The Fry Art Museum in Seattle, Washington will host an exhibition of paintings by Nicholai Fechin. This will be a brief presentation of work rarely seen in the Pacific Northwest. So put it on your calendar now!
Lady in Pink, Nicholai Fechin
Fechin preferred to paint with oil-starved color and used a dry-brush technique to create his rich surfaces of color. His abstract compositions and drawing skills were astonishing and he completely eschewed the use of any medium or solvent because he felt they destructive to the layering of color. It's hard to argue with that after seeing his work.
Here is a favorite quote from him because it explains my own point of view:
“As a matter of fact an artist has to deal with only three basic colors: red, blue, yellow (all the rest are combinations of these fundamental colors). Everyone knows this, but few pay attention to the fact. Thus, the first step for the artist is to learn to see these primary colors and to distinguish them separately one from the other.” – Nicolai FechinOf course, then there is:
"For my own work, I do not like to use medium. This dissolves the paints too much. The pigments mix together and cannot retain their individual distinctiveness and thus again lose much of their fresh intensity."
"Any standardization is negative in its meaning. If conventional shades and colors are used, the ability to see them in reality is lost. It is essential that the artist should regard every new painting as an entirely special world of color, light, form and line. Every new canvas is a completely new challenge."
Truly a painter to inspire you!
From the Fry Art Museum website:
In 1911, place of honor in the Annual Winter Exhibition of the National Academy of Design in New York was assigned to a painting by thirty-year old Russian artist Nicolai Fechin (1881–1955). His “savage, splendid, and heterogeneous” canvas displayed a “barbaric mastery of form and color.” Fechin’s early preference for thick layers of color and pigment with very little oil, and a penchant for conflating the real and the abstract, would bring him international acclaim in the first decades of the 20th century . . .
So don't miss this opportunity to see Nicholai Fechin's "savage, splendid, and heterogeneous" work. He was a direct descendant of the 19th century Russian Itinerants (Передви́жники) who were some of Imperial Russia's greatest painters, among the best was the master artist Ilya Repin, whom Fechin studied under. Much of today's contemporary realism descends from this line.
I'll be going. Hope to see you there!