Mikhail G. Abakumov


Mikhail G. Abakumov
1948 - 2010

Mikhail Georgievich Abakumov was born in the city of Kolomna. He entered the Moscow Kalinin Higher Art and Industry College in 1964, and in 1971 entered the faculty of arts at the State Film Institute (VGIK) with a focus in cinematography under the tutelage of I.A. Shpinel and G.A. Myasenikov. He graduated from the Institute in 1977 and that same year began studying at the Soviet Academy of Art under A. & C. Tkachev and A.M. Gritsai. He completed his master work there in 1983. Abakumov joined the Artists' Union of the Russian Federation in 1980. The Russian press has described Abakumov as "the best landscape painter in Russia", "the golden brush of Russia", and "a living classic", and asserted that, "At present there is no better-known or more authoritatively masterful painter in all of Russia."

Exhibitions partial list

Awards:(partial list)

Gold Medal of the Russian Academy of the Arts- 1995
Golden Brush of Russia award - 2001
Honorary Citizen of the city of Kolomna- 2003
Honorary Diploma from the Soviet Academy of Artists'- 1985 & 1987
Honored Artist of Russia- 1993
Laureate of the V.K. Bialynitsky-Birulia Prize- 2002
Member of the Artists' Union of the Russian Federation- 1980
People's Artist of Russia- 2001

Exhibitions:(partial list)

1982, First solo exhibition, Kolomna, Russia

1989, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2002, & 2004, Solo exhibitions, Moscow, Russia

2000, Solo exhibition, Rome, Italy at Villa Abamelec

2001, Solo exhibition, Naples, Italy

2003 & 2004, Solo exhibition, Paris, France

Collections:(partial list)

Central Artist House, Moscow
Flying Away, 2002, Acrylic on Paperboard,
Heavenly Souls, 2002, Acrylic on Canvas,

Russia Artists' Union
Wings of Spring, 2000, Oil on Canvas, 140 x 130 centimeters

State Tretyakov Gallery

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art

Auctions:(partial list)

2006 SOVCOM, Moscow, Russia,
Birch is Crying, Est. Sale Price: 5500.0

Additional Information:

Mikhail Abakumov is one of the most exhibited Russian artists, and it is no wonder: his body of works evinces a clearly Russian sensibility, expressed in the themes of his paintings, his desire for the preservation of the tradition of Russian realistic art, and in the spiritual search for understanding that is the underpinning of his style. One comes to understand how beautiful and dear the Russian land was to Abakumov by observing his paintings' portrayals of his hometown Kolomna and of the Russian North, particularly the Vologodskaya and Arkhangelskaya regions. The atmospheric, physical world is paramount in Abakumov's art -- in his portrayals of quiet, warm evenings, woods decorated with the last ray of a slowly-extinguishing sunset, sparkling snow glittering with bright lights from above, the green world purified by a bath of rain, the white wall of a monastery seen through the verdancy of spring...all is intentionally filled with a delicate, trembling poetry. In his own words, Abakumov aimed to communicate "the beauty of God's world", and desired that his paintings "radiate the joyful sound of a life-affirming symphony of colors." Though diverse in mood and content, there is a constant effort to convey the irreplicability of every moment of life, and the universal imperative to appreciate these resplendent moments. Above all else, his paintings illustrate the elevated inner condition of a Russian Soul searching for earthly bliss alongside heavenly exultation. Abakumov is famous among other artists not only for his prolific, lyrical, and highly-finished small landscape paintings, but also for his sense of humor and friendly mannerisms.

Among Abakumov's most famous works are:
Window into Eternity (1987-1992). This painting represents the bright image of Orthodox Russia, rising up again after the long, slow sleep of a godless, dark era. The vaulted doorway of the bell tower, the panorama of a Russian town with old towers and monastery walls opens up, the crosses of a far-off church glistening in the sun. All space is filled with light and air. A white dove flies above the bell tower, a symbol of the Annunciation.

The Gold of Russia (1995) Much beloved by Abakumov himself, a portrayal of the gold which has true value: the gold that falls from the birch trees and sparkles on the crosses and cupolas of the churches.

The Golden Rains Passed (2001) The true gold of Russia is her beauty: that of foliage, covering the frozen ground...the poor ladies, who are rich only in this gold, and by the church of the Assumption of the Virgin....