Young Russian Artists
by Ross Hunter, The English School of Science, Lefortovo, Moscow
In recent issues, RK has looked at a series of great classic Russian artists of a century ago, and will continue to offer a history of Russian Art in the C20th. But what about the present? With such a rich heritage across all the arts, it is no surprise that the contemporary art scene is thriving and buzzing. Here, we offer the first of a series of picture-essays celebrating the work of a selection of vibrant and interesting artists, all Russian, mostly based in Moscow. If you are or know of another, get in touch and we will feature her or him in a later edition (please write to Ross on: email@example.com). Editor
Moscow; graphics – book illustration – pastels – interior wall paintings
Ekaterina’s work covers an eclectic, but linked, variety of styles and media, all instantly eye catching and appealing; but mostly blessed with layers of meaning and symbolism that make for rewarding long term study. She works in pen and ink, with pastels and mixed media, and at scales that range from intimate compact book illustrations, through small paintings up to full mural displays.
Her work reflects and expands upon her personal upbringing and professional skills. As well as enjoying creating art, both spontaneous and commissioned, she is a qualified architect, with her own expanding practice. The discipline and sense and importance of space are evident in many of her larger works.
Born and schooled in Yaroslavl, Ekaterina has a keen sense of her cultural origins, both The Golden Ring and now while putting roots down here in the Capital. While still at school, she took extra classes in her own time to develop artistic skills that could not be achieved in a school day. Her phenomenal work rate and diligence are driven by her breath of interests and passion for her craft. As well as commissions and selling work, Ekaterina is actively involved in charity work, and donates pieces each year for auction, at the Moscow Irish Club’s St Patrick’s Day Ball.
Much of her work is rooted in Russia’s evolving culture, both the mythological and documented history, and even more in people’s experiences of these remarkable times.
However, other pieces have a dreamlike, ethereal quality, where imagination and emotion express themselves on the page. Some of her commissions have been from departing expatriate business executives, who gave her free reign to capture the essence of Moscow’s urban fabric and life, as keepsakes of their time here. Her architectural background has given her a fine control over line, and she can capture form and motion with the minimum of ink and without distraction. She has illustrated some eight books, most recognisably the works of Victor Pelevin, the esteemed Russian novelist: fittingly, his ethereal and nearly transcendental writings suit Ekaterina’s illustrative style perfectly. Her illustrations for writer Victor Petrov stimulated him to say of her: “These are very contemporary graphics – outstanding, bright, vital, tight and with unique perspective”. Across the range of Ekaterina’s works, I am reminded variously of Chagall, Escher, Picasso, Hans Erni and more. What can you see? Here is a small selection of her works with notes. More at www.Draw-Kat.com