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Геннадий Добров
Artist Gennady Dobrov
(1937 - 2011)

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Аrtistic biography
1. Preface
2. Childhood
3. The artist in his own words
4. Moscow Secondary Art School (1951-1956)
5. Moscow V.I.Surikov Art Institute (1956-1962)
6. Life lessons (1962-1973)
7. The artist in his wife’s words
8. "Autographs of  War" (1974-1980)
9. The author’s point of view
10. The musings of the artist’s wife
11. Opinions

12. Painting (1980)
13. Perestroika (1986-1990)
14. The 90’s
15. Afghanistan (1989-2001)
16. "The Gallery of  Dead Martyrs" (1997)
17. "The Mentally Ill of Russia " (2002-2004)
18. The last years of  life (2004-2011)
19. Epilogue
20. Afterword
21. Brief artistic biography

12 . Painting (1980s).

"Self Portrait". 1980

.  "At the grave of aunt Feni." 1977.

.  "Portrait of a mother in law." 1981.

  The blow received from colleagues was so strong that Gennady was compelled to pass to painting section. But it was technically difficult to paint portraits of disabled people by oil. Not everyone could smell oil, it takes much more time to paint the portrait, and to search the model. I painted portraits of my native and familiar people.

Artist's studio on Stoleshnikov 16, 3rd Floor.

      In 1982  an extremely psychological picture "A farewell look" (alcoholism theme) appeared. It has already got a tremendous success in "perestroika". The second picture "Delirium of persecution" was written five years with breaks. The main theme of it – is the tragedy of a person with dirty conscience. It was also exposed in "Manej” and gathered crowds of people. The reputation of "the artist of morals and conscience" was finally consolidated to Gennady Dobrov.
      The grandiose fire which happened in the artist’s  studio in Stoleshnikov lane in frosty January, 1985 ruined many picturesque paintings. It took 2 years to restore the workshop. Fortunately, graphics and some of oil works were stored at home.

After the fire. White silence.

In the studio after a fire in 1985.

Among the ruins.

"A farewell look".(1981-1982)

"I always considered that
a picture is the top of art".

 Gennady Dobrov.

"А farewell look". 1982.

      "... The picture gained for many years, splashed out, as a debt, as a need. In 1982 Dobrov brought it to the exhibition in MOSH. The bomb if turned in the hall on "Begovaya”, would make less noise, than "А farewell look"... where we are coming to! Is this art - nasty thing! " Other colleagues friendly explained: "Gena,  where is a hero? There is only the same continuous gloom and hopelessness". "Distract yourself  from a vile subject", - well-wishers advised.
      ... In December, 1985 Dobrov's picture appeared at "the Soviet Russia” exhibition in Manej. "A farewell look" appeared to be the hit of the exhibition. People dragged chairs from all the corners of Manej, took their seats, admired, swore, arranged the improvised discussions. They asked just at the entrance: "And where is Dobrov? ", "Where is "A farewell look"? Again the visitors' book was overflowed with records to Dobrov.... The resonance from the picture has spread not only across Moscow – but people come to see it from Riga, Kalinin, Krasnodar.  Specially...."  

Svetlana Gladysh.
"Sobriety and Culture” magazine
No. 9 of 1986.

«Delirium of persecution".  (1982-1986)

"Delusions of persecution". 1986.

      Gennady Dobrov's picture "Delirium of persecution" is a reminder, how war mills not only the bones, but also souls of people. The plot is reliable - in due time Gennady Mikhaylovich happened to work both as the policeman on duty, and the hospital attendant. But it is not the main thing. The artist imperceptibly transfers us to the world of other categories: debt and compassion, hatred and love for the neighbour, just anger and mildness of soul. Here we have conversation about SOUL.  And  the "documentary" painting at once rises to the  level of the highest abstractions of the Good and the Evil: God in soul and God on a metal plate of the German soldier's belt. The motive of Christian mercy makes the way - and starts sounding as an evangelical parable about the leprous...
 Victor Antonov.
"Smena” magazine
  No. 9 1989.

(From the letter to Mrs. Helen Hakkel, the doctor of Art school, Winchester, England).

        The name of the picture many times changed. It was: "Payment", "Payment for Fear", "Retribution". Generally, it is a "Crime and Punishment" subject and if Dostoevsky's novel wasn't called so, it would be possible to call the picture using these two words. But here very clearly visible the theme of madness and therefore after numerous options I stopped on the psychiatric diagnosis " Delirium of persecution".
        ... So, it is a picture about sick conscience of the person, committed huge crimes in the past which ever since his torment and about which he can’t tell anybody as descended on this soil from mind.... Dirty clothes with a fascist  gleaming belt buckle with an inscription " God with us " and the Christian cross which has slid off a breast of the bent old woman nurse, enter into a silent dialogue. Here two views on the world connected: cruel, ruthless and vindictive and humane as two swords, two concepts, two relations to life and to people...
        The picture was exhibited at two large art exhibitions, received many positive comments of the audience. Your English art critic Brendon Taylor devoted to it some lines in the "Art month” magazine in May, 1988.
        ... The picture is ended, but it is necessary to say about one more character, about the author, without whose active participation of feelings hardly  would the picture live for so long, for several years, all the time feeling live pulse. What is the sick Conscience? And whether is it possible to compose about it a picture, most being discharged of its Main character? No, of course, isn't. It is more than that, I tried to discover and found in myself all the meanness, all the mucks, all the bad that I’ve ever done to other people.... Here therefore when I looked for an image of the tramp, I got the idea to make him similar to myself. That is why there is so much torment in his eyes. It is a picture - confession. It is a picture-confession-atonement. It is a picture confession - repentance...
Yours faithfully, Gennady.
 February, 1994.

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