Lydia Masterkova

Born: 1927, Moscow
Died: 2008, Saint-Laurent-sur-Othain (France)

Painter. Born in Moscow (1927) and showed an early interest in painting (mid-1940s). Studied under Mikhail Perutsky at Moscow Secondary School of Art (1943–46), Vasily Surikov School of Art (1946) and Moscow Regional School of Art (1947–50). Lived with Vladimir Nemukhin, but never married. Member of the Lianozovo community and the nonconformist movement. Took up abstract painting (1950) and developed her own non-figurative style under the influence of works of Abstract Expressionism seen at the exhibition of foreign artists held during the World Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow (1957). Painted bright watercolours (early 1960s), abstract compositions contrasting dark forms and light backgrounds (mid-1960s) and collages made from old fabrics, lace and brocade found in abandoned churches (late 1960s). Emigrated to France (1975), where she collaborated with the Galerie Dina Vierny in Paris (1976) and held a one-woman show called Adieu a? la Russie (1977). Died and buried in Saint-Laurent-sur-Othain in Lorraine (2008). Contributed to apartment exhibitions in Russia (from 1961), foreign exhibitions (from 1965) and such infamous events as the Bulldozer Exhibition at Belyaevo (1974) and Cheremushki at Izmailovsky Park (1974). Honoured by a retrospective at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow (2006).

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