Sazonov, Vitalii

Image - Vitalii Sazonov: Untitled (1979). Image - Vitalii Sazonov: Untitled (1977).

Sazonov, Vitalii [Сазонов, Віталій], b 4 April 1947 in Siberia, d 6 September 1986 in Munich. Painter. He studied archeology and history at Odesa University before devoting himself full time to painting in 1972. Together with Feodosii Humeniuk, Volodymyr Makarenko, and Volodymyr Strelnikov, Sazonov participated in two exhibitions of Ukrainian nonconformist art held in a private Moscow apartment in 1975 and 1976, as well as in other unofficial exhibitions. In 1980 he was allowed to emigrate to the West, and settled in Munich. He worked in an abstract, nonobjective manner inspired by the writings of Vassili Kandinsky, abstract art, and the texture, color, and composition of old icons. Many of his paintings are carefully balanced, serene compositions that convey the metaphysical spirit of icons without the canonical rendering of the figures, which have been replaced by a combination of geometric and symbolic forms constituting a transformation of the visual conventions of the icon into a modern, abstract idiom (eg, Untitled [1979] and Stone Baba with Angel [1979]). The surface of his paintings is a rich overlay of colors and glazes partly stripped to reveal the layers underneath, as well as textured areas with darkened details. Solo exhibitions of his work were held in Germany, France, Spain, Australia, and Canada, and an album of his paintings was published in 1984.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

Image - Ukrainian nonconformist artists: Vitalii Sazonov, Feodosii Humeniuk, Volodymyr Makarenko, and Volodymyr Strelnikov (Moscow 1975).

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