Evsey Evseevich Moiseenko

Evsey Evseevich Moiseenko

1916 —1988
  • Silver medal of the USSR Academy of Arts (1962)
  • State prize of the RSFSR named after I. E. Repin (1966)
  • Laureate of the Lenin prize (1974)
  • Laureate of the State prize of the USSR (1983)
  • Corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Arts (1962)
  • Honoured artist of the RSFSR (1963)
  • People's artist of the RSFSR (1965)
  • People's artist of the USSR (1970)
  • Academician of the USSR Academy of Arts (1973)
  • Hero Of Socialist Labour (1986)
Evsey Moiseenko is an accomplished Russian Soviet painter and virtuoso graphic artist with a recognisable, unique style; a bright representative of the Leningrad school of painting of the second half of the XX century, as well as, a teacher of the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture named after I. E. Repin. The artist is notable for his landscapes, still lifes, portraits, genre paintings, created in his own distinctive manner, which is characterised by highly-articulated graphics combined with a free, bold brushwork, pure colours, and an elaborate, intriguing composition. Moiseenko was born on August 28, 1916, in a simple peasant family in the small Belarusian village of Uvarovichi in the Gomel region. The fifteen-year-old boy has gone to Moscow to embark on his artistic career. "There was a fanatical desire to learn," said Moiseenko. In 1931 - 1935 Yevsey studied at the Moscow M. I. Kalinin School of Art and Industry at the Department of Painting on Metal and Papier-Mache. By virtue of studying in this institution, Moiseenko had the opportunity to undertake an internship in the famous centres of Russian folk art and, especially, lacquer painting - villages of Zhostovo, Fedoskino, Mstera and Palekh. Folk art and its traditions had a great influence on the formation of the artistic manner of Evsey Evseevich: vivid, strong character, brightness, compositional novelty and fresh colour combinations have come to the artist's work from decorative and applied Russian art. According to the artist, the experiences of his childhood, full of unity with nature, observations of peasant labour, curiosity about the lives of the villagers, and all that has surrounded him, were Moiseenko's first lessons in art. As the artist has stated, an intelligent and skilled teacher of painting and special subjects, B. N. Lange, whom Evsey Evseevich had in the school, also has made a significant contribution to the formation of Moiseenko as a professional painter. Such respected and acknowledged Soviet masters of painting as V. N. Yakovlev and I. Brodsky have approved Moiseenko's very early works.

In March 1936, the young artist began training at the all-Russian Academy of Arts in Leningrad at the faculty of painting. Easel painting and its principles were quite new for Moiseenko, but thanks to the skilful teachers, such as A. E. Karev, S. V. Priselkov and S. V. Abugov, the artist has quickly learned the rules of composition, techniques of drawing and painting, constructive "analysis" of form and colour. During his third year of studies, Moiseenko has gotten into the studio of the artist with bright personality and strong character, A. A. Osmerkin. This experience has immensely contributed to the development of Evsey Evseevich's talent because Osmerkin had shown to the young artist how great is the power of visual imagination and independent thinking in painting. Artistic education of the young man was interrupted by the war, in which he took part from 1941 to 1945. During the war the artist was captured by the Germans and until April 1945 he was kept in a concentration camp in Altengrabow. After liberation by the Soviet troops, service in the 3rd Guards Cavalry Corps and, as a result, demobilization, Moiseenko has returned to painting and finished the Academy. In 1947, the State Examination Commission awarded Moiseenko the title of artist-painter for the execution of the diploma painting "General Dovator". In the same year he was admitted to the Union of Soviet artists in the Leningrad branch. Thus, an independent professional career of the artist has begun. Since 1948 Moiseenko has started to participate in exhibition and showed his work at the all-Union exhibition "of works of young artists dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Komsomol" for the first time. Subsequently, Moiseenko was regularly taking part in a variety of exhibitions both at home and abroad, in cities such as Warsaw, Tokyo, Montreal, Sofia, Helsinki, Budapest, Berlin, Delhi, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Paris, Toronto, New York, New Orleans.

