Russian Masterworks at Walls Fine Art Gallery

Press Release

October 18, 2005 - Wilmington, North Carolina (NC) - Walls Fine Art Gallery in Wilmington, North Carolina opens its new show entitled “Gifted Seers— Russian Masterworks” at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 4 with a Gallery Talk by John Wurdeman, father of the only American ever to graduate from the Surikov Institute of Art in Moscow. He will be discussing his personal conversations with the exhibiting artists and their families. The show consists of works created by the country’s finest artists during both the Soviet era and post-Communism. Vern Grosvenor Swanson, author of Soviet Impressionism, said, “Socialist Realism suppressed the diversity of contemporary artistic movements. But, within itself, it was more diverse and had more possibilities than any of them.

Walls Gallery owner David Leadman explains, “These artists were chosen by the State at a young age to be artists. They were not influenced by what the market demanded as so many other artists are. There was no market, so they simply painted from the heart.” That means the decision of what to paint was never a marketing issue for these artists; it was an issue of artistic choice. These are not portrait painters nor still-life nor landscape painters; they are painters. The government that produced its country’s suppression, by the same mechanism, freed its artists to produce some the world’s finest art. And they did.

Nancy Marshall, director at Walls Gallery is similarly excited about the new show. “Having admired the Russian work for so long, it’s a great treat for me to have it here in the gallery. Imagine, these artists are represented in museums throughout the former Soviet Union. These painters are so respected by their peers and the Russian people. They have worked hard to express the Russian soul, and it’s an opportunity for us to see their beloved country through their eyes.”

The show consists of works by numerous artists including Vyacheslav Nikolaivic Zabelin, Nicolai Sergeyev and Mikhail Kugach — masters all. When Kugach saw which paintings were to be included in this show, he concurred with the choices made, saying that this was the best of the best.

With this two week show, which is a large one, Walls Fine Art Gallery presents an opportunity to students, collectors, curators and the general public to view a collection — and a culture — of which they might have never known.

Walls Gallery is located in the heart of Wilmington, North Carolina at 2173 Wrightsville Avenue. Gallery hours are typically Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m – 6 p.m. and by appointment. For further information about this and other shows at the gallery, contact Nancy Marshall at 910-343-1703 or visit the website at 

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