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 Anton Arkhiopv  (1964 - )

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Lived/Active: Colorado / Russian Federation      Known for: impressionist painting, Russian symbolism

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Biography from American Design Ltd.:
Anton Arkhipov was born on March 3, 1964 in Moscow, Russia to a family of artists generations old.  His mother, Tatiana Vtorova, an impressionist artist, descends from a famous dynasty of Russian artists, sculptors, and architects such as A. Benua, E. Lancere, Z. Serebryakova.  His father, Michail Arkhipov, a well-known dissident artist, belonged to a group of artists of the rough style from the 1950’s-70’s.  From his early childhood he fell under his father’s influence who sought to develop and polish his son into an artist when he noticed that his son showed an ability for art.

1975-1983
Having provided him with academic skills in drawing and painting, Anton’s father enrolls him in the Moscow Junior Art School at the age of 11 where he then continues his education at the Surikov College of Fine Arts in Moscow.   From there he advances with promising talent learning skills in drawing, painting, plastic anatomy, and the history of art. 

Throughout his education, Arkhipov’s fascination and influences evolve from the Impressionist masters, particularly Van Gogh, Cezanne, Renoir, and Claude Monet, to the Russian Avant-garde of the 1920’s and 30’s such as Malevich, Kandinsky, and Cezanne, and lastly, he begins to experiment with the techniques of 20th century masters, namely Picasso.  During this period, Arkhipov often visits the world famous museum, Tretiakov Gallery, only a few yards away from his school, and learns from the original paintings of these great masters.  Although he is quite good at the required curriculum of spending hours painting a model in a  very realistic and academic manner, he soon grows bored with this style of painting and begins painting in very  impressionist styles.  As a result, he sometimes receives marks of "C" on his report card for breaking the official "socialist realism" rules but gains the silent approval of his teachers. 

Despite his experimentation and curiosity, after his final exam, he manages to graduate as one of the top students in his class.  Although he studied among
well-known teachers, he never  ceased to be influenced by his father who continued to teach  him during this time.  He believes that his basic knowledge of  the principles of fine art, its laws, philosophy, and destination  of an artist he learned from his father who spent the last 10  years of his life elaborating on his own new language in painting which was rather different from the universally acknowledged traditions of socialist realism in the USSR.  At  that point, he was absorbed in the study of philosophical and humanitarian problems.  Discussions with his father and working with him shoulder to shoulder in his studio helped Arkhipov to find ways of expressing his artistic self and also left certain traces of his father’s teaching in his artwork.

1984-1985
After his father’s death in 1984, Arkhipov begins working  on a professional artistic career.

1985-1988
In 1985 Arkhipov participates in a project for the Russian Government produced for the Moscow Union of Artists.
 
Together with Moscow artist, Pavel Durasov, he also establishes and founds an independent creative art union called "Covcheg," or "ARK," for the purpose of putting on unofficial, alternative (underground) exhibitions.  During this time, Arkhipov actively participates in various exhibitions, both official and unofficial.  However, despite the birth of an early democratic movement in the USSR, one could still feel the power of the authorities enforcing traditional methods of socialist realism on artists.  To supplement his income as an artist, Arkhipov begins work restoring church icons, murals,  and frescos.  As a result, his style of painting becomes heavily influenced with the visual aesthetics and symbolism of ancient Egyptian, Byzantine, and Russian iconography.

1988-1990
With "Perestroika" and the subsequent changes in the Soviet government, Arkhipov is able to begin working with various art dealers and galleries throughout Europe in such countries as Italy, France, Spain, England, and Finland.

1990
Arkhipov moves to Spain for a short time and has his first solo exhibition in Barcelona which is received with huge success.  The popularity of his paintings imbued with highly abstract and symbolic imagery is covered in many major newspapers and magazines throughout Barcelona.  Later this same year he immigrates to America where he lives in New York City for a year.  In New York he continues to study art and work with galleries in Spain, England, and Italy.

1991
Arkhipov moves to Laguna Beach, California and begins working with various galleries in Laguna Beach, La Jolla, and Palm Springs.

1994-1996
Arkhipov’s style gradually transforms itself and moves to a  more figurative symbolism over the next few years.  He concentrates more on the human figure and a new palette of colors comes into play.  His style takes a natural, perhaps genetic, course back to his father’s understanding and philosophy of art, delivery of human figure, color, and composition.  His paintings begin to reflect the tradition of the Arkhipov family of artists.