In 1953, Evsey Evseevich made trips to Pskov, Staraya Lagoda, Novgorod. From all his trips, the artist brought a lot of sketches, landscape motifs, which always reflect how much Moiseenko, who grew up in the village, understood the life of true Russian nature. Moiseenko was first elected to the Board and Presidium of the Bureau of the painting section of the Leningrad branch of the Union of Soviet artists in 1956. This event marks the rapid ascent of Moiseenko to national glory and official recognition. Since then, the artist will be regularly elected to the Board of the Union of artists of the RSFSR. Moiseenko has begun teaching at the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture named after I. E. Repin, leading his personal studio of painting, in which he will educate generations of artists until his death. In 1962, Moiseenko was elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Arts. The artist has always had a craving for travel, and in 1963 Evsey Evseevich went to Central Asia. In the same year, the artist was awarded the title of honoured artist of the RSFSR, as well as the title of Professor of the Painting of the Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.

Moiseenko has often visited his home village. Almost every year he was gathering material for his paintings and enjoying special energy and atmosphere of the dear place. As a matter of fact, the idea of one of Moiseenko's best works, "The Red have come" (1961) which he began in 1956, has come to the artist in his native Belarus. This work has won unprecedented popularity and was shown at the national and all-Union exhibitions, as well as exhibitions held in Poland, Denmark, East Germany, Brazil, Mexico, and Cuba. The artist went to Crimea in 1965. He was also travelling around Central Russia. During this period, the artist had already reached the high level of skill and mastery, which has earned him awe and admiration from the public. As if to confirm this, Moiseenko received the title of People's Artist of the RSFSR in 1965. Evsey Evseevich was awarded the State Prize of the RSFSR named after I. E. Repin for the famous painting "The Red have come" in 1966. In the following year, the artist was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour, and also Moiseenko was awarded the medal "for the best painting of the year" for the work of "Mothers, Sisters". In 1970, Evsey Evseevich was awarded a gold medal of M. B. Grekov for "The first Cavalry" (1957), "The Red have come" (1961), "Messengers" (1967), "Cherry" (1969). Moiseenko was awarded the title of People's artist of the USSR. Already being an established artist who had found his niche, Evsey Evseevich, nevertheless, has been in a constant creative search. His studio was filled with reproductions of paintings by Vrubel, Serov, Petrov-Vodkin, as well as, Giotto, El Greco, Modigliani. For some time, Moiseenko was very fond of linocut, experimenting with it and extracting useful expressive means for his work in overall from this activity. He has tried to work in different techniques, but has only presented the most complete, perfected works to public judgement. The artist went to a summer trip to the Baltic States in 1971, visiting Riga, Palanga, Klaipeda, Šventoji, Vilnius and Plungė. After such trips his studio was filled with numerous visual evidences of the journey: paintings and drawings about travel, nature, people that he had seen. In the autumn of 1973 Moiseenko went to Pushkin mountains, Mikhailovskoye, and Petrovsky. He was elected a full member of the Academy during the same year, and at the IV Congress of the Union of Artists he was appointed the Secretary of the Union of Artists. In 1974 Moiseenko went to Spain and France, which he visited one more time two years later, and he also received The Lenin prize for a series of paintings "The Years of Battle." In 1976, he travelled to Greece. The works of Evsey Evseevich of the 1970s period summarise his experiences and impressions of the past and the present, creating something entirely eternal. This poetic understanding of life, leisurely, slow-moving tempo of the visual narrative, the subtle lyricism of thought reflects the long and fruitful path of the artist in art. Moiseenko died at the age of seventy-two, on 29 November 1988, in Leningrad. The artist is buried on the Literatorskie Mostki of the Volkov cemetery in St. Petersburg.

Герман, М. (1975) Евсей Моисеенко. Ленинград: Аврора.
Кекушева-Новосадюк Г., В. (1977) Евсей Евсеевич Моисеенко. Ленинград: Художник РСФСР.
Леонова Н. Г. (1989) Евсей Моисеенко. Ленинград: Лениздат.