You are currently viewing Nikolai Kasatkin. Nature of Painting, and Paintings of Nature
Foresight. 1998. Oil on canvas. 455х200

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Nature of Painting, and Paintings of Nature by Nikolai Kasatkin is the artist’s first postmortem exhibition. He created the bulk of the works presented in the exhibition in the 21st century: at the age of 80 he managed to perfect his experiments in painting.

Nikolai Kasatkin (b. 2 March 1932, d. 26 October 2019) is one of the brightest figures among the representatives of informal art of the middle and end of the 20th century. The subject of the artist’s scrutiny is a painting viewed by him at the same time as a visual image, a means for the translating of the personal experiences, and intellectual construct.

In each painting by Kasatkin entrancing with its scale and mastery lie hidden definite principles of composition: reflections merging with the objects they are cast by, imagery inside imagery, and the composition plans being disintegrated by doors and windows which literally open inwards within the volume of the picture.

The artist himself used to say: ‘Sometimes your artistic language sounds beguilingly similar to some other well-known language long discovered by someone. However, these paintings require that the viewer should bring their rush to a stop in order to make no mistake and keep the initial superficial impression’.

The exhibition by Nikolai Kasatkin Nature of Painting, and Paintings of Nature has more than 50 works contributed by the artist’s family collection and more than ten other collections from Russia, such as collections of Tigran Ayvazyan, Vladimir Antonichuk, Sergei Kotliarenko, Mikhail Otdel’nov, foundations of Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantin Sorokin, and the National Tretyakov Gallery.

The project has been realized with the participation by Zoya Kasatkina and the gallery pop/off/art.

Biography

Nikolai Kasatkin was born on March 2, 1932 in village Zhukovo of Smolensk Oblast. Starting from 1933 he lived in Moscow. Since 1983 during the summer months he would stay and work in village Vorontsovo of Smolensk Oblast.

From 1952 through 1959 Kasatkin took classes at the V. I. Surikov Institute of Art.

The artist started participating in exhibitions starting from 1959. From 1961 through 1993 he also worked as a teacher at the Extramural People’s University of Arts. Starting from 1959, Kasatkin worked for the art print workshop of the Visual Arts Publisher to make pieces for mass production (linocuts, etchings, and lithographs).

Works by Nikolai Kasatkin are found in many a private and museum collection including the National Tretyakov Gallery, the A. S. Pushkin State Museum of Visual Arts, and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.