REVIEWS

“Moscow Museum of Modern Art”

Dialogue of Arts Magazine,No 2 December 2014

ПОСЛЕДНИЙ ИЗ НЕБОЖИТЕЛЕЙ

Игорь Дудинский

Моисей Фейгин задержался на земле, чтобы мы не забывали об эталонах высокого авангарда. Он был одним из творцов нового, революционного искусства серебряного (а на самом деле золотого) века русского авангарда. И уже на склоне лет, в другую эпоху, он стал посланником прошлого — последним хранителем традиции.

Фейгин взял в руку карандаш раньше, чем научился говорить. В детстве рисовал все время, даже брал уроки, но с условием отца: сначала овладей настоящей профессией, а потом делай что хочешь. На биофаке МГУ продержался один семестр, поступил во Вхутемас — зачислили в мастерскую Ильи Машкова и Александра Осмеркина. Фейгин был в восторге и от основоположников сезаннизма, и от новаторов вроде Казимира Малевича и Любови Поповой, стараясь найти золотую середину. Параллельно совершенствовал академический рисунок у Сергея Герасимова. Художник продолжал заниматься «штудиями», даже когда ему исполнилось 103 года.

Место основного властителя дум и лучшего друга занял Осмеркин. Фейгин до конца дней оставался верен завету любимого учителя, который главным критерием оценки считал живописную плотность («Берите пример с египетских пирамид — чтобы между блоками невозможно было просунуть лезвие ножа!») и сравнивал картину с готовым в любую минуту взорваться баллоном со сжатым воздухом.

Вхутемас состоял не из одних новаторов-бессребреников. Однажды партийная ячейка вуза уволила Машкова за пропаганду буржуазного искусства. Многие возмутились, но Фейгин сагитировал однокурсников составить письмо и отправился в Наркомпрос к Луначарскому. Инициатива увенчалась успехом, но из-за застенчивости Фейгина Машков так никогда и не узнал, кому обязан своим спасением. Вхутемас сыграл в биографии художника судьбоносную роль. Фейгин приобщился к элите нового искусства, вошел в круг лучших мастеров эпохи, стал частью той плазмы, из которой возник всемирный футуристический праздник.

Осмеркину нравилось выставляться с группой «Бытие», но после возникших разногласий мэтр объявил о создании «своего» объединения «Крыло». Тем временем по инициативе Луначарского открыли Государственную академию художественных наук (ГАХН), создали первоначальный вариант МОСХа — Общество московских художников (ОМХ) со своими художественно-производственными мастерскими, куда предложили вступить всем нуждвшимся в постоянном заработке. ОМХ помог Фейгину решить финансовые проблемы. Значительная часть времени уходила не на свободное творчество, а на оформление клубов, дворцов культуры, цехов, стадионов, санаториев. Приходилось писать портреты членов правительства, плакаты, открытки, панно, декорации, праздничные композиции.

Работы Фейгина отобрали для нью-йоркской выставки участников Всероссийского кооперативного союза работников изобразительного искусства — Всекохудожник. В Москве также состоялась его персональная выставка. Итогом 1920-х стало приглашение от Третьяковской галереи участвовать в выставке «К 14-летию советской власти». По ее результатам Фейгина в числе первых приняли в новорожденный МОСХ, призванный по замыслу партийного руководства заменить собой и ликвидировать все остальные объединения художников. В 1930-е родители художника были вынуждены эмигрировать. От ареста его самого спасла случайность — отсутствовал в Москве.

В МОСХе эпохи репрессий к Фейгину относились как к рядовому вождеписцу — обычному ремесленнику (в отличие от выдающихся создателей исторических портретов — лауреатов Сталинских премий), соответственно и платили. Мастерство рисовальщика позволило поставить производство «халтуры» на поток. С начала войны членам МОСХа выдали бронь, но Фейгин отправился добровольцем на фронт и вплоть до Дня Победы прослужил в армейском агитпропе художником. В 1945-м выяснилось, что квартиру опустошили мародеры, исчезло все созданное за предыдущие годы, вплоть до набросков. Поэтому довоенный Фейгин известен разве что понаслышке.

