From the USSR with love: Warm porcelain figurines by Nina Malysheva
From the USSR with love: Warm porcelain figurines by Nina Malysheva

Touching sketches about the life of ordinary Soviet people - here a mother leads two restless kids through a blizzard, here a Yakut girl closely follows a flying plane, here a tender girl clung to a stocky sailor. Porcelain sculptures by Nina Malysheva are kind and slightly ironic stories, a look at Soviet reality through the prism of unconditional love for people.

Works for all-union exhibitions

Nina Aleksandrovna Malysheva was born in 1914 in Orel. She began to paint before she spoke. The city itself, small at that time, but not aloof from revolutionary trends, brought up her artistic talent. The city garden located on the banks of the Oka River, with marble figures of goddesses shining against the background of dense greenery, delighted Nina. The statues seemed alive … it was precisely those childhood impressions that Malysheva tried to preserve for the rest of her life. Visiting revolutionary agitators brought propaganda posters with Mayakovsky's drawings - and the girl furtively awkwardly "copied" them.

Nina Malysheva's creative style was formed under the influence of classical art and propaganda posters

Nina graduated from a seven-year school and entered a factory school for the specialty … metal turner! And then - to the 1905 art school in Moscow, where her talent was nurtured by famous Soviet teachers. Young Nina was greatly influenced by Deineka's works - powerful, gentle, warm, emphatically bodily.

Deineka greatly influenced Malysheva

The next period in the life of Nina Malysheva, like many other artists, was devoted to pedagogy. When the war began, Nina and her little daughter were evacuated to Kazakhstan. It was there that she decided to return to her art studies. The Moscow Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts was evacuated to Samarkand, where Nina dared to apply to the Faculty of Art Ceramics and was immediately enrolled in the second year.

Holidays and weekdays in Central Asia

One of the cross-cutting themes of Nina Malysheva's work is the culture and life of Central Asia. Crafts, dances, everyday sketches and hard work of cotton pickers are reflected in the artist's delicate porcelain sculptures. A short but vivid passion for painting and classes under the guidance of Robert Falk taught her how to work with composition, color and form, so Malysheva's sculptures look like works of art in themselves, and not a meaningless "decoration of everyday life."

Lezginka and cotton picking

After graduating from her studies in 1947, the artist was sent to the Dulevo Porcelain Factory, where her pure, bright, truly humanistic talent was revealed.

Folk dances are an important topic for Malysheva

Artists and porcelain painters at that time had to abandon stereotypical, established images and look for something new, consonant with Soviet reality and fit into the life of an ordinary Soviet person.

Difficult move

The ideological content, of course, had to correspond to the canons of socialist realism, and the forms had to allow use in mass production. It was in these difficult conditions that many truly original authors appeared in the Soviet arts and crafts.

Restrictions only spurred Malysheva's creative nature …

Nina Aleksandrovna created works from start to finish, not trusting painting samples to other artists. The originals of Malysheva's works cannot be confused with later replicas - their smooth white surface seems to be filled with light.

Works by Nina Malysheva

Malysheva's porcelain figurines are most often instant impressionistic sketches.She was surprisingly good at everyday scenes - mothers with children strolling along the Arbat, touching lovers, dreamy girls and boys …

Porcelain sketches of motherhood Phone conversation. Parting

She herself considered her work not so much a sculpture as life sketches.

Genre scenes

Creating generalized forms, Malysheva also took care of details - so even the simplest and most replicated images in her performance acquired individuality, recognition, and soul.

Well take it away! and Young Geologist

According to the works of Nina Malysheva, one can study the costume, hairstyle and physicality of Soviet people as such. Tenacious observation, brought up from childhood, allowed the artist to instantly "count" and convey, with a minimum of means, the characters of the portrayed, their movements, impetuous or phlegmatic, the lines of their bodies and the movement of their thoughts.

Girl feeding chickens. Coloring options

Where the material does not allow expressing feelings with facial expressions and gaze of the person being portrayed, the plastic of the body plays a significant role.

Works by Nina Malysheva Bath day

But even when working with such material that does not allow for significant detailing, such as porcelain in mass production, Malysheva conveyed individual and ethnic differences in facial features, revealing the most important thing - that is why each of her characters is endowed with individuality.

Malysheva's characters are each endowed with their own character Girl with a goat and Vanka Zhukov Images of the inhabitants of the Far North

It should be borne in mind that porcelain is a capricious material, and many details are simply lost during firing, but the artist managed to strike a balance between stylization and precision.

Young Dreamer and Young Ballerina

She opposed bright colors in porcelain sculpture, explaining that the color should be adequate to the size of the sculpture, and lurid shades will simply "eat up" the delicate plasticity of the forms. Malysheva paid tribute to the tradition of Russian porcelain, painting figurines with small flowers, which did not always find understanding among politically engaged bosses.

Malysheva preferred delicate shades in the painting of sculptures

Holidays and hard work, the joy of housewarming and happy parenting, the national flavor of the union republics - it seems that there is no such topic that Nina Aleksandrovna Malysheva would not touch in her work.

Images of Russian culture

Malysheva did not ignore both classical ballet and Russian literature of the Golden Age.

Folk dances and works of Pushkin

She participated in exhibitions throughout the Soviet Union and even beyond. Nina Malysheva's works can be found in the Tretyakov Gallery, the State Museum of Ceramics in Kuskovo (Moscow), the Museum of the State Dulevo Porcelain Factory, the Tver Regional Picture Gallery, the Omsk Regional Museum of Fine Arts named after V.I. MA Vrubel, Lugansk Regional Art Museum.

One of the most famous works of Nina Malysheva

The most famous, recognizable works of Nina Malysheva, for which fans of Soviet porcelain are ready to give a lot of money - figurines "Manicure" ("Gossips"), "Telephone conversation", "Lost", "Walk", "Song of Friendship", "Our Traditions", "Lezginka", "Belarusian dance", "Dancing Uzbek woman", "Uzbek with a tambourine", "Dancing Tajiks", "Young ballerina", "Russian square dance".

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