Fedor Kuz’mic Suskov: Art and State @ Florence

Last days to admire in Florence the works of the artist Fedor Kuz’mic Suskov, whose works are currently exhibited on the occasion of the exhibition Art and State curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, at the Sangallo Art Station gallery.

Suskov was a painter, sculptor and architect and, as Sgarbi himself notes, in the fine text that accompanies the exhibition:

“(..) he lives the Russian twentieth century, in its twofold essence: the political and the spiritual one. His sculpture follows the institutional dictates, while his painting listens to the voice of the soul “. (V.Sgarbi, (edited by) Fedor Kuz’mic Suskov. “Art and State”, Florence 2011)

In fact, Suskov’s life went through the 20th century: he was born in 1923 in the Voronezh region – not far from the Ukrainian border – he disappeared in 2006, and in his long life he witnessed some of the most important events for his country and for his family. Whole Europe. The artist participated first as a simple soldier and then as an officer of the Red Army during World War II, suffering serious injuries, an event that will mark his entire life. Having become aware of the transience of life, Suskov alternated in the post-war years his activity as a regime sculptor with a more personal artistic production, marked by a strong spirituality and devotion.

First as a painter and then as a sculptor, Suskov secretly creates a series of works dedicated to Christian themes and inspired by a vibrant and passionate religiosity, while continuing to create for the Soviet regime sculptural and architectural works of primary importance. His are in fact some of the most impressive buildings commissioned during the Stalinist period, among which we recall the Palace of Culture created for the fiftieth anniversary of the October Revolution. His prestige was such that in the 80’s he was offered, by the Minister of Culture Onlle Vuchetich, the post as head of the Soviet sculptors, but he refused.

A very prolific artist, Fedor Suskov created about 700 works: exceptionally the Florentine exhibition exhibits 40 oil paintings; next to the works of sacred inspiration there is the production of landscapes with bright colors, in which the bright colors blend with a vigorous stroke, with amazing results. The natural scenarios seem to be illuminated from within by a supernatural light, making room in this case also for the sacred element, which although not the subject of the canvases is still present. Always Sgarbi, in fact, defines Suskov’s pictorial synthesis:

“In his landscapes, the contours blend and blend with the horizon, in a chromatic continuum, which unites and unites all the elements of nature. These are Byzantine scenarios, natural icons that transfigure the divine message (…) His brushstrokes celebrate a ritual in which the word of the sacred books becomes a vision. And the vision turns into transvision “.