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Discovering 20th Century Russian Masters: Nicolai Fechin

Residents September 11, 2012

This 20th century Russian-American artist is renowned as much for his impressionistic scenes of the American southwest as for his Russian roots.  Features paintings on loan from Russian and American museums and private collections.

The fourth in the series Discovering 20th Century Russian Masters, this exhibition illustrates the artist’s impeccable skill as a draftsman, his finely tuned sense of color, and bravura brushwork. A student of the celebrated Ilya Repin at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, Nicolai Fechin (1881-1955) is one of the most prominent 20th century artists in the Russian tradition.

The exhibition includes works generously on loan from American museums, as well as private collectors in the United States and Russia, and is held under the aegis of the U.S.-Russian Bilateral Presidential Commission, whose goal is to strengthen the democracy, security and prosperity of the American and Russian peoples. This presentation of Fechin’s work is uniquely suited to promote this goal, as Fechin spent half of his career in Russia and half in the United States. After immigrating to the United States in 1923, his work was not shown in Russia for over thirty years. Initially settling in New York City, health concerns soon forced him to relocate to a more suitable climate in Taos, New Mexico. Fechin’s career flourished during his years living in the American Southwest, where his presence launched a dramatic rebirth of the artists’ colony in New Mexico. Known as the “living old master…an artist’s artist,” he became well known for his refined style, his portraits of prominent Americans and his portrayals of indigenous American culture. Fechin’s work incorporates a broad range of styles that explore the influences of his birthplace and adopted home.

Nicolai Fechin’s dazzling work has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity and public interest in recent years, both in the United States and Russia. Referred to as the Michelangelo of our time, Fechin’s work is not to be missed. The exhibition will arrive in Minneapolis from Moscow, where it was on display at the Tretyakov Gallery, the foremost federal repository of Russian art in the Russian Federation.


Discovering 20th Century Masters: Nicolai Fechin is on view through January 20, 2013.  

Hours M-F: 10am – 5pm Sat: 10am – 4pm Sun: 1pm – 5pm 

Admission:  $7

The Museum of Russian Art 5500 Stevens Ave South Minneapolis, MN. 55419