Alexander IVANOV |
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Russian (Fed.) 1950 - 1996
Alexander Ivanov was born in Leningrad (St.Petersburg), Russia in 1950. As a child he spent much of his time in the Hermitage Museum nurturing his interest in classical and ancient Russian art and by the age of 11 began to experiment with painting. At age 16, Ivanov began studies at the Leningrad Art and Graphic School where he received a classical training. It was his new found love of 60s jazz music and the influences of Chagall that began to be reflected in his work and cause problems with tutors and officials.
Given the social and polf itical climate of Russia at the time, Formalism and individualism would not be tolerated; Socialist realism was the only accepted form of art. Unable to live with the repression of individual expression, Ivanov left the art school in 1972, his 4th year and decided to search for freedom by joining a geological expedition to the North of Russia. As he always had a romantic notion, he decided to settle near Archangelsk. There he became absorbed with the traditions and folk art of the region. He adopted forms of Russian icons into his work and a traditional woodwork technique (Lubek) which can be seen in his work ever since.
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