In Love with Classical Art: Painting of V. G. Veisberg in the Tradition of Colourism
Elena Khlopina

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    In Love with Classical Art: Painting of V. G. Veisberg in the Tradition of Colourism
    In Love with Classical Art: Painting of V. G. Veisberg in the Tradition of Colourism

For the first time in the history of Russian art studies, the creative work of this modern artist is being examined in the context of European traditions. The goal of such a labor consists in formulating the elementary frames of reference through which to judge his painterly accomplishments against those of his Colorist forerunners, comparing them in terms of closeness of their abilities and the exercises in figural expression which they realized in their painted work.

Veisberg referred to himself as being in love with classical art. He was interested in his own niche not in modernity, but in the museum. The museum format was far more organic for his paintings because they were based upon comparison of paintings one with another. His interest in “the purity of the experiment” in painted work and the interrelationship between painting and drawing, which complement one another, along with his self-contemplative nature— all these bring Veisberg closer to the Colorists of former eras than to his contemporaries or even to twentieth-century artists.

A presentation of the publication was held on 11 June 2009 at the Museum of Personal collections as part of the memorial evening for V. G. Veisberg (1924-1985).

The author of the book, fine art expert and Candidate of Sciences E. Y. Khlopina, has attempted as fully as possible to present both the painting and graphical legacies of the artist, to retrace his path as an artist, and to analyze the sources and morphogenetic qualities of his artwork: “For us it was important to demonstrate his connection more so to the painterly tradition of the prior century, the so-called “classical” painting tradition, than to his contemporaries. Such an approach corresponds with the self-perception of Vladimir Veisberg himself who, when thinking of the group exhibitions he took part in, always said: “The only thing I share in common with my contemporaries is the wall.”

The text of the book is presented in Russian, with an afterword in English.

The work is divided into three main sections:

- A chapter on the Colorist tradition within the history of worldwide painting from the fifteenth thru middle-twentieth centuries, as exemplified by the creative work both of individual masters and of painting schools;

- A chapter on Ilya Mashkov’s creative work as the closest forerunner to Veisberg, in which several of the artist’s works are studied and published for the first time;

- The main portion, a substantial monograph on Vladimir Veisberg’s creative work, which contains the fullest collection of reproductions of his paintings and graphic art and a catalogue raisonné of his works.

The book also includes Vladimir Veisberg’s table of “Classification of fundamental types of realization abilities and materials in the spatial sciences.”

At the present time, “In Love with Classical Art” is the only monograph study of Vladimir Veisberg’s art.