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 Alexis Gritchenko  (1883 - 1977)

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Lived/Active: France/Ukraine      Known for: modernist seascape and landscape painting

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from Auction House Records.
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Alexis Grischenko was a Ukranian born artist whose travels brought him to Paris, Greece, Turkey, Russia, and the United States.  He did a series of watercolors during a trip to Constantinople in 1919-1920.  His works are in many important collections including Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow and the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris.

He has been compared to Van Gogh, Renoir and Matisse.

In 2004, the Ukranian Institute of America in New York and the Alexis Grichenko Foundation held a commemorative exhibition before transferring his seventy works to Ukraine where the artist had intended for them to go.  His wish was to relocate the collection after Ukraine became independent from the Soviet Union.

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Biography from Butler Institute of American Art:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

A Ukrainian painter and theorist, Alexis Gritchenko studied philology and biology at the universities of Kiev, St Petersburg and Moscow before turning to art.  He studied painting in Moscow and established close ties with the collectors Sergey Shchukin and Ivan Morozov.  In 1911 he visited Paris where he became an enthusiast of Cubist painting, which, after a trip to Italy in 1913–14, he blended with his study of early Italian Renaissance painters, creating a style that brought together the cosmopolitan and urbane with the orthodoxy of the Byzantine legacy of sacred art.

Hryshchenko (Gritchenko) devoted his theoretical work to the subject of Byzantine art and its links with modern art (1912) and to an analysis of the formal and stylistic properties of Byzantine painting in terms of modernist tendencies and practice (1916).  After the 1917 revolution he became a professor at the Free Art Studios (Svomas) in Moscow and a member of the Commission for the Preservation of Historic Monuments. 

In 1919 he left Russia by way of the Crimea for Constantinople and Greece, which marked the beginning of a distinctive and inspired period of watercolour painting.  In 1921, when he arrived in Paris, 12 paintings of Constantinople were included in the Salon d’Automne.  A subsequent trip to Greece resulted in works that brought him into contact with renowned dealers and distinguished collectors (Léopold Zborowski, Albert C. Barnes). 

After 1924 Hryshchenko (Gritchenko) lived in southern France where he painted in muted, controlled and diaphanously transparent tones.  In 1937 a one-man exhibition was held at the Museum of Ukrainian Art in L’vov (now L’viv).  Later, the works that had been housed in the L’viv museum were branded as ‘formalist’ and destroyed during the Stalinist years. 

To preserve his artistic legacy the Alexis Gritchenko Foundation was formed in New York in 1958.

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