Mi k h a i l L e b e d y a n s k y
Doctor of Art History
Honored Arts Worker
of the Russian Federation

The painter Evgeny Zevin is my friend. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we spend each day together, that we’re inseparable and constantly keep track of each step of each other’s lives. Nor does it mean that we discuss each other’s business with our families and friends. And it doesn’t mean that since our first meeting fifteen years ago we’ve constantly sought each other’s advice in every situation and held each other by the hand in our journey through these difficult times.

No, it’s not this way at all. In fact, we see each other rarely and discuss serious problems together even more rarely. But what’s important is this: despite the fact that each of us exists independently, each in his own world, we live our lives in accordance with practically identical principles and ideas — about honesty and sincerity in art, about the ideals of beauty, about simple human decency and about love and duty. These common ideas have cemented our friendly ties over the years, irrespective of the frequency of our daily personal contacts.

Today Evgeny Zevin is active as a professional painter. And this means that over the long years following his graduation from architecture school he’s perfected his mastery as a painter and painting has been the primary foundation on which he’s developed his talent. But his original architect’s training has influenced his painting, which has a very structured and compositionally distinct look, with precise, pictorial zones of color and light. His relative, the painter Lev Zevin, was a student of Robert Falk. In 1941 he volunteered for the front, where he perished.
But Falk’s school has significantly influenced Evgeny Zevin’s painting over the years, and viewers can see its beneficial influence in many of his paintings.

Evgeny Zevin is an intelligent person. It’s no accident that he’s proven himself to be a capable organizer of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts’ activities over the course of many years. But his intelligence manifests itself above all in his paintings, in their combinations of subjects and compositions. In Soviet times, Zevin’s intelligence led him to reject Socialist Realist art and enter the ranks of the “underground”, and
social criticism became the foundation of his many paintings on political themes, such as Stagnation (1972), Freedom (1985)
and Scarecrows (1986).

He participated in many apartment exhibitions and in the famous open-air showing at Izmailovo Park. Today Evgeny Zevin is a respected participant in various Russian and international exhibitions.

Evgeny Zevin is a life-loving and witty person. These qualities come out most of all in his still lifes, of which he’s painted many in his lifetime. An occasion from public or private life, a fresh observation or event that’s made him laugh, a fanciful vision or dream image — all this can serve as a starting point for a still life composition. It’s no accident that Zevin loves jazz and the florid improvisations of jazz musicians. Here the elemental creative force takes him up and carries him away into the limitless realms of the imagination, which he’s explored and continues to explore his whole life.