In the kitchen at Grikova № 5

What to learn is not necessary, or where it all began.

Issue № 5 from 19.02.2019

                    «… We are neither «the end» of the century, nor the «beginni
ng» of the new, but the struggle of centuries in the soul; We a
re scissors between centuries; We need to take in the problem of
scissors… «

                                                       A. White. «At the turn of two centuries».

The story of when and how the artist began to reflect himself as an artist, always poses a question of the environment in which the formation of his personality began. But is it easy in the memoirs to separate the main from the secondary? After all, we often do not know what is and what is not. Especially since the specifics of the time, which came to the years of youth Vitaly Grikkov, did not have a dialogue with the previous era of great achievements in art-in this regard, the beginning of the way of the artist can be compared with the treasure, «archaeology Knowledge «, as Foucault would say, without a clear idea of what the result should be.

Vitaly Grimakov. Self portrait. 1957,
interview with fungal about self-portrait.

The interview continues the cycle of conversations with the artist Vitaly Grivkov.

Vitaly Grimakov. You think memories can recreate Objective picture?

Valery Ismieva. What are you, no!  Rather I agree with Gusserlem: every Remembering changes our view of the past so I think that fantasy Inevitable! But… In the modern information field, it seems to me to find objectivity That's impossible.

v.g. Almost impossible!

v.i. … And because the legend and what Man takes for objectivity, is composed of a heap of unobjectiveness, Which each synthesizes in his own way… Folding image.

v.g. So where do we start?

v.i. Let's start with your Education.

v.g. Tell the biography? I was recording something, but my memoirs didn't Wrote.  Although it is not necessary to be Great man to read your memoirs was interesting. and some pieces Man always records. I did (for myself) biographical novels; This is More like a diary. However, they are published.

v.i. So, Stroganovka (now Moscow State Art and Industrial Academy named after S. Thursday,. Stroganova (Mkhpa im. Stroganova, one of the oldest in Russia art educational institutions (based on the basis of drawing classes, opened in 1825 year) in the field of industrial, monumental-decorative and applied art and interior art).

v.g. Is it interesting to anyone?

v.i. Interesting – your personal Impressions.  Just the other day communicated With one designer who boasted that, though not Marhi finished; Unknown University, but there they, he said, the teachers were from Stroganovka. And Now, added, they are already there and not, but he was lucky-he learned from the wonderful Teachers… That's about them to hear from you. From another source I know that School it was in those days—that is In the 80s of the twentieth century-the institution in its own avant-garde: there taught Not only painting, drawing, plastic, but taught artists to take photos and Video shooting. In the intelligentsia of the Stroganovskoe school was considered a hotbed Freedom of thinking… But when and where did your art education begin?

v.g. In Chudovke. There was an art school, it went After the lessons.

v.i. Why did you choose Stroganovka? In the artistic School someone got bored?

v.g. I studied in the usual Soviet school and liked to draw. Where to go, did not know, and my choice Led by MOM. First I applied to another institution, but I didn't go there. by competition…

v.i. And in what? Creative too?

v.g. Institute of Oriental Studies.  

v.i. Oh, my! And you're talking about This so easily – now it is absolutely unthinkable without special training After school take and go to submit documents to this university!

v.g. Then it was possible to proceed, as they say, «from the Sohi.»

v.i. So you had an interest in Oriental Studies?

v.g. Pure exotic…

v.i. I'm sorry, but it's like Sergey Eisenstein's fascination with Japanese language in early youth. Arriving in Moscow, he is in the future the author of the thesis that the film is born on the montage Table, spent a year studying hieroglyphs (and then it was useful to him when constructing Images).  The poet Ezra Pound, too Fascinated by the study of eastern writing and hieroglyphs, based on their own interpretation Created his own poetic language…  Theater director Antonen Arto was interested in the Japanese theater… Probably, intellectuals attract in the eastern culture fundamentally different Way to build the image? When from completely distant, seemingly, concepts, New… Sorry, we were distracted… And here's an alternative to you have chosen Stroganovka… Helped to prepare at art school?

v.g. I threw the artistic school. Went away for three months and left.

v.i. But why?

v.g. I'm lazy. I've wanted to be idle all my life. But idleness is the work with spirit. I am a slacker and an idle man!