В число первых жертв послевоенных сталинских репрессий попали «недобитые формалисты». Когда дошла очередь до Осмеркина, тот в запале заявил, что считает Сезанна и импрессионистов величайшими гениями всех времен и народов. На общественном судилище Фейгин заступился за учителя — это было делом чести. Для него самого все обошлось: власть посчитала его слишком незначительной фигурой.

В следующее десятилетие — ни одного свидания со зрителем. Спасал строгий распорядок: утром пейзажи в рощах Сокольников, днем заказы, вечер — для работы без оглядки на цензуру. Позировали домашние, раз в неделю мосховская натурщица. Стоило это недешево, приходилось скидываться нескольким коллегам. Рисованию с натуры, натюрмортам Фейгин придавал первостепенное значение: «Стоит хоть раз пренебречь штудией, как перестаешь быть художником, — заметил он, когда ему исполнилось 103 года. — Только серьезная академическая школа дает художнику право на полную свободу творчества».

Во время сеансов к Фейгиным под любым предлогом старались заглянуть соседи, писавшие доносы о присутствии в квартире «голых баб». Каждый раз он был вынужден ездить в МОСХ и брать справку, что ему официально разрешено рисовать «обнаженку».

Однажды в Москву приехал английский галерист. Он увидел на выставке картину Фейгина и угадал, что ее писал кто-то из бывших «бубновых валетов». Решил ее приобрести. Руководство МОСХа ему отказало — существовал строго ограниченный список рекомендованных для закупок художников. Тогда адвокат англичанина показал контракт, где было сказано, что клиент имеет право покупать любые понравившиеся работы, иначе МОСХ обязан выплатить неустойку. Работа уехала в Англию, а через несколько дней соседи с изумлением шептали: «Так вы известный художник? О вас только что говорили по Би-би-си!»

В хрущевскую «оттепель» художник поначалу не поверил, что можно свободно общаться, вспоминать вычеркнутых из жизни великих мастеров 1920–1930-х годов, обсуждать их наследие, посещать выставки авангардного искусства. В том, что в стране произошли реальные перемены, Фейгин убедился, когда в июле 1959 года посетил американскую выставку в Сокольниках, где висели полотна классиков абстракционизма. И это было началом нового, самого продуктивного этапа его биографии. Его творчество стало более разнообразным, резко расширился диапазон сюжетов и выразительных средств. Появилось желание уйти от традиций и ступить на принципиально новый, самостоятельный путь.

Если попытаться написать психологический портрет Моисея Фейгина, то главные особенности личности — доходящая до фанатизма верность призванию, упоение твор-чеством, полная самоотдача и одержимость искусством. Обладая сверхчеловеческой целеустремленностью, он не соглашался на компромиссы. О темпераменте художника свидетельствует живописная структура его холстов — мощная, энергичная, эмоциональная. На первом месте живопись как таковая, все остальное (форма, содержание, колорит и прочее) вторично. В ход идет даже типографская краска. Чистый цвет. Яркий, атакующий, взрывной мазок. Никакого эстетизма, декоративности, интеллектуальных изысков. Даже натуру Фейгин освобождал от всего лишнего — деталей, подробностей, конкретностей. И все ради того, чтобы докопаться до неземного, доматериального, примордиального света.

Абстракции мастера наполнены внутренней пульсацией и эсхатологическим напряжением. Экспрессионизм с каждым годом становится все более отчетливым, напряженным и агрессивным. И в семьдесят, и в девяносто, и в сто лет он умудрялся работать по нарастающей — свободно, раскованно, эмоционально.

Портрет мастера будет неполным, если не упомянуть о его ироничном мироощущении, способности воспринимать мир как театр, который можно наблюдать со стороны. Такое существование в «помимобытии» помогло ему пройти сквозь ад сталинизма, сохранив завидные оптимизм и работоспособность. Он всегда был готов к шутке, например, провожая гостей, любил сделать стойку на руках и помахать вслед уходящим ногами. До конца дней сохранял феноменальную крепость мускулатуры и поразительную память.

