Olga, G. Svetlechnaya

1946 -1997


Olga Grigoryevna Svetlechnaya was born in 1915 in the Ivanov countryside in the Yukhovskii region of the province Kaluzhskaya. She began her studies in art from 1929 to 1932 at the "1905" Moscow Art School. In 1934 she was accepted to the Surikov Institute. While attending the Institute, Olga had the fortune to study under the highly revered I.E. Grabar, S.E. Gerasimov, and A.A. Osmerkin. In 1937 Olga and Yuri P. Kugach, a fellow classmate, were married. In 1939, also while still in attendance at the Surikov, the artists had a son Mikhail Y. Kugach. Due to WWII, like so many of her contemporaries, her studies were interrupted by mandatory evacuations. In 1943 Olga Svetlichnaya and 11 other academically accomplished artists were evacuated to Samarkand, Uzbekistan for the duration of the war. It looked like Moscow might fall to the Germans so the Soviet government decided to evacuate their most promising artists whom they saw as cultural assets. She finally completed her studies at the Surikov in 1946.

After graduating, Svetlichnaya almost immediately began exhibiting. It has been said that her works have been included in every major Russian art exhibition since. After 1950, Olga and her family moved to the Tver region countryside where she continued to paint until her death in 1997. The decision to take up residence in the country was, in part, to allow Olga to paint beautiful works unfettered by the commercial world. Yuri Kugach (her husband) loved his wife dearly and valued her painting as highly, if not higher than, his own. Their son Mikhail remembers his father saying that he would play the career enhancing political games. He would become famous and earn the family income so that his wife could spend her life just painting great paintings.

Exhibitions partial list

1950 & 1951, All-Union Art Exhibition, Moscow

1960, Soviet Russia, Moscow

2009, Kugach, Kugach, Kugach, Three Generations of Artists, American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

2009, The Russian Art Fair, London, England

Since 1943, Every major All-Union exhibition

Collections:(partial list)

Russia Artists' Union
Snow is Coming Off, 1980, Oil on Canvas, 40 x 73 cm

Books:(partial list)
The Connection of Times, Covering the works of Yuri, Olga, Mikhail, Ivan, and Ekaterina Kugach