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Refined avant-garde artist Robert Falk: 4 muses, unnecessary Paris and later recognition in the homeland

Robert Rafailovich Falk is a Russian avant-garde artist with Jewish roots who went through a difficult career through the turbulent revolutionary years that broke the fate of many painters. Some of them – they emigrated, others – adapted to the new regime, and others, including Falk, who did not reconcile with the Soviet regime, went into the art opposition. For this, the artist was strictly punished by the existing regime.

Robert Falk was born in 1886 in Moscow to the Jewish family of Rafail Falk, a well-known lawyer and avid chess lover. Intelligent and educated parents sought to instill in their three sons an interest in equally venerable pursuits. Their family spoke only in German and all the children were identified in a prestigious Lutheran school, which was famous for strict orders. And at home the boys were brought up in a Spartan spirit.

Robert’s extraordinary ability to music was strongly welcomed by his parents. But his talent for drawing was practically not noticed, as it was considered frivolous. In 1903, Robert first tried to paint in oil and decided to become a painter. In his autobiography, Falk wrote: “When they presented me with oil paints, I passionately became interested in painting. For whole days I spent time with my sketchbook and tried to convey all the details of the landscape I liked. It was, perhaps, the only happy period when I was quite pleased with my works. I decided to give up music and become an artist by all means. ”

This statement was very upset for the parents. After all, it was not about such a future that they dreamed for their son. Much more prestigious was the career of a lawyer or a doctor, at worst a musician, but certainly not an artist! Forever hungry, with no definite future and earnings. However, it was impossible to dissuade the son from such a choice. And if you sort it out, it really was a strange choice for a Jewish youth.

But be that as it may, Robert entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin, who laid the foundation for his work, became his favorite teachers. From his student years, Falk’s painting was filled with a play of light and color, where the form dissolves in color.

After graduating from college, Falk joined the Jack of Diamonds association, and at the very first exhibition he received, although not a lot of money, for the painting sold, but the artist had enough to visit the famous cities of Italy.

There were glory and recognition in Falk’s life, misunderstanding and fear of repression, poverty and hunger, but he never deviated from his principles, either creative or moral. In his creative searches, the artist did not go further than the first “analytical” stage of cubism, and he criticized the subsequent, more radical avant-garde trends in painting. On his canvases, the images are expressed by the volume of the form and the angular spots of saturated color. And all this is laconic, realistic and tangible in every subject depicted on his canvas.

Robert Falk has never been committed to just one genre. Portraits, still lifes, and interiors came out from under his brush. One of the artist’s best paintings is “Red Furniture” (1920), where the expression of red color mesmerizes.
The revolution of 17 brought its own corrections to the fate of many artists of that time. She brought recognition and fame to Robert Falk: in 1918-1921 he served at the Moscow College of Art and the Art Industry, was one of the organizers of the State Free Art Workshops, where he was engaged in teaching. Then he was appointed dean of these workshops and gained fame as a theater artist.

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