Мысли об устройстве мироздания, о том, что будет после смерти, постоянно посещали его во время работы. Фейгин — художник-мудрец, философ от живописи, находившийся в постоянном диалоге с богом, пришел к выводу, что загробного мира нет — только тело и мозг поддерживают жизнь души. Память исчезает вместе с мозгом, поскольку после смерти оказывается, что ее негде хранить. Великая мудрость природы в том, что тленное она превращает в новую жизнь. И только идеи, человеческие фантазии вечны. Никакого Бога нет, есть идея о великом человеке, которого распяли. Поэтому, чтобы жить, работать и отвечать за свои поступки здесь и сейчас, нужно иметь огромное мужество.

В повседневной жизни Фейгин был фаталистом, например, держал при себе коробку с самодельными разноцветными кубиками. Перед тем как закрасить очередную плоскость, бросал кубик. Какой цвет выпадал, тот и использовал. Такие «подсказки» считал знаком свыше: материал не любит, когда художник навязывает ему свою волю, с ним нужно дружить, разговаривать и взаимодействовать.

Он объяснял, что обрел общий взгляд, позволяющий видеть реальность насквозь, вплоть до изнанки бытия. Ему открылась суть предметов и явлений, и картина перестала быть произведением искусства — она стала поступком. Мир предстал в виде гигантских театральных подмостков, участники драмы были призваны донести до зрителя мысли Фейгина-философа.

Постоянным персонажем картин стал маленький музыкант со скрипкой в руках. Фейгин услышал по радио историю: еврейское местечко оккупировали фашисты, согнали всех взрослых, чтобы расстрелять. Среди приговоренных были родители Муси. Муся подошел к немецкому офицеру и попросил разрешить сыграть на скрипке. Офицер сказал, что если мальчик сыграет красиво, то его родителям сохранят жизнь. В ответ Муся взял скрипку и сыграл «Интернационал». Отважного пионера тут же застрелили. Фейгин воспринял эту историю как притчу о мужестве человека искусства: художник обязан говорить правду, несмотря на угрозу физического уничтожения.

Фейгин считал, что бесполезно обличать, продуктивнее поднять на смех. Свою мысль он подтверждал образами Чаплина и Арлекина. В череде героев, которых он во многом писал с себя, есть и Дон Кихот. Он тот же апостол, рыцарь, ищет по-настоящему сильного противника и в конце концов вызывает на поединок солнце. Еще один, кто смертью смерть попрал.

Такими же не от мира сего, как, собственно, и он сам, Фейгин считал людей цирка, старался подчеркнуть трепетность, с которой относятся друг к другу те, кто ежедневно рискуют жизнью во имя искусства. Следующий пример попрания смерти — крепость Масада, когда иудеи, не желая сдаваться римлянам, убивали друг друга. В возвращении блудного сына художник напоминает, как важно для человека, свернувшего с предназначенного пути, изменившего своему призванию, рано или поздно вернуться в ту часть своего «я», благодаря которой он когда-то встретился с самим собой.

Фейгин любил ночную пору, когда однообразные коробки зданий расцвечивались светящимися квадратами окон. Он был равнодушен к архитектурным изыскам, предпочитая простые современные дома, любовался тем, как загораются и гаснут окна, словно парят в воздухе танцующие прямоугольники.

В последние годы жизни мастер все чаще пытался запечатлеть с помощью красок воспоминания о родителях, братьях, других родственниках. Все образы сливались в один — у всех было лицо мамы.

Часто в правом нижнем углу картины вместо подписи Фейгин рисовал белилами маленький силуэт человечка с мольбертом. Он называл его свидетелем. Миссию художника видел в том, чтобы фиксировать. На его холстах много собак, он их любил, потому что они, в отличие от людей, не прерывали его монологов. «Вот распинают Христа или сжигают на костре Джордано Бруно, а мимо пробегает псина. Она озабочена единственной мыслью — где бы спрятать косточку. Только полные идиоты думают, что свидетель менее важен, чем герой события». Он часто писал свои автопортреты, воспринимал себя как объект искусства, что свойственно многим по-настоящему глубоким художникам.

Фейгин оставил потомкам целую галерею архетипов — участников вселенского балагана, персонажей притч и мифологем. Бесплотны их «тела», сформированные из света и условных очертаний, как иконы или абстрактная живопись. Художник навсегда разорвал все отношения с предметным миром.