1997-1999
Arkhipov begins working exclusively with American Design Ltd. whose galleries are located in Aspen, Beaver Creek, and Denver, Colorado, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.  These  galleries annually exhibit his work and will soon be opening new galleries in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York  where Arkhipov’s newest works may be viewed.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
1999 Century Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico C. Anthony Gallery, Beaver Creek, Colorado Galerie Zuger, Aspen, Colorado

1998 Galerie Zuger, Aspen, Colorado
La Jolla Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, La Jolla, California

1997 Galerie Zuger, Aspen, Colorado
La Jolla Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, La Jolla, California

1996 Hahn Ross Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Aspen Grove Fine Art, Aspen, Colorado
La Jolla Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, La Jolla, California
Zass Williams Fine Art, Laguna Beach, California

1995 Elena Zass Gallery, Laguna Beach, California

1994 Rosovsky Gallery, Laguna Beach, California

1992 Rosovsky Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
Gouthier Fine Art, Palm Springs, California
Jeanine Meijers Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona

1991 Rosovsky Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
Guillen E Tressera Galeria De Arte, Barcelona, Spain

1990 Page Gallery, Laguna Beach, California

Group Exhibitions:
1994 CELES Gallery, New York, New York
Sloan Gallery, Denver, Colorado
Lawrence Galleries, Santa Rosa, California

1993 Sloan Gallery, Denver, Colorado
Whitt Kraus Gallery, Palm Springs, California

1992 AmFAR/Laguna Shanti, Laguna Beach, California
Ergane Gallery, New York (Soho), New York

1991 Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, California
Century Gallery, London, England
Guillen E Tressera Galeria De Arte, Barcelona, Spain

1990 "Youth of Russia," Moscow, Russia
Ugarit Gallery, Israel

1990 "Russian Avant-Garde," Moscow, Russia

1989 Vera Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts

1988 Russian Embassy, Turin, Italy

1987 "17th Youth," Moscow, Russia

1986 "Spring ‘86," Moscow, Russia

Juried Shows/Exhibits:
1994 CERES Gallery, National Juried Show - Eleanor Heartney, New York, New York; Concordia University, "Spiritual Expressions" Exhibit, Irvine, California
University of Akron, "Courage" Exhibition, Akron, Ohio

Community Work:
1996 Emmanuel House, Orange County Building Community and Father
Jerome Karcher, Fund-Raising Event, Santa Ana, California
Laguna Art Museum, Annual Art Auction/Fund-Raising Event, Laguna Beach, California

1995 Nicole Brown Simpson Foundation, Fund-Raising Event, Dana Point, California

1994 Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, Fund-Raising Event, Santa Ana, California
Muscular Dystrophy Association, Fund-Raising Event, Garden Grove, California

1993 United Nations, Fund-Raising Event for Bosnian Refugee and Relief Work by the UNHCR

1992 AmFAR, AIDS Fund-Raising Event, Laguna Beach, California

Selected Reviews:
Anton Arkhipov, the descendant of a famous Russian 19th century realist painter of the socially critical "itinerants" group, is also deeply imbued with the tradition of Russian icon painting through his years of work restoring ancient churches in the Soviet Union. Arkhipov’s work appeals to the senses through its varied play of surfaces, but its main thrust is symbolic. No amount of explanation can account for all of the relationships in his imagery. Arkhipov, however, is no refugee from meaning, his subject matter is firmly rooted in the spiritual. His art, with its lucid yet astringent harmonies, seems to borrow from the dignity and splendor of a sacrament.

Harold D. Baker
Professor of Russian, University of California, Irvine

               
In his best work Arkhipov achieves a unity of the metaphysical and the metaphorical. His representations, deliberately simple, are perceived in a solemn, ceremonial context. These are rituals mystically sublime and sacred on one hand, earthy,
sensuous, and carnival-like on the other. And rituals, like carnivals, presuppose the attraction, co-participation, and co-experience of the public. And in truth, Arkhipov has successfully established a genuine, lively, spiritual link to his American audience.
Clearly, in this far from trivial point, lies the secret of his popularity.
 
Alexander Borovskii
Chief Curator, Contemporary Department, Russian State Museum, St.Petersburg
               
The robust figures of in Anton Arkhipov’s paintings exhibit a benign nobility. Each character reigns supreme within its pictorial space and radiates a sense of order and imperturbability in the face of our chaotic world. The iconic simplicity of these works inevitably gives way to a deeper appreciation the more one becomes engaged with them. Humorous undercurrents, certain visual quotations from art history, and
touches of universal meaning come to the surface. What sets this work apart from much contemporary art is Arkhipov’s mastery of balanced composition and his keen sense of color.

