Alexanderliech Fomkin

fomkin_bw close.jpg

Alexanderliech Fomkin
(1924 - 1999)

Alexander Fomkin was born in the village of Elizavetino, in the Orel region in 1924. He first attended the secondary art school, the preparatory school for the Surikov Institute (1939-1944). In 1943, the most promising students from the preparatory school were evacuated to Bashkeria in order to escape the approaching Germans. After the war he began to attend the Surikov Institute, graduating in 1950 from the studio of P. Kotov. While at the Surikov he studied under professors V.V. Pochitailovo and M.V. Dobroserdov. He also went on to obtain a post-graduate degree, which he completed in 1955. In 1953, while still working on this degree, he was offered a teaching position at the Surikov. One of his students and later friends was Alexey Sukhovetsky who now teaches at the Surikov Institute. Fomkin died in 1999.

Exhibitions partial list

Awards:(partial list)

Chair of the painting department at the Surikov Institute
Honored Artist of the Russian Federation
awarded the title- People's Painter of Russia
bestowed the title- Official Critic of Art and Advisor of Diverse Russian Museums

Collections:(partial list)
His works can be found in museums throughout Russia as well as in private collections in Russia, Germany, France, England, USA, and other countries.

Russian Academy of Arts
Memory, 1952, Oil on Canvas, 59 x 37 cm

Catalogues:(partial list)
1995 Maestros de la Pintura Rusa, exhibition at Castella 120, Galeria de Arte, Madrid, Spain
- Oil on ?, 1958, 50 x 70 cm Cherry Trees in Bloom

Additional Information:

Fomkin was also friends with Pablo Picasso. One day, while Picasso was well into his career and already realizing millions of dollars for his works, the two artists were out painting. Picasso was moving frequently and painting from different perspectives. While he was moving about he left one of his paintings behind, just floating on the breeze. Well Fomkin, who knew what such a work might fetch on the market, grabbed the painting and took it over to Picasso in complete disbelief. He said to Picasso, are you crazy, this could fetch a million dollars; you shouldn't leave such a valuable piece to just float away. Picasso's response to Fomkin was that if he were to look closely he would see that it is worthless, as he had not yet signed it. (Story as told by John Wurdeman)