In Love with Classical Art | Vladimir Weisberg Foundation


E.Y. Khlopina, 2009

In Love with Classical Art

Weisberg said that he was in love with classical art. And he presented his paintings in a museum at a time when contemporary Moscow artistic circles had little interest in such things. His interest in ‘the purity of the experiment’ of making paintings, the interrelationship of painting and drawing, which complement each other, and self-reflection bring Weisberg together not so much with his contemporaries and not even with the artists of the 20th century but with the colourists of previous epochs.

The presentation of the book took place on 11 June 2009 in the Museum of Private Collections as part of an evening in memory of Vladimir Weisberg (1924–1985). The author, Elena Khlopina, who holds a candidate’s degree in art history, aimed to present the artist’s paintings and works on paper as comprehensively as possible, to trace his creative path and to analyse the sources and formal qualities of his art. ‘For us it was important to show his link to the painting traditions of previous centuries, so-called “classical” painting, which is stronger than that with his contemporaries’. This approach matches Vladimir Weisberg’s perception of himself. He always said of group exhibitions in which he participated: ‘The only thing I have in common with my contemporaries is the wall’.

The book is published in Russian with an afterword in English and comprises three sections:

  • a chapter on the colourist tradition in the history of world painting from the 15th to the mid-20th century, using examples of the work of individual artists and of artistic schools;
  • a chapter on the work of Ilya Mashkov, Weisberg’s closest predecessor, in which several works are studied and published for the first time;
  • the main part of the book is an extensive monograph about Vladimir Weisberg’s work containing a comprehensive selection of reproductions of paintings and works on paper and a catalogue raisonné of his work.

The book also includes Vladimir Weisberg’s table ‘Classification of the main types of means of realisation and the materials of spatial art’.