Andrei Andreevich Tutunov (Moscow b.1928)

Village Celebrations

signed in Cyrillic and dated '1957' (lower right)
oil on canvas
113 x 198.1 cm (44½ x 78 in)

Provenance: Cees Hogendoorn Gallery, Amsterdam

Late at night, in a provincial Russian village, young men and women slowly make their way home after a night of celebration. The viewer’s eye is immediately drawn to the two women in white, who are still dancing energetically together to the sound of the accordion. Their companions wearily follow them, whilst enjoying the show, and two men have stopped to light cigarettes. In front of these figures, on the right-hand side of the composition a young couple walk ahead, seeking some privacy. In contrast to the energy of the central pair, the village appears quiet, still and submerged in sleep. Only two lights can be seen emerging from the gloom that envelops the buildings. However, there is still a sense of vitality in the scene due to Andrei Andreevich Tutunov’s fluid and expressive brushwork.

Village Celebrations is a fine example of Tutunov’s celebrated depictions of Russian rural life, comparable to another work of the same year, The North Village, (Private Collection) which shows a similar settlement, with its humble and ramshackle buildings. Although the colouring is more vivid in The North Village, as it is set in bright sunshine, both works demonstrate Tutunov’s mastery of colour. Both works are unified by a relatively narrow palette, but these broad swathes of colour are built up in layers so that the landscapes have a sense of depth and volume.

Tutunov was born on January 22, 1928 in Moscow. He studied under Vasily V. Pochitalov (1903-1973) in the Moscow Arts State school from 1941 to 1948; before moving to the Moscow State Institute of Art (Surikov Institute) from 1949 to 1954. Since 1954 Tutunov has been a member of the Moscow branch of the USSR Union of Artists. In 1976 Tutunov was awarded the title of the Honoured Artists of Russia. In 2008 he was honoured with a retrospective at The Russian Academy of Arts. His art is dominated by depictions of the landscape and people of the Russian countryside, and he has said that ‘Nature for me is God’s altar. To paint nature is a God-blessed favour and a great pleasure’. Man and nature are inseperable from each other and the present work is a fine example of his highly successful art.

Artist Biography:
Andrei Andreevich Tutunov studied in the Moscow State Artistic School, where he was taught by by V.V. Pochitalov (1941 –1948), and in the Surikov Artistic Institute (1949 - 1954), taught by M.I. Kurilko and V.G. Tsyplakov. He has lived in Pereyaslavl Zalesski (1960-61), and now lives and works in Moscow.

He began exhibiting in 1953. In the 1980s, he turned to religious themes, but is largely known for his landscapes, depictions of provincial towns, and genre scenes. Since 1960, he has taught in an artistic studio. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held in Moscow in 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987. In 1977 he was awarded the rank of Honoured Artist of RSFSR (the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic), and became a full member of the Russian Academy of Arts in 2000.

Tutunov is represented in the following collections: Tretyakov State Gallery, amongst others.