Kugach, Yuri P., Moscow
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People’s Artist of the USSR, Member of the USSR Academy of Arts, Winner of the USSR State Prize, Winner of the Repin State Prize
Yuri Petrovich Kugach was born March 21, 1917 in the Old Russian city of Suzdal, located in the Vladimir region. In 1931 his studies in art began at the -1905 Moscow Art School. In 1934 the school established a painting department which afforded Yuri the opportunity to study under the great Nikolai Petrovich Krymov. In 1936 Yuri moved on to study at the Moscow Art Institute (known today as the Surikov). Once in attendance at the Institute, Kugach skipped directly to the second year and studied under the highly revered I.E. Grabar and S.V. Gerasimov. In 1942 Yuri graduated from the Institute and from 1948 to 1951 he taught at the Surikov. After 1950 Yuri moved to the countryside of the Tver region and lived in close proximity to the Academic Dacha (Akademichka, House of Artists of Russia). Numerous famous artists, including Repin and Levitan, were notorious for visiting and painting this beautiful countryside. Scenes of village and family life became the predominant subject of Yuri’s work.
His art is deeply rooted in the traditions of Russian realistic painting. He expresses his admiration for the pure and unsophisticated life of his heroes, the richness of their inner world, the modest beauty of midland Russia.