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Biography of Igor Kononov

 

Sculptor, artists, engraver and printmaker, Igor Kononov was born in Moscow, Russia in 1931. He received his first formal art training studying with Kravchenko, then at the Moscow Art Institute.

While still a student, Igor married Natalya Prager, a daughter of the famous Russian painter Vladimir Prager. A few years later, they had their first and only son.

 

Igorís early exhibitions (1960-1970) were not limited to the Soviet Union, but spread across to Canada (Montreal), and even Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto). These precipitated in diplomas (best book illustrator, best painting, etc.).

 

In 1975, Igor was deprived of his Soviet citizenship and emigrated to the United States with his family. After having lived in New York City for a few years, they finally settled across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

Among the most prominent exhibitions in the U.S.A. (1980-2005) are:

· 155th Annual Exhibition of the National Academy of Design, 1083 Fifth Avenue, New York
· ARTEXPO-NY (multiple years), New York Coliseum
· Somerset Art Association, Bedminster
· Dow Jones & Co., Inc. (The Wall Street Journal), Princeton
· Raphael Gallery, Newton
· Winsor Gallery, Warren
· Jane Richards Gallery, Fort Lee (joined exhibit with Salvador Dalí).

 

Kononovís works can now be found in private collections in Switzerland, France, Japan, Italy, Canada, England, and Belgium.

Kononov is an artist, who, while staying within the bounds of Russian art traditions, nonetheless managed to create some unexpected results in the realm of art. He is essentially a painter of joie de vivre. His art, strongly national in flavour, is pervaded by a sense of gay festivity and picturesque beauty of the world. Rich colours and abundance of fine details remind us of folk art. His expressive manner of painting and sensitive use of colours is marked by inimitable simplicity and elegance.

 

Over his productive career, Igor has mastered many medias, including book illustrations, costumes for circus and theatre, paintings and printmaking. After his arrival to the United States in 1975, his original etchings and collagraphs have been met with resounding success and can be found in galleries and art exhibitions throughout the country.

 

In the later part and for many years, Igor has been working exclusively in the complex art of intaglio printing. In this process various shapes of textiles, cardboard, string and other materials are adhered to the etching plate and coated with lacquer. The entire mixed media surface then becomes the image from which the print is made. The result is an exciting, heavily textured, deep intaglio colour print, which only a small number of artists can handle with the artistic creativity and technical dexterity of Igor Kononov.

 

To insure fidelity to his concept, Igor Kononov personally pulls all of his own prints. He then manually applies the finest colours, bringing compositions to their final form and proper mood. The resulting collagraphs, with their finely detailed backgrounds and rich patterns, range from elegant Renaissance figures to scenes of card players and diners in a café, many of which are portrayed in a whimsical manner.

 

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