Mikhail Sokolov


Mikhail Sokolov

Mikhail N. Sokolov was born on September 11, 1931 in Moscow. He is the son of the academician of painting Nikolay Sokolov (one of the "Kukriniksy" artist's group members). His first art training came in 1943 when he began attending the Moscow Intermediate Art School. He then moved on to the Moscow Secondary Art School, from which he graduated in 1951. He was also enrolled in the Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture, & Architecture, also known as the Repin Institute where he studied under P. Korin. Sokolov's professional art education began in 1952 when he became a student at the Surikov Institute. Here, Mikhail studied under the great V.P. Efanov. In 1954, while still attending the Surikov, he first exhibited his work at a show of young Moscow artists. He graduated from the Institute in 1957. In 1958, Mikhail was recommended by the most esteemed artists N.P. Krymov, P.D. Korin, and F.S. Bogorodskii, to the Moscow Artists' Guild so as to continue his training. That same year he also joined the Journalists' Guild of the USSR. He had already worked since 1957 doing caricatures for "Krokodil".

Mikhail Sokolov was commissioned to execute a number of works for the Soviet Artists' Guild, and spent years traveling extensively throughout Russia, working on these paintings. There were several locations which he came to love dearly and visited frequently to paint. These places include Ladoga, Pereslaval'-Zalesskii, the Pushkin mountains, and Shchelykovo. He preferred to paint Russian landscapes and scenes of old Russian cities that had preserved the pre-Revolutionary way of life. He also enjoyed painting churches, estates, and other architectural ensembles. He frequently painted abroad in locations such as Italy, Egypt, Scandinavia, and France.

Exhibitions partial list

Awards:(partial list)

Member of the Journalists' Guild of the USSR, 1958
Member of the Moscow Artists' Guild, 1958

Exhibitions:(partial list)

Gabrov, Bulgaria

Warsaw, Poland

1954, Moscow show of young artists

1959, Vienna Youth and Student Festival

1968, First solo exhibition in Uglich

1970, Central Art Workers' House

1970, Science House

1978, 1981, & 1985, Exhibits in the Pushkin Mountain region

1985, Moscow Artists' Guild exhibition hall- joint show with the sculptor Y.I. Gatilova

Collections:(partial list)
The artist's works can be found in museums and private collections in Russia and abroad.

Artist's Collection
An Autumn Bouquet (Portrait of N. Sokolova), 1968, Oil on Canvas, Mounted on Cardboard, 50 x 70 cm

Private Collection, Moscow
Versailles, A Dull Day in May, 1958, Oil on Canvas, Mounted on Cardboard, 25 x 33.5 cm

Tretyakov Gallery (Museum)

Additional Information:

In his whole painting career, the artist essentially never left the bounds of the realistic style, reinforcing his adherence to the realist school of his homeland, to the foundations of the Russian cultural tradition.

In keeping with this, M. N. Sokolov preferred landscapes of Russian nature: scenes of old Russian cities and countryside, which had maintained the pre-Revolutionary way of life; architectural ensembles and churches; and noble estates, illuminated by a special cultural tradition, i.e. Pushkin's Trigorskoe and Shchelykovo Ostrovskogo.

Sokolov's artistic life coincided with the time of the greatest development and stability in the Soviet Artists' Guild, during the development of the art form "Socialist Realism." But M. N. Sokolov, his own type of realist painter, was never an ideologically engaged artist. In his many works of art, commissioned by the Soviet Artists' Guild's art fund, we don't find so-called "thematic pictures."

It is as if Sokolov unobtrusively forewent such themes in favor of the realism of landscapes and still-lifes, the thematic world of antiquated things, which he lovingly collected and restored.

The honesty of the realist style did not limit Sokolov's artistic explorations. In the 1970's and 1980's he began actively using tempera and moved to a more generalized treatment of painting forms. But his most successful medium was oil paints.

Examining Solokov's works, we sense that they were done by a complete artist, a cultured person, both professionally and personally.