Незадолго до его ухода справедливость все же восторжествовала, начались выставки — достойные, в самых престижных залах. Он попал в Книгу рекордов Гиннесса как самый старый из работающих профессиональных художников мира. Круг посетителей его мастерской постоянно расширялся, он стал настоящим старцем, прервавшим многолетнее отшельничество ради душеспасительных бесед. И как высшее признание — прижизненное зачисление в музейную классику мирового авангарда.

ДИ №2/2014

22 декабря 2014

“Russian Art” Magazine, III/2014

“Russian Art” Magazine is now available in the library of Metropolitan Museum in New York, USA.

Theme of the issue: Art Market

201431


Nadezhda Musyankova     “Unique Collection of Works by Moisey Feign”

To read article, click here to read Part 1.    To read article, click here to read Part 2.     To read article, click here to read Part 3.     To read article, click here to read Part 4.     To read article, click here to read Part 5.    To read article, click here to read Part 6.     To read article, click here to read Part 7 (start reading about p. 142).

   

An exhibition of works by Moisey Feign (1903-2008), the favorite pupil of the artist Alexander Osmerkin and other members of the Knave of Diamonds, a group of avant-garde artists, was shown in 2010 in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Private Collections Section. Only 16 of his 74 paintings created between 1945 and 1989 were on display, while the others were from a later period. During the time of total socialist realism, the artist worked on government commissions and only at the age of 60, when he was provided with an art studio, he began painting in expressive abstraction. The impression about this mysterious artist could be further expanded after a display of an interesting private collection from USA owned by Luba Matusovsky (Denver, Colorado). It consists of Moisey Feign’s works acquired from the artist at different times and reflecting the whole specter of his mature creative effort.
To read more
white

Originally posted on Huffington Post (Huffpost Arts & Culture) on 04-29-14 by: Shana Nys Dambrot

Shana Nys Dambrot Shana Nys Dambrot is an art critic, curator, and author based in Los Angeles. She is currently LA Editor for WhiteHot Magazine, Contributing Editor for Art Ltd., Arts Editor for VS. Magazine, and a contributor to the LA Weekly, Flaunt, SCENE, and KCET’s Artbound.

The Temptation of Moses Feigin

Florid in palette, thick and gestural in style, and rich in sublime allegory, the work of Russian avant-garde painter Moses Feigin has been largely unknown in West. But now, a few years after his death at the age of 104, this embattled lion of the 20th century Moscow art world is getting the national and international recognition he deserves. 2014-04-28-14_TemptationofStAnthony_.jpg
Having lived and worked during more than one seismic cultural shift, Feigin’s style itself went through many phases, as his strong progressive voice developed and evolved, was driven into silence by oppressive state policies, and roared to life again as history unwound. In many ways, it is the story of modern Russian art itself that plays out across Feigin’s career. Trained in rigorous academic traditions, Feigin was attracted by the raw power, energy, and original thought of groups like the Jack of Diamonds, also called Knave of Diamonds, Russian Bubnovy Valet (an avant-garde collective founded in Moscow in 1909), of which Feigin was the last surviving member).
As the name implies they favored a youthful, vibrant, modern dynamic of bright colors and expressive emotion — important qualities that came to define Feigin’s whole oeuvre. 2014-04-28-12_Jupiter_.jpg This popular and exciting work, influenced by both Russian folk-art and European post-Impressionism, was nevertheless banned in 1931, when Stalin issued a decree forbidding such “degenerate” art, sanctioning only Social Realism. Like many artists in the Soviet regime, Feigin made his living doing State work, but in his heart — and his private studio — he rebelled. Feigin experimented along the abstract/figurative continuum.
His preferred palette was red, yellow, black, indigo, and orange and was applied muscularly in deeply scored, richly shadowed, and thickly drawn shapes — almost like stained glass. In the late 1960s, notably a time of cultural easements sometimes called the Thaw, Feigin became enchanted by world of the carnival. 2014-04-28-4_Garden_.jpg Soon harlequins, actors, comedians, and musicians became his favorite characters, appearing frequently in the work he would produce for the next 40 years.
Perhaps its colorful freedom put him in mind of his Jack of Diamonds heyday; perhaps he just loved the colorful patterns. The carnival’s visual character seems to have been at least as salient for Feigin as its yield of metaphors. This is clear because he also made a great deal of completely abstract work that featured the same optical strategies and stylistic cues as their circus-tent cousins. 2014-04-28-5_LightSignal_.jpg This impressive private collection assembled by Luba Matusovsky (which is available for public and online viewing) represents the 1970s and 1980s with examples spanning 1968-1992, a lengthy period in which Feigin worked in each of the above motifs and styles at various times; and thus represents a substantial cross-section of his entire mature output.
Along with examples of the abstract carnival, what makes this collection especially unique is also the presence of several important, much rarer works. For example, a series of opulent, innovative mixed media works incorporating collaged foil — variations on the altarpiece/icon; as well as recurring meditations on the theme of the Temptation of St. Anthony. A pioneer of monasticism who lived to be 105, St. Anthony was known for, among other things, his credo of overcoming the boredom in a martyrdom of solitude by combining prayer with physical work — an enduring subject of arts and letters that resonated with Feigin on an all too personal level. Jester and ascetic, creature of politics and humanism, both subversive and dedicated in his craft — this is truly Moses Feigin’s legacy.
2014-04-28-2Beauty.jpg  

