The Collected Works of Boris Chetkov

Boris Chetkov: Across All Barriers

The late afternoon light somehow made its way through the small, grimy window in Boris Chetkov's studio. Chetkov was twirling his finger through his long, grayish white beard as he described the explosion of colors on the canvas in front of us. "It's the ascent of the Gods to the top of Olympus" he said, as if it were obvious to anyone. We set the next canvas on the paint-encrusted easel as he commented, "this one is called Flying Shadows." To better comprehend, I set down my cup of tea and stepped back away from the work as far as I could-which was only a few feet in this cluttered studio.

As we continued through a succession of works, I realized that I was sitting with an artist who was completely immersed in his imaginary world - a world where visions and fantasies flowed effortlessly in an unending stream of visual drama. I had entered a realm where beautiful, bold colors were applied with great emotion to the canvas. In harmonious tones the colors were talking to each other, working out their conflicts, their passions, their desires. Hundreds of paintings were stacked all around me and no two were alike. I had never seen anything like it. It was abundantly clear that Chetkov had no boundaries. He would go wherever his mood would take him-landscapes, still life, portraits, abstract compositions-all different, but all notably from the same masterful hand.

Kenneth Pushkin
The Pushkin Group, Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Prior Exhibitions

Faces of Russia

The diversity of early abstract and avant-garde styles which flourished within Russia during the early 20th Century began to fade with the advent of the Soviet Empire. Soviet Realism, the “depiction of reality in its revolutionary development” is approved in 1934 as the official art of the USSR. All other genres are suppressed and the revolutionary artists work solely underground. The Pushkin Collection here presents enigmatic portraits of Russians during the Soviet-era...

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Beautiful Resistance

In a time when artistic content was strictly mandated to espouse only the virtues of Soviet ideology, this inspiring group of artists chose to work outside of the tenets set forth by the repressive totalitarian regime, often at a great cost. These painters had a voice that could not be repressed. In spite of the many hardships and persecution that they faced, each of these artists never betrayed their true inner spirit - choosing to convey the beautiful and the elegant.

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Exhibition Archive