THE ART OF GRAPHICS BY THE PEOPLE’S ARTIST OF RUSSIA LEV SHEPELEV (1937-2013): EXHIBITION AT THE RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF ARTS
Dates: February 21 – March 10, 2024
Venue: Exhibition halls of the Russian Academy of Arts
( 21 Prechistenka street, Moscow)
The Russian Academy of Arts presents the exhibition of graphic works by the People’s Artist of Russia, Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts, Professor Lev V. Shepelev (1937-2013) featuring several dozens of works by the master fr om his family and private collections, as well as funds of the Museum and Exhibition Complex of the Russian Academy of Arts.
The work by Lev Shepelev is distinguished by brilliant skills, virtual mastery of complex graphic techniques, sophistication, laconism and pictorial expressiveness. The artist of cityscapes, he shows the viewer the beauty and uniqueness of a big city and quiet provincial towns, the solemnity of architectural ensembles, the genius of unknown Russian architects who authored white-stone churches. In his artworks one can see famous monuments, cathedrals, museums and ordinary urban blocks which mysteries he tried to reveal.
Lev Shepelev was born on January 31, 1937. In 1961 he graduated fr om the Graphic Art Department of V. Surikov Moscow State Art Institute wh ere he studied under E. Kibrik, M. Matorin, Y. Reiner. The biography of the artist has been closely connected with his active teaching and public activities. Since 1961, for forty years he taught at V. Surikov Moscow State Art Institute and in 1990-2001 headed the Institute as its Rector. In 2002, at S. Stroganov Moscow State Institute for Arts and Industry Lev Shepelev founded the Chair for Graphic Art. Several generations of artists can proudly call themselves the master’s pupils. He was also elected an Academician-Secretary of the Graphic Art Department of the Russian Academy of Arts, as the Vice-President of the RAA he was in charge of education issues.
His individual manner and own artistic vision were formed in his creative career quite early. In the late 1950s – early 1960s the cityscape theme became of major interest for the artist. He has created a vast series of works dedicated to Moscow that today are considered as documents of the time. Old streets with their peculiar features, the coexistence of the historical and modern architecture tell us about the life of the capital in various periods.
St. Petersburg has been one of the artist’s favorite topics. He deeply felt the city and perfectly conveyed its individuality. Lev Shepelev had his own St. Petersburg: it was the city of not only splendid embankments and palaces, but also of no less known courtyards-wells, factory areas and gloomy districts wh ere the characters of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novels lived. His intensive traveling in Russia and other countries has been a constant incentive for new pictures. No matter what country the artist visited he was able to capture and depict the things that struck him the most. For the last years of his life the master frequently created sheets-reflections, he brilliantly painted various states of nature full of special atmosphere of spirituality inviting us to think of th
e frailty of existence.