white

“Eclectic” журнал о ценностях нашей жизни 2015

Галерея увлечений Михаила Опенгейма
Беседовала Людмила Зарубинская
Фотографии: из архива М. Опенгейма

Mikhail



Click here to read article

white

Radio “The Voice of Russia”

May 19, 2010, broadcast at 17:44 Moscow time Viktorova Natalia, Host Moses Feigin`s paintings on display in Moscow

PushkinMus

Visitors view Feigin paintings exhibited at the Pushkin Museum, Moscow in 2010

The following text was translated from the transcript that broadcast: “Art is not an adornment but an action”, painter Moisei Feigin used to say. He was born in Russia in 1904. In 2008, shortly before his death at the age of 104, he was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest artist. PUSHKINHarlequin`s Confession, is now on at the Moscow Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. Feigin, who witnessed several historical and cultural epochs, accumulated in his creative work the Russian avant-garde of the early 20th century (he was the last surviving member of the Jack of Diamonds art group), and abstract art and socialist realism. Till his very last days he retained the mind of a working and vital artist. His works became especially distinctive in his last years when he could paint in a manner he preferred without fear of the government crack down.

ЛеонидФейгинjpg

Leonid Feigin,
grandson of M. Feigin

His grandson, also an artist, Leonid Feigin, says, “My grandfather had always thought about himself as a young artist. He never stopped learning despite his age.” You can see his works covering a period of 60 years at the exhibition in Moscow. These are very interesting and expressive works. He was a brave man, who endured all the hardships the Soviet people had to. But in heart, he was always in opposition. Unfortunately, his paintings started to attract public attention only after his death, said  Leonid Feigin. Moses Feigin`s paintings have elements of cubism, abstract art and figurative expression…. However, he had to paint political leaders to earn a living. In one of his latest interviews, Feigin recollected how he drew Stalin`s portrait. “I was asked to draw a giant head of Stalin on the wall of a Stalinist skyscraper, the one on the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment in Moscow. Just imagine us drawing a giant eye…when we were working, we could not see what would come of it…” At home, Moses Feigin drew absolutely different things. In late 1960s, he was carried away by fantastic world of the carnival.  Harlequins, circus actors and musicians became his favorite characters. Of course, that was an allegory. His palette was mainly red, yellow and orange. In his last years, Feigin became color blind, but continued working using the color techniques he had utilized throughout his life.  When asked, “How could he paint without seeing colors?” he answered that he remembered the colors and the way they combined. His paints were always in order and he knew where to take this or that, said Anna Feigin, his daughter. The exhibition in Moscow comprises over 100 paintings.  Unfortunately, most of his works were destroyed by Feigin himself. To economize, Feigin did not buy new canvases, but painted over those no longer dear to him. We can only guess what is hidden under paint.  

