Ivan Lubennikov. Life goes on
The Kournikova gallery in collaboration with the family of the artist, presents a solo exhibition of Ivan Loubennikov (1951–2021), one of the most significant painters of contemporary Russia. Monumentalist and master of "grand style," he is widely known for his oils and spatial compositions in Russia and Europe, too.

The idea of the "Life Goes On" show at the Kournikova gallery brings up one of his main themes in art – the celebration of the joy of life and love, and – woman as the one who is responsible. The artist believed that the family and children elevated a man, and a woman ideally embodies nature and its beauty.

Ivan Loubennikov could develop his style quickly, pure and contemporary, free from the canons of the Surikov Academy of Fine Arts. Now he appeals to the plastics of being, with line and volume dominating in the form rather than creating it with brushstrokes. Open color always interested the artist, from his early fascination with Fauvism he transferred his love for pure color to his concise canvases of mature years.

For the first time he got recognition in 1987 at a solo exhibition at the Na Kashirke gallery, followed by numerous exhibitions in Paris and The Hague, also The Ludwig Museum in Cologne acquired a series of his works. For over a quarter of a century, the Paris gallery of Alain Blondel exhibited and promoted the art of Ivan Loubennikov in Europe. Recognition, press attention, and commercial success in the West came almost in the beginning.

The paintings by Ivan Loubennikov absorb old masters lessons. They combine Renaissance influences (Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Filippo Lippi) and 20th-century modernists'. The Russian preferences show Grigory Soroka with his naïve approach and high skills, Arkhip Kuindzhi, Alexander Deineka. Pavel Fedotov charmed him with his attention to the everyday life and its details, this is obviously seen in Loubennikov's still life. The pattern of delicacies on the table pleases the eye in the series of feasts that attracted the artist much.

Loubennikov is a very Russian master, his landscapes of the central Russia modest nature are both lyrical and epic. His folk characters are taken from life, and Eve, like most of ideal female images, has unmistakably national beauty features. One can often catch subtle irony in his Russian simple life stories.

The exhibition shows 35 oils from early 1990s up to 2020.

Natalia Kournikova