How an artist glorified the Russian village (PICS)

Vladimir Lyubarov/Courtesy of ARTSTORY Gallery
Vladimir Lyubarov’s works are called “home-grown produced oil paintings.” Cute folk images and Russian village narratives come to life on his canvases – sometimes they’re blunt and truthful, sometimes they’re phantasmagoric.

In 1991, the artist purchased a house in the village of Peremilovo not far from Moscow. He was literally enchanted by the magic of Russian rural life. He created a whole series of paintings, “Village Peremilovo”, which are inspired by the locals and their reality. At first, the Peremilovans couldn’t understand why the artist was painting “drunk men and fat women” instead of pretty flowers. But when they learned that Lyubarov’s works were exhibited in Moscow and even overseas, they stopped complaining.

Lyubarov’s characters look up at the stars, hug their wives, get their housework done, and celebrate with the whole village, oftentimes without any reason.

The artist himself confesses that Russian national lubok (a Russian popular print) is a deep well of inspiration for him, and he considers it an indisputable topic of national pride, and that it even should be treated as high art. The style of Lyubarov’s paintings owe much to Russian lubok, as well as out of his love for primitivism.

Beauty Contest, 2013

The Contact, 2019

Early Spring, 2014

A Long Wait, 2015

A Guest from Africa Trains with the Peremilovans, 2022

A Lecture about the Paranormal, 2012

Sleepwalkers, 2006

Fire, 2009

Nadya asks Kolya to fly, 2015

Sunrise in the Village Verkhnie Petushki (Upper-Roosters), 2022

Village Kapustino (Cabbageville), 2020

The exhibition “Vladimir Lyubarov. Kolya sees through his third eye” will be held at the ARTSTORY gallery from April 20 to July 30, 2023.

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