white

“Moscow News” 06/03/2008, edition № 09

 By Nathalie Cooper

103- Year-Old Russian Artist

 natalie-cooperWalk through the long halls of the New Tretyakov Gallery, past all the famous masterpieces of the beginning of the 20th Century, and you are reminded of a bygone age, just before the 1917 Revolution when the arts scene was exploding with new liberal possibilities and new dynamic movements; the World of Art, Sergei Diaghilev, the Ballets Russes with their fantastic décors and costumes by the new leading artists of the Avant-Garde, and then the colorful “Jack of Diamonds” group with its Russian folk undertones. This was before the “rot” of Socialist Realism set in and artists were forced to conform to the Socialist movement – under the threat of lost work, reputation or even their very lives–a bygone age whose main protagonists have long since disappeared from the art world. Or have they? One of the patriarchs of Russia’s avant-garde movement, Moisei Feigin, is still around to tell his tale. He may not be as well known as some of the great names of the early 20th century, but at 103 years old is the only remaining member of the “Jack of Diamonds” artistic group founded in Moscow in 1909. He is still lives here and was last week entered the Guinness Book of Records as the “oldest working professional artist.”

FEIGINPHOTO

Photo M.Feigin by I.Kolesnichenko ,2007

Born in November 1904, Feigin’s incredible life spans all the upheaval of early 20th Century Russian History, from the Czarist rule to the Bolshevik Revolution to the Stalin repressions and subsequent thaw. He was born in Warsaw and moved to Moscow with his family when he was ten. In 1921, he began his studies at the Higher Art and Technical Studios in Moscow (VKHUTEMAS). “Here he studied under Alexander Osmyorkin, Ilya Mashkov and Aristarkh Lentulov,” says Sasha.  “The Jack of Diamonds” was formed in the 1910s and continued right up to the 1930s. This association, with its powerful optimism, its exaggerated emotionality and bright expressive colors and Russian folk motifs, stood in contrast with the earlier more geometric and abstract works of the early avant-garde and included artists such as Falk, Lentulov, Mashkov, Kuprin and Konchalovsky. They looked mainly to Cezanne, but also Picasso, Gauguin and Matisse for their main inspiration and a number of them were even referred to as the Moscow Cezannists. In 1931, art succumbed to a heavy censure program run by the Soviet regime, which brought about the mass capitulation of talent and budding avant-gardist ideas. Stalin issued a decree forbidding all Formalist art, leaving room only for Socialist Realism. “It was just like in Germany, where Hitler called this art degenerate. Formalist paintings by painters such as Kandinsky were burnt and destroyed,” says Feigin’s friend Sasha. “Works by Malevich, Kandinsky and Popova were all taken out of museums and the canvasses given to other painters to paint Socialist Realism over them.

A. Osmerkin057

The back of the above photo of A.Osmerkin was dedicated, signed and dated 1952 to the artist’s alltime favorite student, Moses Feigin

