Vladimir Ovchinnikov

Vladimir Ovchinnikov

About the Artist

Vladimir Ovchinnikov needs no introduction. A founder of the Leningrad Nonconformist movement, his auction record at Sotheby's is one of the most impressive among contemporary art sales. Internationally acknowledged as one of the leading artists in contemporary Russian art, Ovchinnikov's paintings stand out radically due to his consistent... Read More

Vladimir Ovchinnikov

Vladimir Ovchinnikov needs no introduction. A founder of the Leningrad Nonconformist movement, his auction record at Sotheby's is one of the most impressive among contemporary art sales. Internationally acknowledged as one of the leading artists in contemporary Russian art, Ovchinnikov's paintings stand out radically due to his consistent individualistic approach to painting honed and perfected over decades.

Ovchinnikov's persistent use of golden yellow echoes the tradition of icon painting and serves to represent the Russian Orthodox Church. Thus, the viewer is reminded of the religious context of the work and encouraged to search for the hidden meanings and interpretations. In his contemplation of the unknown, Ovchinnikov frequently turns to ancient myths and scripture, further provoking the viewer and strengthening the metaphysical messages of his paintings. Substituting the characters of the chosen parable with his own cast of characters, often characters who tend toward narcissism and lasciviousness, Ovchinnikov ensures that the subjects remain alien and destructive, and in disregard of the context in which the artist has placed them. Ultimately, Ovchinnikov's paintings are an artistic interpretation of absurdity.

Ovchinikov's personal involvement organizing the 1964 Hermitage exhibition for Nonconformist artists ensured that he would be remembered as a primary representative of the movement. Even the title of the exhibition, 'Exhibition of the artist-workers of the economic part of the Hermitage: Towards the 200th Anniversary of the Hermitage,' speaks to the struggle that insubordinate Russian artists faced during the Soviet era, but the fact that the exhibition was closed down by the Soviet authorities just days after it opened makes tangible that struggle and simultaneously ensured its wide-spread recognition. Though not an officially recognized artist, Ovchinnikov's outstanding contribution to and support of other insurgent Russian artist groups ensured that his legacy would allow the younger generation of artists the opportunity to develop.

Vladimir Ovchinikov was born in 1941 in the Perm region, where his family was evacuated during the World War II. From 1945 onwards he lived and worked in Leningrad/St.Petersburg. Although Ovchinikov did not receive any classical education from state art schools and colleges, this has not prevented him from achieving national as well as international fame. At present, he is the deputy chairman of the St. Petersburg Department of the International Federation of Artists.

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2004 Mimi Ferzt Gallery, New York City, NY, USA

2003 Hay Hill Gallery, London, UK

2003 Na Obvodnom Gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia

2001 Creative Union of Artists of Russia, St. Petersburg, Russia

2000 Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia

1999 Svetlana Eberghard Gallery, Cologne, Germany

1998 Tartu Museum of Art, Estonia

1996 State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

1992 Manege Central Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia

1992 Marie-Therese Cauchin Gallery, Paris, France

1989 The Edward Nakhamkin Gallery, New York, USA

1986 Museum of Unofficial Soviet Art in Jersey City, USA

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

1995 CGER Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

1996 Self-Identification. Positions in St.Petersburg Art from 1970 until Today. Exhibited in Kiel, Berlin, Oslo, Sopot, St.Petersburg, Copenhagen

1990 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

1991 Annual exhibitions of Petersburg artists, Diagilev Art Centre, St. Petersburg

1987 Annual exhibitions of Petersburg artists in the Central Exhibition Hall 'Manege', St. Petersburg

1964 Exhibition of the artist-workers of the economic part of the Hermitage: Towards the 200th anniversary of Hermitage, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY, USA

Soviet Unofficial Art Museum, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ, USA

Rutgers Museum, New Jersey, USA

Erarta, Museum and Galleries of Contemporary Art, St. Petersburg, Russia

Diagilev Art Centre, St. Petersburg, Russia

State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

Fedor Dostoevsky Memorial Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

State Museum of City History, St. Petersburg, Russia

Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia

Art Museum of Beijing, China

Tartu Museum of Art, Estonia

AOK-Galerie, Dusseldorf, Germany

Mari-Therese Cochin Gallery, Paris, France

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Artwork

From Diary

From Diary

Gulliver

Gulliver

Ballet Scene

Ballet Scene

Game with a Ball

Game with a Ball

The Garden of Forgotten Things

The Garden of Forgotten Things

Several Biblical Themes

Several Biblical Themes