevich's “Black Square,” and the contradiction between the archaic and the modern. His abstract compositions are always borderline states of duality, Yin and Yang, conflict and harmony. This is the theme of death and birth, where the image of human flesh is intertwined in a dynamic equilibrium with the objects of unknown internal space, opening new laws for the viewer – the anatomy of the world and the human body as the basis of the energy field inside it.

Years abroad ~ Chubarov traveled to Berlin and New York, where his style underwent its last transformation. Chubarov moved successfully from impressionism to pure abstraction.

He was awarded the Jackson Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant and participated in exhibitions on equal footing with the greatest artists of the last half of the twentieth century. Chubarov embodied in his paintings the idea of a new era’s philosophy, visually identifying energy of the world around him, and transforming abstract symbols into images of a reflection of conceptual art energy. In 1989-1996 the artist collaborated with the German gallery Tatuits. In those years in Berlin, he created a monumental series of abstract compositions, using the signs of the ancient culture of Bashkortostan and early Buddhism. “My abstraction reveals his own drama, here is abstraction in its pure form…”

In the 1990’s ~ Chubarov in his creative work predicted the rebirth of habitual gestural abstraction in a new intellectual form, with its unique found language and drama, where the image and the concept of its implementation become an integral whole. Ribbon-like signs on his works – like motion vectors of energy waves, the final touches of Russian avant-garde, the art of which is based paradoxically on tradition. Internal dialogue and vivid expression, contrast of colors and strict discipline of technique – the properties inherent to Chubarov's works at all stages of his art – an invaluable contribution to the development of Soviet era art making him a phenomenon of modernism. Chubarov created paintings to be seen, in contemplation both intimately and from afar.

Working in his unique style, along with the iconic representatives of the Soviet art – Ilya Kabakov, Andrey Monastyrsky and Erik Bulatov, Chubarov embodied in his paintings the idea of a new era’s philosophy, visually identifying energy of the world around him, and transforming abstract symbols into images of reflection displaced in the conceptual art energy.

Exhibitions ~ Chubarov's works were exhibited throughout Europe, The United States, and Russia. At group exhibitions, Chubarov's works were displayed together with the paintings of classic artists of the twentieth century—Mel Bochner, Frank Stella, Sol LeWitt, Damien Hirst, Peter Halley and Stephan Balkenhol.

The works of Evgeny Chubarov are in the permanent collections of: The Pushkin State Museum (Moscow), the National Centre for Modern Art (Moscow), the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), the Museum of Modern Art (Moscow), the Rutgers University Museum (New Jersey).

E. Chubarov, Sketch of "Self-portrait in the train"

E.Chubanov - It was war - Oil on Canvas - 41,73'' x 52,76''

On the reverse side of the canvas: "It was a war of 1943, village Bobino where we lived… my mother and 4 children. Famine, I was working. E. Chubarov, February 11, 1970, Mutishi"

E. Chubarov - Self-portrait in the train (February 22, 1970) - Oil on canvas - 52,76'' x 56,3''

On the reverse side of the canvas: "February 22, 1970. E. Chubarov. Self-portrait in the train"

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