“From 1931 onwards, Feigin, too, had to surrender to Soviet Realism, working on portraits of Stalin and Lenin in order to earn his living. When Feigin’s teacher, Alexander Osmyorkin, was condemned for daring to claim that Cezanne was a great artist, Feigin was the only one to show support for him and greet him at a gathering of the Union of Artists where all were even afraid to be seen with him for fear of being arrested. Despite taking this risk, he escaped arrest and continued to work, although he lost his previous prestige and popularity. Moral compromise was a fact of life in those days. Feigin himself doesn’t blame anyone for not standing up for him and for others. “There was just too much to lose for everyone then, too much was at risk. Life was terrifying for all.” And yet suffering, according to Feigin, is what makes an artist. Clearly the fear and suffering he endured have not affected his lifespan. He has been called a genius, and yet Feigin’s name has not become a household name, such as Malevich, Kandinsky or Cezanne. One reason was that after Osmyorkin’s persecution, and the reputation of all his students, including Feigin, was subsequently tarnished, they became victims of what Feigin has called the “spoilt generation.” He did, however, manage to support himself as an artist during his Socialist Realism phase, whereas Osmyorkin was shunned in every art institution and was no longer allowed to teach in Moscow, St. Petersburg or Yerevan, where he had previously been held in such great esteem. In Feigin’s words, the political portraits were his way of making “money on the side” while his real art came out at home or in the woods. He was even commissioned with two other artists to paint a four-story head of Stalin for the residential home on the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment, in one of the Seven Sisters. “As soon as Khrushchev came to power with the advent of the 1960s Thaw,” says Sasha, “he immediately went back to his previous style of painting.” And yet even in his Socialist Realist art Feigin’s talent and wonderful use of color shine through. One example is a painting of his daughter in the 1940s when she was a little girl. Despite the style imposed on the artist, the painting is beautifully composed and harmonious in its content and choices of vibrant color. “He really is a brilliant painter,” says Sasha. “Everything; form, volume, color, movement. All this is present in his work. And the unusual thing is that his work just gets better and better the older he gets. So many artists now are so commercialized. Not so for Feigin, for whom money has never meant anything.” Currently the artist lives with his daughter and is more or less confined to his flat.  “He doesn’t go out any more and he uses walking sticks to get around. He has a steady hand, however, and his memory is unbelievable. He remembers how, as a three-year-old child, on a visit to his aunt’s he started drawing a little person on the wall with a rusty old nail. At the time he was told off, but it’s on that day that his passion for drawing began.” Unfortunately very few of Feigin’s earlier works survived the war. Any of the remaining works are mainly from the 1950s and 60s. “Feigin is becoming more and more popular and his popularity is growing. There is actually very little real art left, so he is now very sought after. It’s unlikely one would find his paintings in any auction nowadays, since everyone wants to hang on to his works. They realize what masterpieces they really are.” Currently, Feigin’s art is located in various museums in Russia, including the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the Tretyakov Gallery, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art as well as private collections and museums in Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.S. One of his paintings is proudly displayed at the villa of British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith among paintings by Matisse and Picasso. Feigin’s last exhibition was held at the Central House of artists in Moscow in April-May, 2007. A large exhibition of his works is planned for the near future, although the time and place are yet to be confirmed, as is his place in history. We can only hope that he will remain alive long enough to witness the long overdue and well deserved fruits of fame and recognition.    

white

ART INVESTMENT.RU

26.08.2008, 06:58 The latest avant-garde Russian artist Moises FeiginFeigin photo059  “Home–a constant desire to create a new.” These words became the motto for the Moscow painter Moses Feigin.  Latest from the legendary art of “Knave of Diamonds,” in 2007 was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as “the oldest working professional artist.” In May this year, the master died. He passed away at 104 years old. Before the last day of Feigin not stopped working and has not lost faith in the fact that “art is growing in the fight.” His maximalism sometimes cause a smile, but in its struggle over time, the artist has won and has remained in history as the last representative of not only aesthetic but also the ideological position of the Russian avant-garde. This week at the Central House of Artists was called a posthumous retrospective of the work of Moses Feigin, tell News Culture. As long as Moses Feigin worked in his workshop, the Russian avant-garde tradition has continued. The only VHUTEMAS of students and members of artistic group of “Knave of Diamonds,” he met the XXI century, not producing the brush of the hand. In VHUTEMAS his teachers were Alexander Osmerkin who gave him the love of Cezannizm, and Lyubov Popova , who loved abstract art, says art critic Vladimir Prokhorov. In a group of “Knave of Diamonds” Moses Feigin has hit at the end of its existence and became the last disciple Petr Petrovich Konchalovsky ,Ilya Mashkov and Aristarchus Lentulov . Tells how he Lentulov women staff. Lentulov drunk drunk: Go, and not to deviate from them, – the grandson of the artist recalls Leonid Feigin. When his teacher was accused of formalism and szhili of light, Moses Feigin, not confusing, painted portraits of chiefs until retirement. Winning it was that after retirement he was ready to work another forty years. When a little is possible, and its avant-garde grandfather built himself. This is not a family tradition of avant-garde. All newly created, – says Leonid Feigin. The most avant-garde artist wrote his works, when he was already more than a hundred years. In the later works, he tended more to Mashkov. [This show] the tension and the active use of black, – noted Vladimir Prokhorov. Favorite Characters Moses Feigin – Chaplin, Jesus, Lenin, Death, Don Quixote, tsirkachi, Harlequin and a small artist (himself). Favorite subjects are the artist – The crucifixion and death. Lack of fear of death and love so far – perhaps this is the secret of long life of Moses Feigin. All tried to do in one day at a time, – said the grandson of the artist. He was an independent artist, lone figure in the avant guard of the sea, adds Vladimir Prokhorov. Liberty, found in old age, turned to painting Moses Feigin kind of time capsule, in which the Russian avant-garde spirit survived to the present day. The exhibition will run until September 11.  
white

