Viting Nikolay

1910 — 1991

Nikolay Viting was born in Bryansk in the family of the railway engineer. His father was seriously fond of painting and his uncle had a good collection of Russian art. In 1920s during the Civil War the family moved to Moscow. Viting's mother died, his father had lots of business trips and Viting with his brother lived most of the time alone. In 1928-1930 Viting entered the Art Courses of the House of the Art Education. His art teachers were Igor Yuon and Konstantin Morozov. Konstantin Morozov invited Viting to join the art group Painters' Workshop. This group was organized by wonderful artists Alexandr Shevchenko and Alexandr Golovanov. In 1929 Viting studied at the studio of this art group. The members of the group were mostly students of followers of A.Shevchenko who taught young artists new methods of organisation of compositions in the works of contemporary French artists. They declared themselves as Russian expressionists.

Meetings with Vladimir Mayakovsky, Roman Semashkevish and many other outstanding artists helped Viting to find his personal style. In 1929 a legendary founder of Jack of Diamonds group, the artist Aristarkh Lentulov highly appreciated Viting's talent of colourist and chose some of his paintings for the exhibition. In 1930 Viting participated in the V-th Exhibition of the Painters' Workshop group. Viting's line etching Repair of the Tram Railways was purchased by the Museum of the Revolution and published as a postcard. It was according to Viting's words “the best and the last exhibition of the group". The next year all the art societies were forbidden. "The Painters' Workshop" broke down but Viting was cleaved to expressionism and visited Shevchenko's art lessons. In 1934 Viting entered Moscow Art Institute. He studied in the class of Sergey Gerasimov and Pavel Pavlinov. After graduation in 1942 Viting worked at the famous M.B.Grekov Studio of War Painters. He made series of graphic works at the Southern front; views of the Rostov-on-the-Done, portraits of tankers, pilots, and soldiers. He thought the drawing to be the basement for any of the Fine Arts – Painting, architecture, and sculpture. Many of his drawings later he reworked in lithographs. Lots of his works from this period were purchased for the museum collections.

In the works of 1960s the artist comes back to the style of 1930s. In the artworks the most important for Viting was not the subject, not literary or philosophical idea, but the art image, the pictorial or graphic idea. Viting did not follow the plein-air studies like the most artists in this time. He preferred his own artistic interpretation of natural impression. In his sport series (Boxing.1977, Basketball Players, 1976 and others) Viting fixed the most dramatic moments but then he reinterpreted moments of the struggle into expressionist symbolical images. He always repeated that the artist must work with endless joy.

Nikolay Viting was one of the artists who succeeded to keep traditions of the art of 1930s and to follow his personal style in the epoch of triumph of socialist realism. The artworks by Nikolay Viting are represented in the collections of the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), State Art Museum of Georgia (Tbilisi), I.V.Savitsky Karakalpakastan State Art Museum (Nukus, Uzbekistan), The State United Art Museum (Kostroma), Historical, Art and Architectural Museum in Novy Jerusalem (Istra).

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