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Yuri Dobrin

Yuri Dobrin

Yuri Dobrin (1940, Leningrad Oblast, Russian SFSR) – an artist whose works are known well beyond the borders of Latvia.

He has been living in Latvia since 1945. Drawing is his major interest since childhood years. At first he studied at different art groups and studios. At the age of 18 Dobrin was accepted as a decorator at the Riga Russian Theatre. In 1968 he graduated from the Latvian State Academy of Arts. 

Dorbin's art is very versatile, and even though his style is very recognizable, the works of different periods have very little in common. The one unifying feature nowadays is not demanded by the leading fashion, but was formed by absolutely modern and individual art language of the artist, that is Dobrin's talent of a story-teller. These stories might be sad, ironic, nostalgic - as if brought up by childhood reminiscences, but, as a rule, full of feelings and unexpected, truly "Dobrinian", meanings. 

Yuri Dobrin has a rare courage to invent new concepts and follow his own ideas, to break, as if common and established borders of art conventionality, absolutely not taking into account the dominating trends and laws of the genre. Sometimes, the whole surrounding world is included into the sphere of art, while pans, purses, coins, musical instruments become mediums, which are combined into the artworks, and thus are the rightful participants of what is happening on the canvas, however, they are interpreted in a way, which is totally different from classical assemblage, rather as aspects of reality. Sometimes, he creates large compositions with great varities of figures and meanings, or, right on the contrary, minimalistic works, stylistically, almost miniatures. However, this is all conceptually interconnected and effective; in fact, a complete illusion of the only way to reveal the artist's intention and to pass the message. The innovative idiosyncrasy of the works is supported by a very unusual, multilevel, synthetic stylistics, which combines, as if incompatible, elements of abstraction, romanticism, splint, realism etc. From all of this also derives a wide spectrum of emotions and meanings: a deep, tense drama of "On the Cemetery", philosophical allegory in the "Threads of Fate", political and historical allusions in the "Interrogation" and touching, soulful, sometimes even funny, genre drawings. 

One of Dobrin's latest projects are small format works. Here is the super task to achieve maximal expresiveness by "humble" means. Also, these works are not meant for museums and exhibitions halls, not for the owners of castles and villas, but for ordinary apartments, in which also reside admirers of art and who should have a chance to enjoy authentic works at their flats. In accordance with formal features, these works could be regarded as etudes, which is justified by their size and deliberate rejection of precise depiction of details, but as a whole, these are totally complete artworks, which obtain the Power of emotional influence. 

1. Power of emotional influence. 

Whether it is a genre scene, landscape painting or a still-life - everywhere features of heartfelt recognition are present, references to things, which are prescious to almost everyone: childhood memories, happy and sad moments of life. 

2. Colour intensity 

Since Dobrin mostly uses pure tones, his works, as if, radiate light, and sometimes, at joint exhibitions, these paintings are placed in separate halls, since they "obscure" the neighbouring pictures. It seems, that if at night the light is turned out, the darkness will not come in their presence. 

3. Synthesis

Dobrin's art organically included and combined Russian and Latvian art schools and is based on deep knowledge and comprehension of the history of world art and cultural tradition. 

Yuri Dobrin is a participant of many exhibitions. His works are in Russia, Yugoslavia, USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Finland. 


Leonid Russ (Germany)

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