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The exhibition of works of Vladimir and Andrey Vetrogonskys. Graphics, painting

The exhibition of works of two artists – the father and son Vetrogonskys – opens on 7 October 2009 at 3:00 p.m. in Gala halls of the Museum of the Academy of arts.

The senior Vladimir Alexandrovich Vetrogonsky (1923-2002) was the full member of the Russian Academy of Arts, the People's Artist of RSFSR, a teacher, a graduate of the Repin Institute of painting, sculpture and architecture of the Russian Academy of Arts, the pupil of outstanding graphic artists A. F. Pakhomov, K. I. Rudakov, V. M. Konashevich. The artist belonged to the generation of the soviet realistic artists, who created their most distinguished works in the second half of the 20th century. His biography is similar to the biography of his peers. Vetrogonsky had to starve for a few months in a besieged city and then go to war and experience all the hardships of World War II. After demobilization he wrote in his diary that he “had the feeling as if he was born again … We were full of excitement about life, and no difficulties could break us down now". This attitude determined his creative work. After graduating from the institute, Vetrogonsky came across the theme that he developed for almost twenty years – the post-war revival of the country. Once very well known works of the artist, such as "Factory workdays” (1952-1957), “Miners” (1958-1960), which are full of optimism and hope for the future, are displayed at the exhibition. In the sixties and seventies the works by Vetrogonsky retain fresh and up-to-date spirit. For example, represented at the exhibition pieces from the extensive cycle “Across the native North-West”. A significant place in the exposition is occupied by skillful watercolors, which have always been considerably less known, than his topical works. Vetrogonsky created very peculiar landscapes-short stories, sounding almost like music – so much feeling of authentic amazement did he put into them, when depicting morning mist, the sunset, an incoming wave, an old village. 21st century is approaching the evaluation of the artistic heritage of the past century. The works of Vladimir Vetrogonsky will also be evaluated from today’s point of view. No matter how the aesthetic values change, the liveliness and sincerity of feelings that the artist put into his works will attract a new viewer, just in the same way as they attracted many of his contemporaries.

Andrey Vetrogonsky is the youngest of Vladimir Vetrogonsky’s three sons. He started to paint early, the he went to Ioganson Secondary School of Arts, and then the Repin Institute of painting, sculpture and architecture of the Russian Academy of Arts. In 1981 he graduated from the faculty of graphic arts. His father was his teacher, who used to say about Andrey: “the son is mine, but the brain is his own”. The son has not repeated the way of his father. He could not be satisfied with tradition. Andrey Vetrogonsky early found the topics of interest for himself. He defines his preferences by a poetic line of Alexander Dolsky: “… what one is long used to …”, which became the epigraph of his artistic work. He is used to modest north-western nature, countryside, Petersburg. Landscapes, represented at the exhibition, display some allegorical elements, are decorative and exquisite in color, have unique feeling about them. They include such pictures as “Landscape with goats” (2002), "Going home" (2004), “Village” (2008). His compositions very often have distinctive signs of some village life episode. And in this case it is difficult to say, whether it’s a genre painting or a landscape including a narrative. The names of the works are also of interest, helping the viewer to understand the author's message. The exhibition includes a cycle of pictures talking about personal relationship (“No name” (2004), “Senseless conversation. 25 minutes past one” (2008), “Thunderstorm” (2008) and others. Andrey Vetrogonsky likes painting still life as well. He includes in his compositions clay and glass objects, exotic fruit, vegetable (“Still life-98” (1998), “A still life with a cup from Valoris” (2005), “Garlic” (2007)). He also paints cityscapes, mainly those of St Petersburg – the same places in different seasons, especially during white nights. Andrey Vetrogonsky’s art is not intended for large audiences. His art is not related to wide-scale social issues, but rather to the life of every person. He sees beauty in the richness of everyday world, where everything has its value: the workings of the human heart, the state of nature, the rhythm of the city. This is the fascination and value of his work.

                  The exhibition will be open until 25 October 2009.


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