Sue Henger
Editor, Museum Publications

Anton Arkhipov’s application of symmetry and symbols help to conjure the invisible divinity and express the duality between the divine and its material expression. Arkhipov’s use of symbols, phrases, and colors of the ancient past are not meant to be narrative or literal interpretations, instead, Arkhipov uses color as a form of expression, creating elegant compositions. The viewer is drawn into the canvas in a natural attraction to the graceful balance of color and imagery which evokes a compelling sense of harmony. One critic termed Arkhipov as a "Knight of Color."

Peggy Jo Sivert
Curator, South Bay Contemporary Museum of Art, California

Selected Exhibition Reviews/Articles:
Aspen Daily News, 17th Annual Food and Wine Classic at Aspen, 199
Aspen Magazine Traveler’s Guide (Winter 1999)
The Aspen Catalog (Winter 1999)
Aspen Daily News, 1998
Indulge Magazine, 1998
Ritz Carlton Catalog, 1998
Art and Antiques, 1997
Aspen Times, "One Man Show" (February 1997-1998)
Brand Library and Art Galleries, 2 articles, Glendale, California
Diamond, Barbara, "Spotlight on: Angels and Agents of Mercy," Laguna
News-Post
, Living in Laguna Section, (October 1996)
Henger, Sue, Editor, Museum Publications (October 1996)
Deaver, Douglas, "Rosovsky Gallery Presents Anton Arkhipov,"Coastline News, Community Section (March 1994)
Cox, Dan, "Laguna Gallery and Artist Help Fund-Raising Effort," Los
Angeles Times
, Visual Arts Section, (December 1992)
Borovskii, Alexander, Chief Curator, Contemporary Department, Russian
State Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (November 1992)
Sivert, Peggy Jo, Curator, South Bay Contemporary Museum of Art Torrance, California (June 1992)
Baker, Harold, Professor of Russian, University of California, Irvine (November 1991)
Spiegel, Olga, "Con la libertad ha llegado el plurismo artistico a la URS La Vanguardia, Section Cultura (October 1991)


Biography from American Design Ltd.:
Artist Statement

I am very privileged to have been born and brought up in an artistic environment where various schools and trends, from Russian Realism of  the 19th century to the beginning of 20th century Avant-garde to Contemporary art, were represented.  Over time I began to develop my own style and concept of art.  Early on I explored different directions and experimented with various styles but I  failed to fully connect with any one of them in particular.  Consequently, I  decided to find my own way by taking the knowledge and the experiences I gained from each trend of art as references rather than staying as a direct  participant of them.  I dove completely within myself to find a child in my soul, a thinker in my mind, and a master craftsman in my hands.   Surprisingly enough, I found the eternal and the spiritual inherent to art  begin to define my style and to bring about my subsequent success.  In every painting I try to bring the present and past together by connecting  today’s artistic language with the values of the Classical Masters, by  repeating a canon of symbols and subjects familiar to all human beings  throughout history.

My purpose is not to analyze or to criticize this world but to create a  world in which I would like to live.  I envision the creation of an internal  and spiritual beauty as the basis of my direction in art rather than a beauty  for the sake of decoration.  To create beauty not only for visual aestheticism but as a tool for evoking a sentiment, an emotion in the viewer is essential in each of my paintings.  I prefer the simplicity found in a stone to that of the beauty of a diamond.  To be touched by another person’s experience is beauty in itself.

The co-existence of color, shape, and composition is one of the most important characteristics in the process of my painting.  In some sense it is  more important than the subject of the painting itself.  To feel a piece of art is more important for me than to understand any intellectual meaning it may or may not possess because I believe we can only feel beauty but not truly understand or explain it.

In my paintings, the figures invite the viewer into the painting to feel their individual experiences and circumstances, rather than throwing themselves at the viewer in an ostentatious manner.  I’ve invented a single, anonymous  person and have placed that person in different situations like single musical notes that are anonymous until arranged in a composition.  I attempt to reinterpret and rearrange them into situations we can all relate to.  Sometimes this person is a man or a woman but it is the same person,  a human being in general.  In other words, this person is a symbol for each one of us and invites the viewer to discover again the familiar symbols of our lives, to perhaps meet someone of like mind.

To create a strong and powerful painting, I prefer colors that are classic, fundamental, and pure in accordance with a simple subject and firm composition.  On the one hand, I see a painting as a valuable object created by the hands of a master craftsman, on the other hand, as a source of spiritual, philosophical, and humanistic values.

I have been in the world of art for as long as I can remember. It has become my natural means of contact with the world, a necessity as essential as water and air.  To put myself, my experience, my philosophy, and soul into a painting and to receive Your Response is the essence of my work.

Anton Arkhipov

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