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ArtistsAlexander (Rudolf-Alexander) Drevin (Drevinsh)

Drevin (Drevinsh), Alexander (Rudolf-Alexander) Davydovich

(b. 1889 Venden, Lifland guberniya – d. 1938 unknown location)

Painter, graphic artist

1908–1913 – Studied at the Riga City Art School under V. Purvit.

1915–1917 – Member of the Jack of Diamonds group.

1919 – Member of ASKRIN [The Association of Radical Innovators in Art].

Took part in exhibitions since 1912, including the 1922 exhibition of the World of Art society, the Moscow Painters exhibition in 1925, and the 1931 exhibition of the Thirteen group.

1927–1932 – Organizer and member of the Society of Moscow Artists.

1920–1930 – Taught at Vkhutemas-Vkhutein [Higher Art and Technical Studios and Institute]. Member of RAKhN-GAKhN [The Russian (later – State) Academy of Artistic Studies].

Repressed in 1938. Rehabilitated posthumously.

“What can an artist need more than to feel that you are getting your power from two tremendous sources: the power of life and the power of nature? 1922—1930: I spent all eight of these years getting one with nature as much as I possibly could. What always astounded me is that things don’t achieve what they are intended for. Not everything that you paint directly from nature is really a work of art; it became clear to me that I need to find some sort of secret to expression, and that in a way some work needs to be done in the artist himself. In 1930, I began to work seriously on this problem. I tried to paint the very same nature as before, but now in my studio. The strange thing is that it began to gradually be transformed into something else; nature disappeared, while the language of art became stronger and another reality began to be formed. That year, while in Armenia, I tried to join these two different approaches into a synthetic whole, and with great pleasure began to notice that the work was progressing. I worked directly from nature with a pencil, and found that my eye had achieved a degree of precision that I had not been aware of in myself earlier. Nevertheless, my previous work laid a sort of foundation for my painting activity.”

Alexander Drevin Tvorchestvo [Oeuvre], 1934. no. 4. Source: Khudozhniki gruppy Trinadtsat. Iz istorii khudozhestvennoy zhizni 1929—1930-kh gg. [The Artists of the Thirteen group: From the History of Art in the 1920s—1930s]. M.: Sovetsky Khudozhnik, 1985. P. 163.

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