Stanislav Stremidlovsk y

People’s Artist of Russia Evgeny Mikhailovich Zevin enjoys full rights of membership in the avant-garde of Russian fine arts, both as a follower of a groundbreaking artistic school from the early 20th century and as a talented artist, a professional master of the brush who’s responded to the challenges of our times in a relevant and modern way. His natural curiosity, sincere interest in people and their creative lives and encyclopedic knowledge of the history of painting and painters are worthy of admiration. And there isn’t a question for which he’s unable to find a considered answer. What’s more, Evgeny Mikhailovich’s knowledge isn’t a mere storehouse of facts and opinions: upon consideration and reflection, he voices judgments that are always memorable, clear and logically sound. His family’s painting tradition likely played a role in this.

Not only the subject of a painting is of importance for Evgeny Zevin but also its quality of execution, sense of color and contrast and precision of visual structure. All his paintings, regardless of their stylistic features, force even the casual viewer to remark upon the meticulous, painstaking labor that’s gone into perfecting them. His insistence on going his own way, uncompromising defense of his own views on the artist’s role, original painterly signature and graphic portrayals of the surrounding reality of his time long made Evgeny Mikhailovich an “uncomfortable” figure for officialdom. In the 1970s he began participating in non-conformist events such as the signal “demonstration” in Izmailovo Park in the autumn of 1974 and apartment exhibitions organized by Oskar Rabin and others. This brought him many unpleasant consequences. But his artistic colleagues, despite pressure from the ignorant party leadership, saw an accomplished artist in Evgeny Zevin. In 1974 he was accepted into the Moscow Artists Union’s youth section, and his acceptance into the Union as a full-fledged member in 1979 was accompanied by recommendations from such respected and world-renowned artists as Ivan Sorokin, Pavel Nikonov and Eduard Bragovsky.

In the late 1980s Evgeny Zevin achieved deserved international fame. Truly, everything happened in accordance with the Biblical phrase “A prophet is not without honor but in his own country”. The artist’s paintings found their first appreciation in the West, at exhibitions in Helsinki, Brussels, London, New York, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and Edinburgh. The foreign press constantly published Evgeny Mikhailovich’s works, wrote about him and named him an adherent and continuer of Russian avant-garde traditions. The master’s canvases enjoyed repeated success at the world’s best-known fine arts auction houses, such as Phillips, Bonhams and Christie’s. In 1992 Evgeny Zevin’s paintings were shown with great success at the British Royal Academy’s exhibition Artists of Russia. The New Generation, and in 1994 he participated in the exhibition Images of Soviet Art of the 1950s Through 1980s at the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. A number of his paintings were included in the anthology of Russian art of the same name as well as the book Russian Artists of the 18th Through 20th Centuries.

The artist’s works can be found in major museums and galleries in Europe, the US, Israel, Canada and elsewhere.

Evgeny Mikhailovich Zevin explains his creative position thusly: “In my art I always strive to find something new, unknown and heretofore untried: this is my avant-garde passion. I want my paintings to help people live in our difficult times, to make their lives better, kinder, more balanced, or secure, if you will. I want to support people morally and spiritually. Art should bring people joy, kindness and moral and spiritual support. I’m often invited to exhibitions, mainly abroad. I participate in prestigious auctions. My paintings sell; they can be found in museums, galleries and private collections. But I don’t seek to sell my paintings at any cost. On the contrary, I’m always sorry to part with them. I prefer them to be in my studio. I love to look at them and compare them to what I’ve just painted; they help me in my creative explorations.” The artist’s creative biography includes more than 100 exhibitions in Russia and abroad.

Evgeny Zevin actively combines his creative work with public activities, being one of the founders and Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts and the art director of its exhibition hall. Hardly a single event at the Academy takes place without his involvement.

All this without question represents recognition of his high professional mastery and significance as a contemporary artist, one who’s been able to express the most important features of our times in his work.