Vladimir OVCHINNIKOV 1941 —
Володимир ОВЧІННІКОВ • Владимир Афанасьевич ОВЧИННИКОВ
Vladimir Ovchinnikov was a leading member of the Leningrad unofficial art movement beginning in the 1960s. He was involved in many of the movement’s landmark events, including the Exhibition of Workmen Artists held at the Hermitage Museum in 1964, which was open for only two days before being closed by the KGB. Ovchinnikov never received formal art training, although he worked as an assistant stage designer at the Kirov Theater in Leningrad. In the mid 1970s, Ovchinnikov participated in the first official-sanctioned exhibition of nonconformist art in Leningrad. He was a member of the St. Petersburg Group of Painters, led by Mikhail Chemiakin. Ovchinnikov’s scenes are drawn from the life of the Leningrad suburbs. His distinctive, simplified, naïve style employs full-bodied tubular figures, resembling toys made out of polished wooden blocks. Since his figures display no emotion, the artist’s intentions are conveyed through gesture, the careful deployment of figures and objects, and artful theatrical spotlighting. This writing about Ovchinnikov was published in the Sotheby’s Russian Art Volume II catalogue, New York, 15 April 2008, page 112, accompanying lot 291.