 Mara Devereux  – noted American artist

June 22, 2006 MaraDevereuxphThe paintings of Moses Feigin literally vibrate with a passion for his subject matter. There is no artifice, no hesitancy, just pure talent moving paint around the canvas capturing form and surrounding it with negative space that is so perfect it has a life of its own. This negative space moves around the subject with beautiful abstract passages. Feigin achieved this where many artists fail. One of Feigin’s paintings, “Artist with model”, is so simply executed, yet so complex in its meaning, the observer can hardly look away. Why is the model so tall? Why is she in the dark? She, as subject matter, dominates the canvas, while the artist plays the part of the poor soul almost doubting his ability to paint the overwhelmingly imposing lady. There is silence between them as they take the measure of each other, but the brilliant light behind him is telling us that beauty and creativity live in the little rumpled man and her presence will be recreated into his idea of her not her idea of her. Of course his will be the truer one, as its artistic objectivity will not be clouded by her ego. Feigin’s other paintings shock us with the honesty of his vision and intellect so seldom found in this era of the pursuit of the new and startling when the mediocre work is anything but new and startling. Feigin is a profound painter and a giant of his time  
white

Common Concerns; Exchange Links Washington and Moscow

 The Washington Post; Nov 10, 1991,  Paul Richard.  … holds for “September,” Vitaly Orlovsky’s less than brightly colored homage to van Gogh. Other Muscovites exhibiting, Moses Feigin, for example, are much indebted to Picasso, while Andrey Djukov’s style might well be labeled fauve. Russia has a heavy …    
white

Edward Lucie-Smith

Els   John Edward McKenzie Lucie-Smith (born 27 February 1933) is a British writer, poet, art critic, curator, broadcaster and author of exhibition catalogues.   Cooling Gallery, London, September/October, 1990 Russian Avant-Garde, 

Moses Feigin, Personal exhibition.

ELSFeigin- cooling gal  

Vladimir Kostin

Noted Russian art critic Vladimir Kostin (1905-1991) on Moses Feigin’s art:    Moses Feign (born in 1904) finished his studies at “Vchutemas ” in 1927. His teachers were A. Osmerkin, I. Mashkov,  D. Shterenberg,  R. Falk and other great masters of painting.

Trio 1987

M.Feigin, Trio, 1987

Typical of Feigin’s painting is an intense dramatic nature, and reflection of deeply internal experiences.  He often rendered multiples or series of works.    Of great interest, among them, are Feigin’s extensive series’ devoted to the circus, street musicians and Charlie Chaplin. Exhibited with Feigin’s works were noted titles like “Damnation to War,” “Reportage with a loop on a neck, ” ” To the memory of Block, ” and “Dialogue,” etc.  With his nimble use of painting styles, the artist each time responds to his essential need to communicate with us about his experience and the experience of the people of his generation. In his creativity, Feigin has addressed not only to traditions of the idols of his youth, but also to a rich heritage of the whole progressive world of art. In particular, very much close to him as an artist appeared to be Picasso. Feigin’s creative search and elements of his picturesque system are perceived today on the common background of domestic  art as rather traditional and natural.  In recent times occurrence of the best paintings of V. Popkov, P. and A. Smolin’s brothers, M. Savitsky and many other artists, including youth, testify that intense and expressive beginning in our  art does not disappear,  but only finds new qualities of expressiveness. In a vein of these searches it is necessary to consider Feigin’s creativity. Irrespective of a format and a material, all  his works are very constructive and  verified  as compositions.  All compositions are rather mobile, than static. The artist is not writing large paintings  in his last years,  but often is coming  back  to his earlier creations, “brushtouches”  this  or  that  canvas  and “eternal”  images  of art appeare:  Harlequin  in his dazzling  rags clothes,  the Musician, declined to his violin, or less eternal  Chaplin. It is necessary to possess very big moral  health  and  belief  in his calling that on a slope of his years so concentrated  and  so musical,  so youthfully declare  himself  to spectators  as it was made by Moses Feigin at this exhibition.