Petr Kuzmich Stoliarenko
- Peoples artist of Ukraine
Peter Kuzmich Stoliarenko - a landscape and marine painter, a master of still-life and genre paintings, is considered as one of the most fascinating of the living Crimean artists. He is called the Soviet post-impressionist, and his art - a crucial classic of Soviet and post-Soviet painting. The artist was born July 13, 1925, in the picturesque village of Kapkany (now the district of Kerch), in the Crimea, on the shore of the sea of Azov in the family of an ichthyologist, who was the head of fishery. Stoliarenko has recalled that his father, Kuzma S. Stoliarenko has played an essential role in his relation to art because Kuzma was fond of painting and drawing and was an amateur artist himself. As a child, when Stoliarenko was spending a lot of time with his aunt in Feodosia in 1936 - 1940, he often visited an art gallery there and perceived the gallery as a temple, trying then to imitate Ivan Aivazovsky's style later, when coming back at home. Stoliarenko began to study painting in the artist's studio of K. F. Bogayevsky in Feodosia. At the age of ten, Stoliarenko was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to learn from N. S. Barsamov, the director of the Aivazovsky's Art Gallery, a talented teacher, art connoisseur, and an experienced artist himself, at the studio of fine arts. Barsamov instantly was drawn to exceptional talent and zeal for knowledge of a young boy. The war has interrupted the artistic training of Stoliarenko, but he returned to Barsamov after the Liberation of the Crimea and continued to study for further two years. Incredible beauty, atmosphere and magnificent richness of Crimean scenery were important to the artist's work. Mountains, hills, fishing boats, the unique blueness of the sea, ships, fishermen, and soldiers appear as the main characters in Stoliarenko's drawings from his early childhood.
Stoliarenko was going through a lot of dreadful experiences during the war: the occupation by the Nazis, starvation, partisan squad, endless wandering in forests, hospital, injuries and disability. Stoliarenko was able to become an artist in spite of all the tragic, harsh circumstances of life. Craving for artistic expression has never died out in Stoliarenko: neither during the war, nor because of injuries and disability, nor because of the loss of people that he loved. Nothing could stop Stoliarenko aspire to become an artist. During the difficult period, the young artist designed Soviet Newspapers, propaganda slogans, motivational posters, military leaflets. After the war, he worked as a head of the library in an artillery regiment. Despite the fact that Barsamov had advised the artist not to enter any art academy after the art school because he considered Stoliarenko being entirely ready for independent art practice, Stoliarenko was dreaming about continuing his artistic education. Finally, the artist's ambitions have led him to the Crimean Art College named after N. Samokish straight to the fifth year. However, the artist was disappointed after the graduation.
Since 1948, Stoliarenko has started to exhibit his works, although he pointed out later that he considers the beginning of his professional career starting in 1949. Despite this fact, the artist was forced to engage in fishing to support his young family. Since 1953, Stoliarenko has participated in all-Union and international exhibitions that took place in Albania, Hungary, Finland, France, Spain, Italy, Canada, USA, and Japan. In 1953, as a sign of recognition of the high level of skill displayed in the 'Torpedo Boat's Attack', which was shown at the opening of the exhibition in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Soviet Army, Stolyarov was accepted as a candidate Union of artists of the USSR, and then became a full member. In 1965, the first solo exhibition of Stolyarenko was successfully held in Kiev. In 1972 Stolyarenko received the title of Honored Artist of Ukraine, and in 1985 became a National Artist of Ukraine. Between 1990 - 1995 years, he has travelled extensively throughout Europe, visiting Belgium, Spain, Monaco, Luxembourg, Holland, Italy, Denmark and France. During the same years, he worked mainly in Paris. Stoliarenko has always been capable of an incredible variety of themes, styles, moods, bravely experimenting in his work. He has created airy, light, filled with sunshine paintings in the almost impressionist style, and bright, bold work, reminiscent of Fauvism, and historical-revolutionary paintings with a feeling of bitterness, and heated by the sun landscapes of his native Crimea, delicate still lifes, monumental, full of tragedy works on a military subject, and sincere, emotional representations of tired, gruff fishermen, and, of course, infinite, silvery blue sea. Since 1969, the artist has been living and working in Yalta.
Главацкий, О. (2015). Его считают одним из лучших маринистом двух столетий. [online] Yalta.rk.gov.ru. Available at: http://yalta.rk.gov.ru/rus/index.htm/news/302743.htm
Фогель, З. (n.d.). Столяренко Петр Кузьмич. [online] Artru.info. Available at: http://artru.info/ar/bio/3842/