Artist Photo
Nikita Fedosov
1939 - 1992

Nikita Fedosov entered the Moscow Secondary Art School at age ten, and went on to study at the Surikov Institute for six years. He studied under Nikolai Konstantinovich Solomin, Marina Andreevna Ivanova, Konstantinovich Mochalskii, B.V. Ioganson, and Yuri Kugach (Fedosov's uncle, whom he personally cited as a major inspiration). Fedosov was a member of the "Exhibit of Twelve" and the Moscow River Group, and was a winner of the Russian State Prize. Much of his work was informed by his experiences on the island of Kitzhi, and his fondness for that area. In later life, he was an ambidextrous painter, proficiently using his left hand after his right was broken. He is survived by his wife.

Awards:(partial list)

•Laureate of the State Prize
•Member of the Russian Artist's Union, 1962
•Nominated by the Russian Artists' Guild and its president V.M. Siderov, for a major government award for his series Seasons as well as other works - 1991
•Repin Prize
•Russian National Award, 1991
•Russian State Prize winner

Exhibitions:(partial list)

The Russian Gallery Exhibition, "Nikita Fedosov Legend of Russian Painting of the 20th Century"

1988, exhibit in Spain

1989, exhibit in France

1991-1992, exhibit in Seoul, Korea with V. Korchagin, A. Sukhovetskii, G. Sysolyatin, V. Telin, and V. Shalaev

2000, Solo exhibition in Moscow

2000 and 2006, Major exhibitions of Fedosov's work were shown at the Central House of Artists, a premier showing space. Over 4600 people attended the April 2006 exhibit.

2009, Kugach, Kugach, Kugach, Three Generations of Artists, American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

2009, The Russian Art Fair, London, England


Collections:(partial list)




Regional Art Museum, Kirov
    Snow Has Fallen,   1981, Oil on Canvas, 60 x 100 cm

Riazan & Viatka Museums of Plastic Arts

Russia Artists' Union
    Reaped Field,   1982, Oil on Canvas, 60 x 80 cm
    In Autumn Fields,   1981, Oil on Canvas, 73 x 100 cm

Russian Artists' Guild
    Cold May,  
    Warm Evenings in April,  
    Hesitant Spring,  
    Stormy Day,  
    Academy's Dacha,  
    Overcast,  
    Rainy Summer,  
    Quiet,  
    Old Studios in Winter,  
    Autumn Wind,  

Serpukhov Museum of History and Art
    Fallen Snow,  
    Towards Spring,  
    Drizzle,  
    Early Morning,  

Surikov Institute: Note - Diploma "In Dvina" is in the collection of the Surikov Institute and is considered an example of the highest level of painting possible.
    In Dvina,  

Tretyakov Gallery

Tula Art Museum
    Nothern Countryside,  
    On Onezh Lake, Yamka Countryside,  

Tver Regional Gallery
    First Days of Sun, Banka,  
    Sunset,  
    Quiet Spring,  
    Control Department,  


Books:(partial list)
1998  —  Socialist Realist Painting, by Matthew Cullerne Brown
-p. 353; Oil on Canvas, 1964, 67 x 105 in., Private Collection  —  The Construction of a Village on the River Dvina

Additional Information:

Nikita Fedosov was two years old when World War II began, and so was forced to spend the early years of his life moving back and forth between the city and the countryside. In 1949 he went to study at the Moscow Secondary Art School with his cousin Mikhail Kugach. In 1956, he graduated to the Surikov Institute.
 
Under the direction of Dmitrii Konstantinovich Mochalskii at the Surikov Institute, Fedosov and his classmates went on numerous painting excursions: to Pereslavl-Zalesskii in 1957, to Snovitsa village in the Vladimir region in 1958, and to Lipitsk in 1959. Fedosov found all of these locations exceptionally uninteresting and uninspiring, and it was not until he traveled with his friends L. Zaitsev, S. Kurbatov, and B. Ovchukov to Kopachevo, in Dvina, that his painting began to flourish. His preferred location throughout his life, however, was the island of Kitzhi, and his time traveling that area and sketching its churches, monuments, and other architecture became the basis for his later work.
 
Fedosov chose Dvina, and the most out-of-the-way locale he could reach there, as the space in which he would complete his graduation project. Yet he had a very difficult time beginning this project; several months passed wherein other students were actively creating, while Fedosov had yet to paint anything. The committee overseeing his project was vocally displeased, and so Fedosov decided to return to Moscow. But shortly before leaving, he took in a concert of Bach, Beethoven, and Rachmaninov. This concert so inspired him that the very next day, he decided to stay, and began to work with great productivity. After many sketches, mostly of old men, Fedosov realized that he was not searching for a genre for his composition, but a subject, and that old men were this subject.
 
He worked on this graduation project constantly, sleeping in the studio instead of going home at night. His graduation project critique in June 1962 is still readily remembered at the Surikov Institute: When Fedosov's large canvas At Dvina was announced, it was met with much applause. P.D. Pokarzhevskii said of it: "This is a genuine, quality painting of the Russian School. It is painted in such a way that it seems that one could touch every shaving of it. But the most important thing in it is that it shows a true Russian heart. The painting is done in loud, rejoicing colours and, like a song, evokes a feeling of the joy of labour, of confident strength, and of human warmth. Y.P. Kugach later wrote: "His first work, his graduation project, already put Fedosov in league with our best artists. He was able to express everything in this painting, immediately and ably. This is a painting of life and beauty. One could never produce such a painting apathetically; every drop of paint in it emanates love." Fedosov's At Dvina received the highest marks of all the works in his graduating class, was accepted into the Leningrad Academy of Artists, and has been exhibited in multiple shows since it was first presented to the public
 
The first year after graduation was difficult for Fedosov and most of his class. The system for earning a living as an artist in Russia was shifting; the emergence of the avant-garde movement began to limit the number and quality of scholarships, stipends, and quality commission sources. He was finally invited to join the studio of B.V. Ioganson and earned a living from commissioned works. Following a general rejection of the Russian Realist School over the decade following 1962, a group of artists banded together in 1973 to form the "Exhibit of the Twelve". It was with this group that Fedosov began exhibiting his works and also began to received wider recognition in the art world. In 1974 the Moscow River Group of painter was formed by Yuri Kugach and included the "Exhibit of the Twelve" artists. In 1981, the Moscow River Group put on their "Homeland" exhibit, which became central to the Moscow art world.
 
In 1991, Fedosov was nominated by the Russian Artists' Guild and its president V.M. Siderov for a major government award for his series Seasons as well as in recognition of his other works. In 1991 and 1991 he exhibited in Seoul with V. Korchagin, A. Sukhovetskii, G. Sysolyatin, V. Telin, and V. Shalaev. One of the paintings he sold there was a portrait of a monk, copies of which are now extensively displayed across Korea. On 17 May 1992, Fedosov died unexpectedly. The circumstances surrounding his death suggest that it was a suicide, though most who knew him dispute this notion. His mother, V.G. Briusova, insisted her whole life that someone or something abroad had made him ill.

artist image
Fedosov as a young man