Kuk Art | Contemporary Russian Art

Nikolay Kuk

Nikolay Kuk 1980

Nikolay Kuk

My signature style comes from icons, apart from primitivism. That’s’ why my artwork has a healing effect, if you look at it throughout time. I am inspired by suprematist movement of Vasiliy Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich. You can also recognize suprematism in architecture of Manhattan- Nikolay Kuk

Nikolay Kuk was born in Moscow, Russia in 1934 in the family with the history of Construction Engineering. His Grand-grand was in charge of Engineering and construction fleet ships for Peter the Great, Russian Czar. Another relative owned the train-carts building plant in Omsk in 19th century, when railroad was invented.
Women in the family (Palchikov’s) were well-known pianists. One of them was the first teacher of the composer Peter Chaikovsky.  Several members of this family were opera singers during beginning of 20th Century Artistic splash in Russia.

1942-1953 Moscow Secondary School

1954-1956 served at Air Defense of Nordic Navy of USSR. Nikolay was released from Navy in 2 years 2 months instead of six years, due Khrushchev’s amnesty to cut army forces

1957-1958 studied at Moscow Construction Institute, named after Kuybyshev, as Construction Engineer

1958-1962 Moscow Industrial Technical Centre courses, specializing in technology of ceramics, paint producing, punishes wax (Cera punica)

1958 Kuk started to draw and paint. In 1959-1962 his target was to make 20-30 contour pencil drawings per day to train his hand.
1960 Monumental period of Kuk’s art. Famous “Steps” and other large canvases were produced. “Steps” is located at Moscow Museum of Modern Art, led by Tsereteli at this time.
1961: Abstract period of Kuk’s art. Many oil compositions were produced

In 1962 the Ornamental period of Kuk’s art started, where he stays until now.

1962-1965 Kuk works at Arts Fund of USSR, Started with Art Packaging for Mobile Exhibitions, further Director of Mobile Exhibitions. The art pieces were official realistic art, traveling inside   Russia. Kuk’s non-comformist art was illegal in USSR. Non-comformist Artists were exhibiting in “Home Exhibitions” only. On one of such Home Exhibitions about 20 pieces of Kuk’s art, purchased by Yosef Kiblitsky was arrested. Kuk got sick with malaria and almost died.

1965 Kuk met Lidia Kirillova, who became his wife and inspirational partner.

1966 Kuk and Lidia were illustrating several magazines, and both artists joined Graphic Artists Committee of City of Moscow.  This Committee built the exhibit hall in 1975, and since then they exhibited annually as the members of “Moscow 21” group of artists, together with Vladimir Yakovlev, N. Shibanova, Marza, Kurkin, Bachurin and other Moscow artists, members of the above committee. There was Catalogue of Pyatnitskiy published about “Moscow 21”, and an article in Magazine “Soviet Literature” about the Neo-Moscow School. Chezh collector has purchased a serious of graphics and some canvases of Kuk and other Moscow 21 artists, and permanently exhibited these in Bochum, Germany gallery as Neo Moscow School later. Various diplomats were purchasing Kuk’s art at that time.

1968-1975 Kuk works on famous canvases “Wasps”, “Cross” and “At the table”.

1981 Kuk exhibits at Pavillion of Apiculture of Exhibition of National Economy Achievements in Moscow, Russia, together with Neo Moscow school artists

These canvases, along with some other sculptures and graphics were purchased by private collectors and Basmadgan Gallery of Paris, France in 1984. Kuk’s artwork was exhibited in Tretyakov Gallery – Moscow Russia, Hermitage – St. Petersburg Russia, as well as UNESCO exposition in New York City 1984-1985.

1989 Perestroika took place in Russia, and Non-conformist art was legalized in Russia.

Kuk and Lidia joined International Union of Artists of Russia.

1997 Kuk and Kirillova exhibit at Manezh Modern Art exhibition in Moscow, Russia.


October 2013 – Kuk exhibits in a personal booth at Spectrum, New York

April 2014 – Kuk exhibits in a personal booth at Solo pavilion, Art Expo, New York

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