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Boris M. Lavrenko (1920-2001)
Boris Lavrenko was born May 6, 1920 in Rostov-on-Don. At the age of 16, Lavrenko entered the Rostov Trade School of Arts and took part in local art exhibits through 1948.
Lavrenko became Master Sergeant of the 199th Brandenburg Infantry Regiment during the Great Patriotic War from 1941-45. He received the Patriotic War Order and numerous medals including the Victory over Germany medal.
In 1946, Lavrenko graduated from the Rostov and entered the Painting Department at the Repin Institute in Leningrad. Under the guidance of Pavlovsky, Frenz, Serebriany and Ioganson, he graduated with a degree in painting six years later.
From 1952 on, Lavrenko took part in major art exhibits in Leningrad, as well as republican and national exhibitions in Moscow. He became a member of the Lenigrad Chapter of the Russian Artists Union in 1953, and in 1954, he began teaching at the Repin Institute. The Institute named him a docent in 1962, and in 1976 he became a professor. He published several articles on the methodology of teaching the collections of scientific articles in Iskusstvo Magazine.
“My credo is the unity of truth and beauty, the truth of beauty and the beauty of truth.” Lavrenko was the subject of monograph by A. I. Roschchin, published in Leningrad in 1989; articles in the exhibit catalogs- Iskusstvo and Khudozknik; the Sovetskaya Kultura newspaper and others.
In 1972, Lavrenko held personal exhibits in Leningrad, Moscow and Rostov-on-Don. In 1976, he was named Honorable Artist of Russia; in 1980, he received the M. B. Grekov Silver Medal for his pictures depicting the Great Patriotic War.
His thesis, The Contribution of B. V. Ioganson and His School to the Formation and Development of Soviet Thematic Painting, was published in 1983, the year Lavrenko earned his Ph.D. in the Study of Art.
Biography by Matthew C. Bown
Submitted by Laurel Sparrow