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Thereshenko Valentin Stephanovitch.
Biography
Artist Valentin Thereshenko was born on 30 June 1941 in a Siberian city of Irkoutsk. His father, Stepan Thereshenko, came of the once well-to-do middle class family from Mogilyov. In 1937 the family was exiled to Siberia. The head of the family, grandfather Tit Gerasimovich, and his elder son Semyon were shot in Siberia in 1938. The artist's mother, Anna Aleksandrovna Volchatova, came of the family of exiled 'starovery' (adherents of the ancient Russian religious beliefs). Her father, Aleksandr Kirikovich Volchatov, was church leader in their village Oyok that was located near Irkoutsk on the Baikal Lake. Her mother was born to the family of Decembrist Komarov-Pechyorskiy sent to life-long exile to Oyok village after having served fifteen years in hard labour in Nerchinsk town.
After Hitler's invasion to Russia on 22 June 1941 the father of the future artist was called up and sent to the front where he was killed. The artist's mother left for Kansk (a town in Krasnoyarsk region) taking the just—born Valentin with her to live with her mother-in-law Evdokiya. It was in Kansk that Valentin spent all his childhood. At that time Kansk was the centre of the so-called KRASLAG (the group of Krasnoyarsk prisoners' camps). It saw the astonishing clot of the human lives struck by repressions, those of intelligentsia, bandits, imprisoned Japanese, Germans, the people of various nationalities, faiths and political beliefs. That was the atmosphere in which the character and views of the future artist have been formed.
Since the first days at school in Kansk Valentin has befriended the family of exiled German artists, Andre Dihl and his son Bruno. Artist Bruno Dihl has become the first teacher and tutor of Valentin Thereshenko for many years to come. Bruno helped Valentin to get ready for entering the then-only professional arts institution in Siberia, Irkoutsk Arts School. At the age of 14 having successfully passed the exams Valentin was admitted to the class of the exiled Moscow artist Irma Gekker, a pupil of Igor Grabar. After three years Valentin has joined the workshop of former academician Anatoliy Alekseev where he successfully finished the school in 1960.
In 1960-1961 Valentin worked as a school teacher of drawing and mechanical drawing in Kansk. In 1961 he entered Leningrad Arts Institute named after I.Repin to the workstudio of Aleksandr Sokolov. In 1962 he was called up and served as a seaman on the Baltic Fleet. In 1965 Valentin was demobilized and stayed in Kaliningrad (Kenigsberg) to work as a Headmaster of Children's Arts School. In 1969 he continued education in his historical motherland in Byelarussia at the Minsk Theatre and Arts Institute. In 1974 he graduated from it (workstudio of Professor Pyotr Sharangovich) with flying colours.
The same year of 1974 Valentin Thereshenko became member of the USSR Artists Union and got involved in active creative activity. He used to work as arts editor in a publishing house in Kaliningrad and as principal artist of the RSFSR Arts-Production Centre in Tomsk.
In 1982 he moved to Moscow and concentrated solely in painting. Throughout the period of 1970-2003 the artist has participated in more than 100 arts exhibitions of various ranks, both, in Russia and abroad. He has had about 20 personal exhibitions organized in various countries. In 1971 he was awarded with the Diplome of the USSR Academy of Arts. In 1979 on the basis of his personal exhibition he founded a rural Picture Gallery in settlement Goubino of Tomsk region. A part of the Russian Arts zone in the San Carlo Boromeo Museum in Milan is devoted to the creations of Valentin Thereshenko. In 1991 publishing house Nov' published the catalogue of his works named Valentin Thereshenko. In 2001 publishing house Spiral—Well, Milan, Italy, published a big catalogue devoted to the creations of Valentin Thereshenko « A Man without a Place».
Says art-critic Professor Armando Verjillone: "In his works Valentin Thereshenko never appeals to distressing memories. He works in Silence and solitude, listening attentively to himself till the work is completed bringing it to perfection. Since he has no need to remember he complains of nothing. Memory is preserved in action.
"In his own way, though anything but polemic, Valentin Thereshenko takes out the principle of the Russian, European and Mediterranean memory, as well as the Siberian one, and directs it to impressionism, drawings, and his own manner. He derives fruit from avant-gardism or from what had happened in Siberia, Byelorussia or Ukraine and what has never been in fashion in Moscow.
"With modesty and without a drop of arrogance humility calls for listening and searching for simplicity: in detail, in line all along the chosen road.
"No participation in minimalism, post-minimalism, decorative art or in New Age epoch. No contribution to destroying the Memory or blaming the civilization. It is locality and time of the year that really matters. It is the light streaming from above that matters - The Eternal Light. No perfection will escape ear, line or fate. Each work has its own tonality and timbre. Each picture appeals to joy, and apart from it - to quality.
"His success is international, especially in the last decade. However, admiration is a specific peculiarity of his artistic and intellectual way. Since he has never been part of the socialist realism splendour, Valentin Thereshenko may even assert with irony 'Abstractness is an artist's realism'. This is something impossible, which can not be codified or defined. Abstractness of Valentin Thereshenko suggests to him what to do or which work to create and leads to pragmatism required by conception and performance. That is why each work becomes a phenomenon. There is Delight and Truth in them. 'What remains is something genuine and worthwhile,' - he says.
"There is no unification. Lightness excludes piling up. No masses, no crowds. Protagonist is always a part of other culture. Even in his landscapes or in the portrait of his mother, or in the portraits of writer Vasil Bykov and artist Antonio Vangelli. Everything is illuminated with the Eternal Light; each thing participates in extolling and appellation. 'I keep on working; and maybe one day I will manage to create something worthwhile,' he says. This is not modesty; this is simply the only way of life, the only road..."
 
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