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Nicolas Gloutchenko (1901–1977), a painter and graphic artist, was born on 4 of November 1901 in Novomoskovsk (now in Dnipropetrovsk oblast, Ukraine).

He spent his early years in Yuzovka (now Donetsk). He studied in a commercial school and was keen on painting. {When Mykola was 17, he was mobilized to A. Denikin’s army and retreated with them west. Then he was interned in Poland. But he had managed to escape from the internment camp, and eventually found himself in Germany.}

In 1919 he entered H. Baluschek’s private art school, then in 1920–1924 Mykola studied in Charlottenburg Fine Arts Higher School, his teacher being E. Wolfsfeld. During his Berlin period he painted in the manner and technique of Pre­Renaissance. In 1924 Mykola Gloutchenko had his personal exhibition in Kasper gallery, Berlin (together with I. Babij), in 1925 he took part in the exhibition of “New Objectivity” group in Mannheim, Erfurt and Hamburg. In his first years in Western Europe, the artist was supported by Ukrainian emigrants, among them hetman P. Skoropadky {and a writer V. Vynnychenko}.

In 1925–1936 Mykola Gloutchenko lived in Paris. He painted Southern France landscapes, portraits and genre scenes. He was much influenced by impressionists. In 1928 he created bibliophilic portfolio “Twelve Nudes” (autolithography). The artist created graphic series on books, among them “Dead Souls” by N. Gogol (1930–1931), “Fata Morgana” by M. M. Kotsubynsky, “Songs” by P.­J. de Beranger (1933). His personal exhibitions were held in Paris galleries: Fabre (1925), Campagne Premiere (1926), and Zack (1932). In 1934, Paris museum Jeu de Paume bought his picture from the exhibition “Balearic Islands” in Zack Gallery. The artist held his exhibitions in Stockholm (1931), Milan, Ostend (both in 1927), Bucharest (1930, 1932), Rome (1933), Marseilles (1934).

Gloutchenko also joined the Russian artists’ exhibitions in Paris galleries La Rotonde (1925), Zak (1926), Galliera museum (1926), Chez Fast (1927), S. Lesnick (1928), V. Girchman (1929, 1931), La Renaissance (1932) and with “Scyths” group in Prague (1931). He was a member of Société des Artistes Indépendants (1925–1930, 1935) and Salon d’automne (1925–1930, 1934).

His comeback with his family to the USSR in 1936 was safe, because the painter had been collaborating with Soviet Union as a secret agent in Europe under the pseudonym “Yarema”. He was given Soviet passport with the help of Oleksander Dovzhenko, when the latter was working in the USSR consulate in Germany.

In the USSR, Mykola lived in Moscow until 1944, and then he moved to Kyiv. During the next 30 years the artist had been painting landscapes as well as political and patriotic pictures in the spirit of official Soviet art of the time. Among them one can name “The death of Civil War Hero Bozhenko” (1938); “People’s Assembly Elections in Western Ukraine” (1939); “Liberation of Klin from German Army” (1942); “Rich Crops” (1948) and so on. At the end of his life, the artist was determined to destroy his works of that time, but he had not managed to do it before his death. In 1960­ies Mykola Gloutchenko returned to his free painting manner, often using intense colour range and utter generalization of forms. He painted a great number of watercolour landscapes; he was keen on monotypy, creating colourful flower still life. In the 1970­ies he was given a number of Soviet art awards.

Mykola Gloutchenko died on 31 October 1977 in Kyiv. In 1978 the memorial workshop of the artist was open in the Central State Archive and Museum of Literature and Art in the Ukrainian SSR (Kyiv).

The paintings of Mykola Gloutchenko are present in the museums of Milan, Ghent, Hague, Paris, Bucharest, Philadelphia, and in a number of Ukrainian museums.

Nicolas Gloutchenko biography

November 4, 1901
Novomoskovsk, Ukraine
October 31, 1977
Kyiv, Ukraine

Painter, graphic artist


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