Rastorguev Evgeny

Евгений Расторгуев

1920 — 2009

Evgeny Rastorguev was born in 1920 in the settlement called Nikolo-Pogost of Nizhny Novgorod province and spent his childhood in the town of Gorodets on the Volga. In the autumn of 1935 Evgeny entered Gorky Art College where his main teacher was Anatoly Samsonov.

In 1941 Rastorguev was called up to the Red Army and sent to the front where he became a military cartographer. In 1943 he fought at the Karelia front, worked in the frontline newspaper, participated in the erection of the first memorial museum dedicated to the Second World War — the architectural memorial complex “The Victory of Svir". After the war, in 1946 Evgeny Rastorguev went on with his artistic education and entered the art department of Moscow State Art Institute named after V. I. Surikov, where he studied at the workshop led by S. V. Gerasimov. Among his fellow-students were V. Gavrilov, S. Tkachev, I. Sorokin, B. Shustov, R. Stolyarov and many others. He also got acquainted with older masters, such as V. Efanov, Y. Pimenov, F. Bogorodskiy, A. Tyshler, N. Shifrin, G. Shegal, N. Chernyshev. Some of these relationships turned into friendship.

In 1953, after graduating from the institute by the recommendation of his teacher S. V. Gerasimov and with the support of V. N. Baksheev, Rastorguev immediately joined the Union of Artists of the USSR, thus skipping his probationary period. In the same year his artworks “Port of Vladimir" and “Student" were exhibited at the All-Union show in the halls of the State Tretyakov Gallery. Very soon he became a member of the Board of the Union of Artists.

In 1957 the artist created his “Youth" painting, which success led to it being acquired by the State Tretyakov Gallery. From 1960 he started collaborating closely with the “Youth" magazine where he worked as an illustrator. As a magazine reporter he travelled a lot around the country: the Urals, Bratskaya Hydro Power Plant, the Far East, Nakhodka. In the middle of the 1960s he produced a series of works dedicated to the construction in the Far East: the series called “Bratskaya notebook", “Poems" (1964-1965) and “Long-distance run" devoted to the everyday life of Bratsk drivers. In 1966 he set off travelling again around the North, this time together with Tamara Guseva. They visited Sumsky Island, Sumsky Posad and Yukovo. In their trip they were also accompanied by the artist Pavel Sudakov. The material of these trips became the basis for such Rastorguev's canvases as “We are in the North", “Aunt Tanya", “The fisherman from Sumsky Posad", “Serezha with whitefish" and other artworks belonging to the Belomorsk cycle.

On coming back to Moscow Rastorguev went in for book graphics; the artist designed more than 100 books at the “Detgiz", “Molodaya Gvardia" and “Sovetskiy pisatel" publishing houses. In addition, he took part in many Moscow, Russian, All-Union and international exhibitions. He also became a member of the famous “Group 16". Since the end of the 1960s the artist's style began to change radically and he took up ceramics. Rastorguev spent every summer in Gorodets, where he had bought a house, and he painted whole series of works dedicated to the town of his childhood. From that moment on he became known as “the artist from Gorodets" with his own distinguishable style. In 1970 one of the first publications about the artist written by А. Zybin and named “Gorodets fantasies" was published in the “Moscow" magazine.

The artist's paintings were exhibited at the shows of the “Group 16" artworks (1969, 1975, 1985), at the ornamental arts exhibition at the Salon of Nadia Légerin Paris(1975), at the small-scale sculpture show in New-Delhi (India) in 1979, at the exhibition dedicated to the works of Soviet artists in Birmingham, Great Britain (1988), in Warsaw (Poland) and Toronto (Canada) in 1989, at the shows in Pennsylvania (USA), Honfleur (France) in 1991, at the exhibition called “Five Russian artists in Rome" at the “San Lorenzo" gallery (Italy) in 1993, at the group exhibition at the “Na Solyanke" gallery in Moscow (1994), at the group exhibition of Moscow painters in Yaroslavl, at “Forum-Are" gallery (1996) and many others.

Evgeny Rastorguev's personal exhibitions took place in West Berlin (1975), at the Exhibition Hall in Liteyniy Prospect in Leningrad (1984), in Vyborg at the Castle (1985), at the Chuvash State Art museum in Cheboksary (1987), in Podolsk (1988), at Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum (1990), in Rome and at the Gallery of Elena Kornetchuk in Pittsburgh (USA) in 1991, at the Central House of Artist in Moscow in 1995, at the “Kovcheg" gallery in Moscow in 1997, at the Embassy of New Zealand in Moscow (2004), at the State Tretyakov Gallery (2005), at the Embassy of Finland in Moscow (2007), at the Exhibition Hall of Gorodets (2008) and at the Central exhibition hall of Nizhny Novgorod.

Evgeny Rastorguev's artworks are presented in the collections of the State Tretyakov Gallery, The State Museum of Ceramics “Kuskovo", The State Historical, Architectural, Art and Landscape Museum-Reserve “Tsaritsyno", Moscow Museum of Modern Art; State Russian Museum, The State Memorial Museum of Leningrad Defense and the Siege (Saint Petersburg), Vologda Regional Picture Gallery, at the art museums of Vologda, Orel, Nizhny Novgorod, Kherson, Tomsk, Ekaterinburg, Cheboksary, Izhevsk, Kemerovo, Chelyabinsk, Ferapontovo, Novokuznetsk, Petrozavodsk, Tumen, as well as abroad: at the Vatican Museum (Rome, Italy), at the Art Museum in Toulouse (France), at Cremona Foundation Museum (Mechanicsville, USA), at the Museum Ludwig (Cologne, Germany); in the private collections in Bulgaria, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland, Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg), USA, Finland, France, Czech Republic, New Zealand.