ROBERT FALK. Красная мебель. 1920
Oil on canvas. 105 х 123. © Tretyakov Gallery
This special edition of our magazine, dedicated to Robert Rafailovich Falk (1886-1958), an outstanding artist and a significant personality of 20th-century art history, is chiefly comprised of memories of the artist, written down or recorded on tape by those who communicated with him directly: his widow Angelina Shchekin-Krotova, translator and teacher Vera Prokhorova, the artists Elizaveta Zeldovich-Galperina, Tatiana Verkhovskaya and Isai Zeitman, art critic Olga Severtseva, and Elena Levina, daughter of the artist Eva Levina-Rozengolts. Much of this material is published for the first time and introduced into scientific use and some is republished with new commentary, forewords and illustrations.
This collection’s chief value lies in the fact that the voice of the artist’s widow is, for the first time, intertwined with the voices of other memoirists, helping the reader to get closer to recognising and understanding both Falk the artist and Falk the man.
Two of these pieces were written in enthusiastic response to our requests by relatives of Falk’s model Zoya Kalatozova and the translator Jerzy Kucharski.
Each reminiscence is preceded by an introduction by the compiler of the special edition of our magazine, Yulia Didenko.
This special edition also includes an article about Angelina Shchekin-Krotova by the famous art critic Aleksandra Shatskikh, with whom the author had the good fortune of collaborating to get the first book about Falk in Russian ready for publication, and a review of Robert Falk’s chief solo exhibitions that Yulia Didenko, the Tretyakov’s senior researcher and compiler of the catalogue raisonne of paintings by Robert Falk (2006, 2018), prepared with the use of documentary materials.
The present edition ends with a poem by a renowned Soviet poet Boris Slutsky “Old Blue” and a little-known poetic dedication “Robert Falk” by the artist and poet Tatiana Selvinskaya.
Our profound gratitude for providing images from personal collections and archives goes to: Pyotr Alekseenko, Inna Bazhenova, Leonid Kabakov, Lilia Kalatozova, Mikhail Kamensky, Alisa Labas, Aleksander Lavrentiev, Elena Levina, Marina Mamontova, Elena Murina, Vladimir Nekrasov, Marina Prozorova, Olga Severtseva, Aleksandra Shatskikh, Valentin Shuster, Irina Stezhka, Aleksei Timofeev, Anna Travkina, Olga Velchinskaya and Irina Vinokurova.