And in Stroganovka, which, by the way, was near my house, I first Time did not do – abilities were, but there was no preparation. Year was preparing-walked In a circle in the House of Pioneers. Why not Surkovka (now Moscow State academic Art Institute named after v. And. Surikov at the Russian Academy Arts)?  Surkovke had very high academic requirements, and I understood I'm not going to do that.  and intuition to me Suggested that actually all this «school» is not needed-you just need to get an official Education, so I walked for a piece of paper.

v.i. How many years have you studied in Stroganovka?

v.g. We have studied six… No, eight years.

v.i. This is more than in the then Medical! How did it happen?

v.g. In Stroganovka there were two courses of handicraft training. Then they Eliminated. So, as in the pre-revolutionary Academy, we studied for eight years.

v.i. A huge segment of life!

v.g. Of course. My friends told me that they had never seen me Ever taught something.

However, I did not disappoint: in Stroganovka Taught good people, decent, Of that generation that has stepped into a new Soviet life from the Silver Age…

v.i. They had a terrible hard time.

v.g. Yes! But they were smart people, and they knew how to live a double life. None of them did not drop on our brains, did not press, did not press. Did not punish bad grades… Nikolai Nikolayevich Sobolev, and he was a monarchist,-directly stated to us at the lecture: «Your government has destroyed such church!» in Stroganovka and Pavel Kuznetsov taught (I really did not catch him), Komardjonkov, Egonov.

Learn more…


V.E. Egunov and his disciples. 1967

v.i. You are lucky – even just Breathe is one air with native speakers of sophisticated culture…

v.g. Yes, if they weren't, I'd be an idiot.

v.i. … In the pure antique meaning of the word -an idiot, that is a person who does not understand the world, living in isolation from society?

v.g. Yes. But if you want to listen to me, then someone I have become.

v.i. Have your teachers told you Something about your past, about your life, about the culture of that time?

v.g. No, no, it was not accepted! Besides, they thought we were idiots. Yes, we were.

v.i. But with time? You don't Close? At least with someone?

v.g. No. The difference between us was too great. We were from a generation Dancing Jazz… One of us was able to hear, see and understand, and someone Missed.

v.i. But through what then it was possible to To perceive such a tightly preserved culture? Through the manner of teaching? How did the understanding come?

v.g. I think it was all about Gusserliu, the reason is intensionality. If a person's interest arises, he observes and Interested, he is ready to perceive, and then comes the information…

v.i. And hardly have you acted as at once and You have this interest?

v.g. No, it wasn't related to class classes when you draw plaster. And still life. But we were with Yurka Kosmynyin in 1965, when we were «Ficection» is started, we went Copy the frescoes in Yaroslavl.

v.i. What church?

v.g. To the Church of John Baptist (one of the most Famous monuments of Yaroslavl architecture, built in the late 17th century). In the 1960s, I traveled with Pavel Barbasov to Novgorod and Pskov.

v.i. I remember when I was there with Its university course in the early nineties, all the famous temples stood Almost abandoned, rusinated (restoration only-only began), frescoes Almost never been seen. That's what you caught, then.

v.g. I went there several times. And in 62 he saw the frescoes of Theofana Grek and Neredisu (Church of the Intercession on Neredize). But maybe if Nikolai Nikolayevich Sobolev did not lecture us -I would not know then about their existence… And on his exam, I was disgraced. He asks – at what Prince created Vladimir-Suzdal architecture? I said I don't know.

v.i. At Andrey Bogolyubochsky…

v.g. I didn't know then. He says, «Come on!» – and I: «Well, princes somehow Much was… » I still feel ashamed. But he gave me four. Because That I understood-well idiots we! And we try – as much as we do.

v.i. And what you were told about Forefront? About foreign art?

v.g. Interesting question! For example, Danilova taught us. She is Asked, «Who is the marriage?» I say, «cubist.» And-Hit!  And in fact-what is the marriage! We even Impressionists then did not know.

