Irina Vilkovir was an esoteric figure among Soviet artists who began receiving recognition for her work in the USSR in the mid-1930’s. Her artistic style was evident even at age 76 when she still wore long hair and distinctive make-up, and kept the company of men in their 20’s.

Her surrealistic compositions were original and made long before the Soviet underground avante-guard became popular. Vilkovir’s works were born from the soul of an artist who lived through and endured Socialist realism. Vilkovir painted from a deep need to be true to herself without regard for selling her paintings.

Although Irina Vilkovir is not widely known to Western critics, one of her works was included for a period of time in the Merrill C. Berman Collection of modern art (which rivals the collections of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City), and was exhibited in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. in 1999.

(Text adapted from the Sovcom Gallery, an auction gallery, in Moscow, Russia)

Clara Goryacheva, Russian poet, 2008

Clara Goryacheva         “If you knew what kind of artist she was! How awesome was that painting!” –Clara Goryacheva

Irina Vilkovir was 60 years old when she went to Vietnam  where she painted the “Anthem to the Vietnamese Patriots,” for which she won a Grand Prix at a Paris exhibition in 1973.

That picture, shown below, is of Vietnamese kids singing.


“Anthem to the Vietnamese Patriots”



Newspaper of Moscow Artists Union

E.Kazaryanz, 2008

At a meeting in the Manez in 1962 , where Khrushchev’s* visit was reviewed, ​​a surprise appearance was made by Irina Vilkovir, a fine talant artist, whom some had forgotten.  It had been a long time since her last solo exhibition, but those who knew her, remembered her character, integrity and courage.   She said, “It’s a provocation of Serov,”** and descended from the podium.  Those present were stunned and shouted to her, “Comrade Vilkovir, are you are aware of what you say?”  Unafraid, she again climbed the stairs to the podium and said, “I repeat, this is all a provocation of Serov,” and went downstairs.

*Nikita Khrushchev-The Soviet Prime Minister, **V.Serov- vice president of Soviet Academy of Art.



“Lenivka” Gallery

6/7 Lenivka Street, Moscow, Russia


The Floak returns, Pressboard, Oil, 62x50cm, 1957


Street in Samarkand, Pressboard, Oil, 23x34cm,1950


Burro, Pressboard, Oil, 23×33, 1950

















Stanford Fine Art, Nashville, TN, USA

Gallery of 19th and 20th century European and American Impressionist art


               “Nadya”, Vilkovir, (oil on board, 13 x 10 in.) Sold for $5000.00




Sovcom Gallery, Moscow, Russia

50 Years of Soviet Art


Vilkovir, “Kazakhstan: “Making Koshma,” oil on plywood, 41 x 58 cm, 1951, Sold for ~ $4,000, Sovcom Gallery, Moscow, Russia

Sovcom2Regional Artists

November, 2006

Vilkovir, “A Boy with a Flute,” oil on canvas, 92 x 55 cm, 1987

Sold for ~ $8,500


                 Russian Art of 20th Century October, 2006


Vilkovir, “Machinist of Diesel Locomotive”, oil on canvas, 160 x 100 cm, 1985

Sold for ~$17,000