"I feel like a decent man only when I'm satisfied [with my work", wrote Robert Falk*. He was born "A in Moscow on October 27, 1886. Musically gifted, he was preparing to enter a conservatoire, but painting turned to be more attractive. Falk started to exhibit his first pictures in 1906, when he studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. Early period of his creative biography is associated with the Knave of Diamonds union (1910 - 1917), established by Russian avantgardists as a counter-balance to conservative traditions in art. They were greatly influenced by French painters Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse.
In 1920, Falk started work at the VKhUTEMAS (High Artistic and Technical Workshops), which in 1926 was transformed into the VKhUTEIN (High Artistic and Technical Institute). Here the forty-year old painter became the Dean of the Painting Faculty. In 1928 he left for France to study classical artistic heritage. But when his studies were over, Falk refused to go back as he realized that he would not be able to work and live quietly in the atmosphere of intolerance, existing in the USSR at that time. Falk stayed in France for ten years: he returned to the USSR in 1937, shortly before the World War II.
He was never recognized by official Soviet art. In the last period of his life, he was not allowed to exhibit his paintings. He lived a hard life, but a lot of young painters were eager to become his students. Falk was on friendly terms with intelligent and gifted people: writer Ilya Erenburg, musicians Svyatoslav Richter and Genrich Neigaus, art historian Alexander Gabrichevsky, literary critic Boris Shklovsky, actor and producer Solomon Mikhoels, and many others. Thus, Richter wrote that "Falk never changed his views, he was totally absorbed by art, and defeated time and space..."
Falk's paintings evoke deep feelings in the people's hearts; his name is closely connected with the history of the Russian painti ... Read more