fotoSergei Ishchuk is a Russian painter. This statement in itself says volumes about his painting. If a Russian is a painter, he will always be a painter even if it means living only on bread and water. Painting is his daily bread and lile's focus. In fact, the Russian word for painting is life-drawing, contains the word for life itself. It may in fact be that Russian painters' general resistance to abstraction may have its roots in the etymology of this Russian word. The Russian painter draws life in much the same way that an author writes a story. If his picture (text) is to be understood, the artist must search for understandable words...br/> The word "ishchuk" in Russian in fact means "seeker" or "searcher". Nomen est omen. In looking at the works that this young artist has produced, this is the first thing that will cross your mind. He is looking for an original language, his own special, living style entirely free of the context of European modernism's worn-out ideals, but one informed by and with a respect for the Russian traditions. His Black Madonnas are a sort of global icon of femininity and The Volga at Night is in its beauty so real that it could only be a searing dream - like something from Mikhail Lermontov. Far from their homeland, or rather even in their new homeland, Russian painters never lose their souls. While Czech painters allowed themselves to be swept away by Breton fishing boats and sunny Provence, Russian painters will still be painting Russia even after forty years abroad.

foto ln 1995, Sergei Ishchuk graduated from the Volga Academy of Fine Arts in Saratov, where he was a student of Vladimir Belanovich and Marina Gamayunova, among others. Much more important, however, for his artistic education was the influence of an older generation of nonconlormist (i.e. unorganized) artists, something this city of one million on the Volga is unusually rich in. It was their guru Viktor Chudin that had the greatest influence on Sergei Ishchuk. But even after the relaxing of the political situation in Russia most of these artists have still not found recognition at home. Under miserable conditions they create works that they sell for a pittance and which then become hot item s on the world's art markets. Were it not for the fall of the Berlin Wall, Ishchuk by now would have grown a long beard and would be sitting next to fellow artists in Saratov. Ishchuk the seeker was fortunate; he was born in a more promising age. Immediately after completing his three-year Turkmen odyssey (military service on the border with Iran), he set out to look elsewhere. He found himsell in the Czech Republic. But his artistic journey hit her is not an end but has only just begun...

Solo Exhibitions
1998/ Exhibition in support of the painter Pavel Kuznetsov
1998/ K. A. Fedin State Museum, Saratov, Russia
1999/ "Remembrances of Childhood in Russia", Orlické Museum, Choceň
2002/ "Lile's Pages", Králíky Municipal Museum
2002/ Častlovice chateau
2002/ "Pictures", Orlické Museum, Choceň
2003/ Celebris Gallery, Hradec Králové
2003/ "Living Dreams of Sergei Ishchuk", Vysoké Mýto Municipal Gallery
2004/ Pegas Gallery, Znojmo
2004/ K-PRO Gallery, Brno

Group Exhibitions
1996/ "A Very Superficial Job", A. N. Radishchev State Museum, Saratov
1996/ Regional Arts Salon, Saratov
2000, 2002/ 2nd and 4th Exhibitions of Creative Arts, Ústí nad Orlicí
2002, 2003/ Eastern Bohemian Art Salon, Litomyšl and Jaroměř

K. A. Fedin State Museum, Saratov, (Russia)
Orlické Museum, Choceň
Častolovice Chateau
Vysoké Mýto Municipal Gallery, Czech Republic
Private collections: Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Saratov), the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovakia

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