Vitaly Grimakov. Still Life with glass. Early 1960s.

v.i. How is that? They couldn't have been Look at the museum on Volhonka? Impressionists from the collections of Shchukin and Morozova, Who compiled the most famous part of the collection of the Gmia, there was not at that time exhibited?

v.g. No. They later appeared!

v.i. I got it. After all, the Impressionists Now seem like such classics, such a traditional direction! That's Expressionism we have as notions in the mass consciousness as it were not before Exhibitions in the gmia of German artists from the group «Bridge» in 2008…

v.g. It's all right. But in my case, there was one small «but.» The case in That my mother from my filing bought from my schoolmate here such a Apollo Mountain and the Golden Fleece (Apollo, an illustrated magazine dedicated to the issues of of fine Arts, music, theatre and Literature, was published in 1909 – 1917 in St. Petersburg. «Golden Fleece»-monthly artistic and Literary-critical Journal, Who came out in Moscow in 1906 – 1909 under the editorship of Nikolai Ryabushinsky) I, really, then drank it all with my friend Kotrovskiy.  But before I read… I'm not from the nobles and not even out Townspeople, I'm from peasants.

v.i. Like most modern Urban dwellers.

v.g. But my ancestors from those who after the reform of 1861 years (Abolition of serfdom) became governors- Landowners gave them land, and they led on it farm… by memoirs Relatives, they were quite prosperous, more precisely do not know how to define. Probably someone as a result of the reform and impoverished, but someone like them, managed to Catch. As a result, the parents bought in Lipetsk luxury house-a brick-lined building with stucco decoration On ceilings, filenchatymi doors… Under Soviet rule, he was Tenants, as in Kommunku. And once they have sat down-then return to the still possession Home is no longer possible. I lived in it until the end of the third class…

Our manor is preserved (shows photos). In 1910, Grandma died Her first husband, and grandfather's wife died, but there were already three children when they Got married. There are five children in this family photo, Six. In general, all of them were quite patriarchal people. This is my Uncle Volodya, who was imprisoned in 1937. Year, and he served until 1953. My mother believed that the family of fungi got and noble blood.

v.i. And how did you live in Moscow? on which Funds – while studying?

v.g. My mother contained, and my stepfather was… Poverty. I lived in the basement. On 20 apartments had one toilet, it flooded with water,  You can walk by brick. I was a man of the yard—preferred To spend time in the yard…

v.i. And what education received Mom?

v.g. The great-grandmother said: «We, women, were not taught literacy.» But here's grandma Already graduated from the gymnasium. And my mother Tolstoy read, Pushkin, idolized and Facebook and other… I remember how in early childhood she read me from Tolstoy's War and Peace Hunting scene… Books to me bought, for example, «Fables» Krylova.

v.i. And how old were you when you Asked MOM to buy those famous magazines?

v.g. It was already in high school. The love of something to the book was laid with Childhood… I've been a bibliophile all my life. All the money spent on books, collected Books. It's probably genetically transmitted—my parents are exactly the same.

v.i. Neither do I. In families and moms, And father was taken carefully to keep books, read evenings for the whole family Aloud…

v.g. And I have the same. And when my then buddy Kotrowski girls Invited to himself, then he read to them such verses: «Unbutton their clasps and The strings are loose.  A body that craves pain, unashamed nude. «And so on… In any of the then collection of Fyodor Sollogub I have not found these verses. And he had them. Talking about the circle of our reading, I I want to say that we managed to seize something…

v.i. Or to take out-at time, from Jaws of Chronos… After all, it seemed that the next generation would not get anything
. Vitaly, next time I would like to talk more about how your relations with modern artists of other directions were formed, that it was possible to «ramp up» on already gained knowledge and understanding at the beginning of a self-path.

The interview was conducted and presented by the art critic, candidate of philosophy Ismiyev Valery