Articles about pictures

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The regional newspaper "News of  Herrenberg"

Thursday, 22 January,  1981

Nr.17 - 156 year of the edition, section Culture


Translated from German. To see the text in language of the original, click  here.


Hans-Dieter Schuh



The realist of the world of feelings


Public University of Herrenberg brings  to attention of spectators pictures of Pjotr Valius.

Still today it is possible to be surprised to something exclusive and rare in gallery of  Herrenberg, and then in a public university: the Russian painting written partially only 10 years ago. Style - free color abundance, pictures which have been created in present every day art in Soviet Union, is short: works of the Russian artist Pjotr Adamovich Valius who has died of a cancer in Moscow in 1971 in the age of 58 years.

"He was the artist. His pictures hung on walls in his studio. Two months at his life and four and a half of a year after death until authorities have not closed a studio. Once a week it was opened for spectators. In the summer  there were a few spectaitors,  usually 15-20 in day. In  autumn and in  winter -  in 10 times more." - article "The Picture of the father" of Valery Valius begins with these words. He lives  today in Stuttgart and manages the inheritance of the artist. Such amount of visitors and a degree of popularity of the artist following from it in Soviet Union have appeared to be excessive, and KGB has interrupted demonstration of pictures.

The life of artist Peter Valjusa in Soviet Union, certainly, can be considered indicative. When he wished to leave in 1947 his former profession to devote himself completely to art, it was possible only after several roundabout maneuvers. That has followed has appeared  to be pure disaster. For some time he managed to achieve relative well-being with illustration of book covers . Well-being which meant parties until early morning in the habitation consisted of one room with which occupied Valius together with the wife, the child and the mother-in-law.

The control and pressure of secret police however increased. "Salon" which has sold legally abroad a some of his pictures, has stopped reception of his works. After that there was once a mysterious Italian who wished to buy pictures. For "the western currency" certainly. Fortunately, Valius has has found out, that the Italian was agent KGB, and has disagreed on the transaction. If he has agreed with this "currency transaction", somehow of that kind it refers to in the USSR, he would become or simply puppet of KGB, or would be  imprisoned.

This short episode explains only a background and history of occurrence of pictures, in several cases, however, also earnings of the artist. Some of works have unequivocally political contents.

But as it was not possible to rank Valius as artists of the Soviet mode, also he does not belong to one of the European style directions. Though, certainly, the big removal from the Central Europe could play a role, nevertheless, it  is necessary to assume, that conditions of creative work assisted stamping of the strong personality of the artist in Moscow. Doctor Gelge Batelt, the head of the Public university that exposed pictures, spoke in an opening address about „favorable  art conditions" as „the field of interests there is less saturated", than in the Europe.

This cut off life has given the artist originality precisely expressed in his works and explosion hazard which at once attracts attention of the unbiassed observer. It is felt, that pictures have arisen proceeding from intensive feeling. Force and a clear line of colors  of his pictures written by oil, attracts.

Valius answered a question on his style: „I am a realist", - as the son writes in article. - „As a matter of fact tears, pain and pleasure is a reality. "The theme of the Person occupies Valius in his last works to that the exposed works give the eloquent certificate. One of them "Artist", shows him as he lived: steadily, with widely placed foots in the middle of a whirlwind, he writes a picture, free from influences of a storming environment.