Art Kaleidoscope

Between art and craft

Siberian artist Albertina Fomchenko

Siberian artist Albertina Fomchenko. Portrait in Russian tradition

Siberian artist Albertina Fomchenko as a Sirin bird. Portrait in Russian tradition

Siberian artist Albertina Fomchenko (01.23.1939, Leningrad – 28.01.2010, Novokuznetsk) – painter, theater artist. She graduated from Palekh Art School (1957-1962); Diploma – a casket painted on the themes of Russian folk songs; Leningrad State Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinema in “painter and sculptor of Puppet Theater” (1971); diploma work – creation of sets and puppets for the play “Forest Song” by Lesya Ukrainka. Albertina Fomchenko lived and worked in Novokuznetsk from 1975 to 2010. She began participating in exhibitions in 1986, directed the school of lacquer miniature in the city of Novokuznetsk (1994-1995). She worked in folk art traditions. In many of her paintings can be seen mythological Sirin bird, a symbol of national traditions, and a kind of her talisman.

Kizhi legend about the bird Sirin, 1999

Kizhi legend about the bird Sirin, 1999

Albertina Fedorovna Fomchenko was born January 23, 1939 in Leningrad in a family of workers Fedor Afanasievich and Appolinaria Dmitrievna Fomchenko. In early childhood, she had been ill with severe form of polio, and up to five years could not move independently. In 1941, during the Great Patriotic War, with her mother and newly born sister Valentina was evacuated to Kineshma, the Ivanovo region. Hunger, cold, sore evil – and no medical care. In such hard time helped love for song, crafts and optimism that are the hallmark of all in Fomchenko family.

Kuznetsk writers by Siberian artist Albertina Fomchenko

Kuznetsk writers of late XIX – early XX (N.I. Naumov, V.V. Bervi – Flerovsky, F.V. Bulgakov – secretary of Leo Tolstoy). 1995 Tempera on canvas

In Kineshma the girl first saw painted Palekh casket and was carried away by Palekh lacquer miniature. In 1957, she enters the Palekh Art College. The school old master painters taught Palekh at a very high level of technique, in fact iconography. There Albertina Fomchenko starts to think about her way of painting. Albertina was looking for an answer to the question: is it possible to combine a realistic portrait with icon-painting techniques.

'Born in Kuzedeyevo'. Kemerovo writer Vladimir Kuropatov. 1987. Tempera on canvas

‘Born in Kuzedeyevo’. Kemerovo writer Vladimir Kuropatov. 1987. Tempera on canvas

In 1962, Albertina finishes school and began working in a studio of lacquer miniatures. At that time appeared passion for theater puppets, and after work, she attended a puppet club for artists of children, wrote scripts for the puppet show, often in verse, and created costumes for children.

Eduard Goltsman, children poet, 1995. Tempera on canvas

Eduard Goltsman, children poet, 1995. Tempera on canvas

In 1966, Albertina learned that in the Leningrad Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography opened a puppet department, and she became a student again. In 1971, Albertina Fomchenko graduates from the Institute, with the qualification “artist and sculptor of puppet theater.”
From 1971 to 1975, Albertina Fomchenko worked first in Kalinin, and then in Ivanovo puppet theater as the main artist. In 1975, Albertina Fomchenko with his mother comes to Novokuznetsk.

Russian writer Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky in Kuznetsk

Russian writer Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky in Kuznetsk

The talent of the Palekh artist was unclaimed here. She couldn’t enter the cultural life of Novokuznetsk at once, almost eight years worked on commissions: made dolls for Kuzedeyevo puppet theater, for other children’s institutions, painted lacquer miniatures, which then were bought by Leningrad plant of arts and crafts.

I ask your hand. 1991. Tempera on canvas. Maria Isaeva reading a letter of proposal from Dostoevsky

I ask your hand. 1991. Tempera on canvas. Maria Isaeva reading a letter of proposal from Dostoevsky

Then Albertina Fomchenko begins to visit the exhibition of Novokuznetsk artists. She didn’t see many portraits there, so the artist decides to choose the portrait genre. The Museum offered Albertina a theme – “Portraits of writers from Dostoevsky to the present day”. In addition to paintings for the museum were painted three boxes based on works by Dostoevsky and some lacquer miniatures.

Wedding of FM Dostoevsky and MD Isayeva in Kuznetsk. 1991. Tempera on canvas

Wedding of FM Dostoevsky and MD Isayeva in Kuznetsk. 1991. Tempera on canvas

Albertina Fomchenko's sister

Albertina’s sister

In 1983 she painted a portrait of her sister Valentina, which at the Kemerovo TV in 1986 was taken for the work of another Siberian artist IE Selivanov. Thus Albertina learned about the work of the naive artist, wonderful, congenial, who became the creative inspiration for Albertina Fomchenko. She dedicated to the unique artist a series of paintings in Memory of Selivanov.

Russian naive artist Ivan Selivanov. Painting by Albertina Fomchenko

Russian naive artist Ivan Selivanov. Painting by Albertina Fomchenko

Then begins the universal recognition of creativity of AF Fomchenko: participation in the television movie in 1984, several programs on Kemerovo television in 1986, shooting in the movie “Blue cat on white snow” on the Moscow Documentary Film Studio in 1987, and others. All this time Albertina continues to work on the paintings from the series “Writers from Dostoevsky to the present day.”

Russian naive artist Ivan Selivanov. Painting by Albertina Fomchenko

Russian naive artist Ivan Selivanov. Painting by Siberian artist Albertina Fomchenko

From 1993 to 1995, Albertina Fomchenko works as a teacher in the school of lacquer miniatures at the Cultural Center “Cathedral” of the company “Novokuznetsk”. Here she teaches painting products in the tradition of Palekh lacquer miniature. Through these activities, in Novokuznetsk appear artists of arts and crafts of Palekh miniature.

Russian naive artist Ivan Selivanov. Painting by Albertina Fomchenko

Russian naive artist Ivan Selivanov. Painting by Albertina Fomchenko

From 1995 to 2003, Albertina F. Fomchenko, as a teacher of additional education in the teen club “Young”, was awarded numerous letters of thanks, diplomas and certificates. And, of course, she paints pictures, icons, makes dolls.

Russian naive artist Ivan Selivanov. Painting by Albertina Fomchenko

Russian naive artist Ivan Selivanov. Painting by Albertina Fomchenko

In 1997, in the city of Novokuznetsk opens the church of the holy Martyr John the Soldier, the icons for which painted Albertina Fomchenko, for the glory of God. Since 2003, Albertina Fomchenko was a freelance artist. Albertina was awarded the medal of the Kemerovo Region “For Faith and Good” at the regional competition “Social Star”.

She departed this life January 16, 2010. Her last work was a portrait of the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, painted for the Central City Library named after NV Gogol.

Siberian artist Albertina Fomchenko

All images are scanned, the article is based on the Literary almanac number 9. 2002. Albertina Fomchenko “Portrait in Russian tradition.”