The Art of Russia


With the various restrictions that have been put in place for fairly lengthy periods of time on the types of artwork that could be created in Russia, many of the the artists from this country are largely unknown outside of it. The De facto restrictions were not raised in Russia until the 1980′s and the more free expression of content is a fairly recent addition to the artists of that region of the world. Icon painting, classical and Russian avant-garde are the most common styles.

Icon paintings are often painted on wood and small in size. They are commonly seen within churches and religious homes in Russia and there is much symbolism that surrounds these works. They were made to help people with their prayers without idolizing the figure in the work. The icons are usually used to separate the nave from the sanctuary areas in Russian churches.

As the culture within the country has expanded and become more diverse, there have been more styles used when painting the icons. Along with the traditional style, there have been more influences from Western European realism that has created a stylized mixture of form as well.

Classical painting involved numerous portraits and groups of people. Mythological and Biblical themes were commonly a subject that was incorporated in the works. They often employed more traditional mediums and backgrounds that were more widely recognizable to other artists and it helped bring more awareness and build an international role for Russian artists and the art of Russia. Realist paintings became more predominant in the 1800′s.

Landscapes and social criticisms became a focus of these works. Views of living conditions and feelings toward authority figures were expressed in the styles of these works of critical realism. The landscapes often featured wide rivers, forests and clearings. In addition to these, moments from Russian history were also depicted, and as this style continued to develop the more unique Russian avant-garde works began to be seen more consistently.

Russian avant-garde is the modernist wave of art that circulated through the region and lasted until about 1930. Though it is often all lumped together, this style actually includes many varieties of works that included the neo-primitivism, suprematism, constructivism, rayonism and futurism styles. All of these different techniques flourished during a similar time frame and have been lumped together as part of the same artistic movement. As conflicts arose during the early and mid 1900′s, many Russian artists emigrated to Europe in order to continue their work. This has helped improve the awareness of their art and spread the impact of their artistic styles globally.

Alexei Butirskiy was born in Russian in 1974 and completed art college within Moscow. Butirskiy participated in many exhibitions, but gained further acclaim when his work was featured in London as part of the Post-Impressionism auctions. The recognition of Butirskiy has grown and he has participated in many art events in Europe, Russia and the United States. His most recent works have focused on depicting urban life with a stark realism that is not meant to romanticize the views.

Butirskiy uses light and dark effectively within his works and has a talent for architecture that highlights his natural skill. He is ranked among the top artists in Russia and is continuing to grow in popularity with exhibitions in France, England, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, the United States and Austria. The use of light and dark that Butirskiy employs gives a sense of tranquility amongst the contrasts of his art.

With the growing popularity and influence of Russian art that is expanding on the world market, there are many positive effects of the style and numerous additions to the world of art that are being contributed by talented Russian artists.

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