Tatyana Alyoshina (1955-1981)
Алешина, Татьяна (1955-1981)

Story

Tatyana Alyoshina (1955-1981)

Tatyana Nikolaevna Alyoshina died at the age of 26 leaving behind an important body of art in the utmost difficult technique: colour lithography. Her favourite technique of lithography, colouring many stones, was a metaphor of the artist’s life: on each of these stones one should draw freely, naturally, lightly, but one could not make any mistakes, the smallest mistake would produce a false effect on the final print, while the result to be sought was one of the purest artistic expression.

Having graduated from the Moscow State Art Institute named after Surikov, Tatiana led an intense social life while showing a passionate dedication for her work at the etching and graphics workshop. She would perform home-staged plays and enjoyed skiing and going out with her peers and friends. The two main features of her character are present in her works: on the one hand a craving to pick up the most difficult and hard to solve tasks and on the other hand a true instinct and subtle eye that would be shown in the intensity of the colours used and the imaginative nature of her subject matters.

Tatiana was greatly influenced by her friends and teachers, poster artists Boris Uspensky (her uncle) and Oleg Savostyuk, graphic artist Nikolai Voronkov and art historian Georgy Dunayev. Also, the artist felt close to the renowned Russian artist Natalya Goncharova. Goncharova’s sketches for the decorations of Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera "The Golden Cockerel" with all their colourful decorativeness, theatre-like nature and fairy tale intonations were of special appeal to Alyoshina's creative drive. As Tatiana would write in her diary at the age of 19 “There is nothing but the truth, and the truth lives for ever”. Thus, she was in permanent search for a way of painting that would allow conveying that truth she perceived in everyday life which she managed to express in her canvases and colour lithographs. Tatiana Aljoshina had an absolute eye for colours.

She loved poetry and her favourite poets were Marina Tsvetaeva and Dante. The young artist’s knowledge of Russian history and philosophy shows in her colourful lithographs depicting an almost theatrical Russian village with the unmistakable church, stolovaya diners and produkti shops. The use of colour contrast and colour patches in her series of lithographs for the Little Hump-backed Horse fairytale reminds us of Natalia Goncharova, the avant-garde Russian graphic artist most admired by Alyoshina. Another subject that Tatiana thoroughly depicted in her colour lithographs was the Circus.

Tatyana wanted to show the lightness and freedom with which circus artists managed to show extremely dangerous and demanding tricks. The composition acquires the round features of the circus arena peopled by acrobats, clowns, ballerinas and animals all of whom live and work in harmony, but danger lurks everywhere. Tatiana's series of Commedia dell’Arte characters is neither festive nor funny. It is more a reflection on the frugality of human love and deceit. Her archetype visions of Arlecchino (Harlequin), Pulcinella and Columbina are static and the characters are often depicted in a gloomy manner as if frozen in the sharpness of its tonality. In her late sketches to lithographs on Russian epics such as “Stepan Razin” and “Pugachov” we can sense the feelings of uneasiness and inevitability linked to the tragic chapters of Russian history featured in these images.

(total images: 74)

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