Vladimir Tretchikoff: a 70s cult, the subject of a new book – and even clocked in David Bowie’s The Stars (Are Out Tonight)

Vladimir Tretchikoff.

Flashin' on the 70s

Vladimir Tretchikoff, Chinese Girl, 1952 Vladimir Tretchikoff, Chinese Girl, 1952. Image courtesy of Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers, London. Copyright 2012 The Tretchikoff Foundation

Reproductions of paintings by Vladimir Tretchikoff might have hung high above the mantelpieces of countless 60s and 70s living rooms in the UK, but the art Establishment at the time rated them the lowest of the low: chocolate-box kitsch. One exception was art critic William Feaver who – mocking the art world’s predictable view of the Russian-born artist in a 1974 documentary – ironically described his most iconic, 1950 painting Chinese Girl, with its bluebottle-green face and glacé cherry-red lips, as ‘The most unpleasant work to be published in the 20th century. You’ve got flat form, hair that is not hair at all but is simply an opaque layer of dull and insipid paint. You have shoulders which have no substance, you have muzzy line work’. And, as we mentioned in…

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About kinneret

Hello, and welcome. I'm writing this blog under an alias. Why an alias? I started to write what may be described as an "American Gothic" novel (sort of Henry James/ Franz Kafka with violence) with some autobiographical details. ..when I started this blog I just decided to use the alias. This blog is about art and art history, but my interests also include literature, film analysis, psychology, forensic psychology, faerie tale analysis, cognitive therapy, cognitive linguistics, classical theater, World War II, and Russian and British history. My favorite writers include Kafka, the Brontes, and Philip K Dick. Thank you for reading this blog and I will happily reply to any comments.
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