Vladimir Ovchinnikov’s fame precedes the need for an introduction, which is shown though his record with Sotheby’s, which was one of the most impressive among contemporary art sales. Internationally acknowledged as one of the leading artists in contemporary Russian art, it is simply a privilege to be able to include his works within our exhibition. His masterpieces stand out radically from all other included artists due to his consistent individualistic approach when it comes to exploring his own artistic talent.
The most evident nature of his works is his persistent use of gold, which is highly unusual for a contemporary Russian artist. This inclusion of gold echoes traditional iconography, which serves to represent the Russian Orthodox Church; consequently ensuring that the mind of the viewer wonders to the hidden message within.
In relation to the subject of contemplation of the unknown, Ovchinnikov also frequently turns to ancient myths and scriptural topics, provoking viewers to interpret his works as mythological messages. Simultaneously, he substitutes the characters of the chosen parable with his own personages – excessively carnival and narcissist in character. The personage does not correspond to any kind of advisability – neither mythological, nor realistic. The subject personage remains alien and destructive, disregarding the context in which the artist places him. His paintings give us a fine example of the artistic interpretation of absurdity.
In terms of personal biography, 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 has not received any classical education from state art schools and colleges this has not prevented the artist from achieving national as well as international fame. At present, he is a member and 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:
1996 Self-Identification: Positions in St.Petersburg Art from 1970 until Today.
Traveling Exhibition: Kiel, Berlin, Oslo, Sopot, St. Petersburg, and
1995 CGER Gallery, Brussels, Belgium.
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,
‘Menage’, St. Petersburg.
1964 Exhibition of the artist-workers of the economic part of the Hermitage:
Towards the 200th anniversary of Hermitage, Hermitage Museum, St.
Selected Private and Public 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, the 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.