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Ivan Ivanov

Ivan Ivanov

Ivan Ivanov (1923, Smolensk Governorate, Russian SFSR – 1978, Riga, Latvian SSR) – a landscape artist, graduate of Latvian Academy of Arts.

Throughout his whole life Ivanov painted many landscapes in the classical Latvian tradition. he achieved fame only posthumously, due to the exhibitions of his works in the art gallery "Anna". 

"I was born <> in the family of a peasant Paul Ivanov in the Smolensk <governorate> of Andreevsk county in the Vasilevka village" - as he wrote in his autobiography. In 1929 the family moved to Leningrad, where his father started working as a carpenter. Ivanov graduated from secondary school in 1940 in Gatchina, by Leningrad.  

"In 1941 I was conscripted into the forces of NKVD, where I served till 1946". By the end of the war he was serving in Latvia as a private (marksman) of the 152nd regiment of the 14th division of the forces of NKVD. Ivanov was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since 1943. He was dismissed due to a wound in the May of 1946. Since 1945 Ivanov had been attending classes at the Academy of Arts of Latvian SSR. In 1946 he "passed exams" in drawing and painting, which corresponded to the material of the first two years of studies and was accepted into the third year. 

His teachers of drawing were Kārlis Miesnieks and Uga Skulme, in painting - Konrads Ubans and Eduards Kalniņš. In 1951 Ivanov successfully defended his diploma work at the portrait painting class of Jānis Tilbergs, but failed exams in the basics of Marxism-Leninism and the history of Russian and Soviet art. After re-sitting them, he graduated from the Academy in 1952. After a brief time as a teacher in Riga and Gatchina, on 20th of March 1953 he was employed by the artistic production workshop "Māksla". 

"I started my work in 1956 with participating in young artists' exhibitions",  - as he himself pointed out in this autobiography, which was attached to his candidate application to the Union of Artists of Latvian SSR, and was submitted on 6th of December 1957. He received recommendations from such artists as A. Zviedris, H. Bobinsky and sculptor M. Zaurs, as well as the director of the workshop L. Rindulis. 

However, despite the support from the Bureau of the Section of Painters of the Union of Artists of LSSR, the board of the Union with Leo Svemps as its chairman, on 12th of March 1958 unanimously decided "to abstain from accepting I. Ivanov until his participation in the upcoming republican exhibition." He continued to participate in varios exhibitions, while the board of the Union of Artists continued postponing his acceptance as a candidate. And only at the end of 1959 the board took the opinion of the Bureau of the Section of Painters into account. On 23rd of December 1959 I. Ivanov became a candidate , and on 18th of March 1964 - a full member of the Union. 

Ivan Ivanov died on 12th of September 1978, not reaching 10 days until his 55th anniversary. 

Alexander Malnach

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