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ILUHIN VLADIMIR was born in Leningrad, Russia in 1957

Vladimir Ilyukhin was born in Leningrad in 1957. In 1981
he entered the "sculptutre" speciality of the Leningrad
Art School of V.A. Serov and graduated from it in 1985.
Since 1986 he was engaged in artistic cutting of coloured
hard stone. For 20 years he made more than 400 figures of
semi-precious stones




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ILUHIN VLADIMIR

INTRODUCTION


St. Petersburg is an extraordinary city. In tills city grown on the unsteady swampy soil under the gloomy Baltic sky there have always been felt an irresistable craving for the stone - this hard multicoloured and lasting material. Those who created the Northern capital of Russia built stone palaces and temples, erected triumphal arches and columns, dressed in stone die embankments of the rivers and canals.
It was here that the first Russian stone - cutting factory appeared and the Russian school of stone - carved small plastic forms came to life. It took up and developed the traditions of the craftsmen from die Urals. Splendid ashievements of the Karl Faberge firm craftsmen seemed to be die highest point in the development of stone-carving art. In their hands hard semi-precious stones turned into refined figures of people, animals, birds and handmade bouquets of flowers.
While getting acquainted with die works of die St. Petersburg craftsmen you are pleased to realize that the old masters traditions have not rallen into oblivion. Supported by die creative heritage of die outstanding Russian masters our contemporaries become highly skilled craftsmen. They go fast through die period of apprenticeship and imitating and find their personal artistic manner.
One of such craftsmen is Vladimir Ilukhin a sculptor and stone-carver. His stone figures strike you by their completeness and deep significance of die image. The main theme of his creative work is miniature animal sculpting out of hard stone. His good knowledge of animal anatomy, self-dependent and enthusiastic study of palaeontology let him create his animal figures in the wide range of form. It should be noted that in the articles of V. Ilukhin there is a good combination of realistic forms and interesting artistic generalization with elements of stylization and decorativeness. Minerals of different nature, colour and hardness are used as die material for the articles.
At sight of Ilukhiu s stone figures one cannot help remembering the articles of the same genre of the Karl Faberge firm. But it is hard to compare them because Ilukhin s figures are not just funny stone toys but rather small form sculptures. In his interpretation of die animal figures one can feel die philosophy of die 20di -century man.
There is some irony and inner tension in ARROGANT TOAD. It is fully expressed in the colour contrast of green and yellow, in the smooth motion of die toad s soft body along die leaf which has a clear-cut almost graphic pattern, in the patent psychologism which is imparted to this creature. There is die same psychologism and even grotesque in die composition WILD CAT S HEAD with its peculiar sharpness and expression. Mysteriously iridescent are die labradorite pupils of die whiskered beast s eyes. In this defiant look all die power of the image is focused.
Such compositions as MASTER - a figure of a komodo dragon on a rock, carved out of one solid piece of green nephrite, BLACK MAMMOTH of spotty obsidian, WALRLTS on a quartz block of ice, HORNED DINOSAUR and other works also rouse your interest.
Well, if there are such craftsmen who make you stop before their works and fall to thinking. that means die traditions of die old masters of Karl Faberge firm are still alive and earned on in die artwork of die new generation of Russian stone-carving artists.

By Dr. Marina Lopato
Curator
Department of Artistic Metal and Stones
State Hermitage Museum

 

 
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