OBITUARY: Dmitry Krasnopevtsev

Dmitry Krasnopevtsev was one of the most important modern Russian artists from the 1960s to the 1980s. His art, though totally apolitical, was banned by both Nikita Khrushchev's and Leonid Brezhnev's cultural censors; but it was recognised by museums in the West, especially in the United States, and eventually by his own country.

He became an overnight celebrity in 1956 when Life magazine reproduced one of his still-life paintings. Khrushchev's cultural machine went immediately into action. Krasnopevtsev was thrown out of the Artists' Union, lost his state workshop, all his orders from publishers and any chance of an exhibition. Newspapers attacked him and called him a "traitor".

Krasnopevtsev became virtually a recluse at his two-room flat at Ostozhenka (Metrostroyevskaya Street), in the centre of Moscow, where many artists lived and worked. In 1967 the Museum of Modern Art, New York, bought several of his paintings; in 1988, he had one-man shows at the New Jersey Museum of Contemporary Art, and at the Moscow Central House of Artists, one of the most prestigious places for a Russian artist. Two years ago the Pushkin Museum of Fine Art exhibited his work - an honour rarely given to an artist in his lifetime.

Krasnopevtsev was a Francophile. His flat at his second address in Moscow, at Cheryomushky, was filled with French books, pictures, photographs and a huge map of Paris which, said his friends, he knew as if he lived there. In fact he had never been to Paris and spoke neither French nor any other foreign language.

In 1968 Alexander Glezer, his agent, organised an exhibition of dissident artists in Moscow, which included three paintings by Krasnopevtsev. The same day three members of the Moscow City Party Committee came and banned all three works. One painting showed a jug with a plant. But the plant emerged not through the jug's mouth but from the wall. Glezer asked why Krasnopevtsev's work had been banned. "Oh, come on," the commissars answered. "It's quite clear, he wanted to show that, despite all our bans, they - dissident artists - will get through anyway."

Krasnopevtsev lived modestly. Most of his foreign currency he received for his work was taken by the State. Under Mikhail Gorbachev, the State finally recognised him, and two books were written about him and published by state publishing houses in Moscow which used to forbid even mentioning him in books about other artists.

Jeanne Vronskaya

Dmitry Krasnopevtsev, artist: born Moscow 1924; died Moscow 1 March 1995.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker