Articles about pictures

Another articles


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

Brigitte Marschall


FEBRUARY 84 /VERNISSAGE  - magazine for friends of gallery







In 1977 Valery Valius has emigrated from the USSR on the West. One of the reasons of this emigration were pictures of his} died father: Pjotr Valius - the artist who has not received an official recognition. Till now the expected recognition was absent also in the West. Pjotr Valius is still unknown and, probably, not understood artist.

He was born on 18th May 1912 in Moscow. From early age he was interested in painting, was friends of artists, attended studios, independently studied in painting. In 1936 he finished architecturally-building institute and worked as the engineer-builder. 11 years later he has left the profession to have an opportunity to devote to art. He earned for a life all over again as the decorator at children's theatre, illustrated books later and did covers to them. As the schedule he became a member of the Union of artists of the USSR. At this time Valius cooperated with various art groups, left on the nature on etudes, wrote landscapes, views of city - more often boondocks - and portraits of friends. A preferred material was oil on  a primed cardboard. He answered a question on style of the art: "I am a realist." Sometimes he added: "...In fact tears, pain and pleasure is a reality."

Many from his pictures written by oil or distemper  is an expression of hurt and despair, are heavy imaginations, nightmares. In 1967 he painted a picture "Crucifixion": the body without a proportion leaving in infinity, a head downwards, beaten to a cross, is mutilated, broken: the tortured Christ or the image of the person, his position in the world? Some of his pictures are devoted to women: sacred, pregnant, about exhausted by physical and mental loadings.

"Nike" - the Greek goddess of a victory - reaches all canvas, with the mouth opened in shout. Her body is given by precise contours, and her wings are shone in pink and azure.

In a picture of "Leta" the lonely person stands on a background of the river concluded between dim coast and the dark sky, in the middle of oppressive space, as expression of real affinity of death. Pictures contain instants of intensive experience. The latent feelings and ideas are pulled out from pictures, blow up borders. Besides there are works with the political contents.

"The court goes": the judge and the executioner, the strong red fist, a shouting green mouth, a figure of the defendant is given as a white contour before a sharp vaulted window with a crosswise lattice.

Art councils rejected his big pictures. In 1970 Valius has found a cellar which he has reconstructed in studio. Already the seriously ill patient he worked more intensively than before. In January 1971 has written last "Portrait of the wife". At 13th February  Pjotr Valius has died of a cancer.

From 1971 until 1976 his wife and the son showed pictures in studio of the artist. In 1976 it is has reached violent closing of the studio by police. Pictures could take out to a safe place in advance. Then the law "About protection of cultural and historical monuments" represented threat for all private collections. Masterpieces were confiscated, if they "were incorrectly stored or used not to destination", for example if pictures were showed to public under own initiative.

 The opportunity to expose a picture in Soviet Union, thus, has disappeared for family.  It was possible to take out legally pictures to the son . Then rules which from time to time vary, were the following: it was permitted to take with himself 3 oil  pictures or 6 graphic works. Works should be examined by the commission and be supplied with a mark "have no any art or a historical value". Besides the applicant should pay full cost of pictures. The widow could pay cost of export of pictures because her book about artists has been published, including also about her husband (her novel "The Happy person" ). Also it was possible to take out not 3, and all the selected pictures.

In 1978 son could show pictures in the Vienna in firm "Siemens". Exhibitions at universities, in Public universities, in youth club "Forum 3" in Stuttgart, in Tuebingen and Paris have followed. Valery Valius regrets for insufficient interest to pictures. Till now he did not manage to show masterpieces in museums and showrooms.

Commercial galleries have fallen off, as they are interested on sale of pictures. Collectors again and again offer the services, nevertheless, the son would like to sell works for the moral reasons not to separate fans. Valery Valius will organize exhibitions in "free for art" places: in the street, at schools, in cafe, in insurance societies. His expectations were not justified, he basically  keeps pictures in an apartment. Nevertheless, he is not tired to write the letter, to search for contacts, to find "walls" for pictures of his father. "Theatre Brett" offers him now this opportunity. Nika Brettschneider  is open to innovations: own theatre in  Münzwardeingasse 2 opens at 24th January with performance under Iogann Amos Comenius's novel "The Labyrinth of the world and paradise of heart", Pjotr Valius's exhibition of paintings  will be opened at 3rd March,  simultaneously.

Nika Brettschneider  not only appreciates these pictures, in her opinion, they are close in the outlook to work of the Czech theologian and teacher Comenius. The theatre is open from 18 o'clock. Also it gives, thus, an convenient opportunity  to look pictures.