1939, Odesa and Munich
Vladimir Strelnikov was born in Odesa, where his grandfather taught calligraphy. He left art school without completing his studies. Later, during the 1960s, he helped to organize underground ‘apartment exhibitions’ along with other non-conformist artists. Such activities led to persecution by the Soviet regime, and in 1979 he moved to Germany, where he still lives.
Strelnikov was strongly influenced by Western modernist art. However, the Soviets considered artists such as Van Gogh, Kandinsky, and even Picasso as decadent, a fact that directly to Strelnikov’s emigration.
Accused in the Soviet press of ‘treason to the Motherland’, he answered simply ‘It doesn’t matter what nationality a person is… if he is interested in me as an artist, then I am ready to show him my work, sell it or give it as a gift. For me, the most important thing in art has always been freedom.”
The art of Vladimir Strelnikov, including the watercolour in this collection, reflects the landscape and culture of his native region bordering the Black Sea.