(urth) (no subject)
bob_bageera at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 5 07:03:42 PDT 2006
Hmm. Perhaps y'all knew he was historical, but I confess my own
ignorance--absolute and complete.
Nicolai Ivanovich Fechin (1881-1955) was born in Kazan, a city on the Volga
River rich with mingled Russian and Mongol cultures, and his artistic talent
was recognized early in life. By the age of 11, he was drawing designs that
his father used in the construction of altars and he enrolled in the Kazan
School of Art at the age of 13. After training at Kazan, Fechin entered the
Imperial Academy Petrograd (St. Petersburg) in 1900. There, he was
profoundly influenced by the psychologically penetrating portraits of his
teacher, Ilya Repin (1844-1930), Russia's preeminent realist painter.
Another major influence was Malavin, a prior instructor at the Academy who
was known for "his wide, nervous brushstroke." In 1909, after graduation
with high honours from the academy, Fechin received the Prix de Rome
scholarship that enabled him to travel to Rome, Vienna, and Paris. One of
Fechin's submissions to the 1910 International Exhibition in Munich was
awarded a gold medal and, in the same year, the artist was invited to send
paintings to the annual International Exhibition held at the Carnegie
Institute in Pittsburgh.
He then returned to Kazan where he taught for ten years and married the
daughter of the director in 1913. During the Bolshevik Revolution many of
his students achieved posts in the new government that allowed them to offer
a degree of protection to Fechin and his wife, Alexandra, and daughter, Eya.
He was well known outside of Russia from canvases sent to Western
exhibitions, and with the assistance of many American friends and patrons,
he emigrated to New York in 1923. His work was immediately accepted and
awarded in the US. In 1927, he moved to Taos, New Mexico for health reasons
where he was soon immersed in designing and decoratively carving his new
house and in using bold colours to capture the Pueblo life around him. He
returned to New York with daughter Eya after his 1933 divorce, but moved to
Southern California in the late '40s. From his California base, he travelled
extensively through the SW, Mexico, Japan and the Pacific where he found
inspiration for his work. Fechin taught small groups in his Santa Monica
studio and it was here that John Coleman Burroughs became a favourite and
devoted student. They went on many painting expeditions through the SW and
Mexico and participated in many art shows in these areas. Their shared love
of the indigenous cultures they saw in these travels inspired their art, and
the combination of that love and their use of powerful brushstrokes made for
memorable canvases. Nicolai Fechin died in Santa Monica in 1955.
Dont just search. Find. Check out the new MSN Search!
More information about the Urth