Born 1934

Moscow, Russia

Textile Artist, Designer

Nina Ivanovna Shirokova was born in Tarusa, in a family of a carpenter and a teacher. She was always fond of drawing, and from her early years she took private classes in drawing.

From 1956-62 she studied at the Moscow Textile Institute (MTI), which she favoured particularly because of the controversial non-conformist teacher Eliy Bilyutin.She specialised in textile design. Amongst her professors were Pochitalov (painting), Aleksandr Ivanov (graphics), and Aleksandr Dubinchik (drawing).

Before and during her studies, she took private classes in painting from VKhuTeMas artist Konstantin Lekomtsev, where she also made friends with his wife, famous Moscow artist Natalia Gippius.

During the 1960s she held different positions in relation to industrial and interior design, for example her design of the ideal Soviet one-room flat in 1963 and the interior of Aeroflot planes in 1964.

In the later 1960s she did a series of scarfs and textiles at the Schyolkovo textile manufacture. During the 60s and 70s she regularly visited the studio of Eliy Bilyutin, who was famous in the period for his teaching of non-socialist realism methods of drawing and painting (formalism). Her personal works of that period are strongly inspired by Bilyutin and by the style of the non-conformists.

Thematically, she paints landscapes in bright and powerful colours, still-lives, as well as nudes and portraits. She is a highly skilled and inspired draughtsman, with a simple and bold line. Her favourite media are pencil, gouache, tempera and watercolour.

Nina Ivanovna’s works are a bright example of the artistic freedom that many former students of the Moscow Textile Institute were able to take advantage of. They were not educated according to, and consequently not artistically limited by, the dogmas of the Socialist Realism.

Her personal works were very rarely shown publicly in the 1960s-2000, particularly the works painted in her Bilyutin period.

Nina Ivanovna now lives and paints in Moscow.


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