Mikhail Nazarov: biography, creativity, career, personal life


 Mikhail Nazarov was born on May 24, 1927 in Kananikolskoye village of Zilair district of Bashkiria. Father and mother were from peasants. The family has never been in distress. There was always food, even during the war years. Planted some vegetable gardens and lots of potatoes. Developed celina and sowed bread. They dug everything with a shovel. Mum was an active hostess, never sat idle and made sure the children were fed up, clothed and clothed.

Mikhail started working early. Was a blacksmith and a bricklayer. The family moved to the Tubinsky mine and Mikhail worked there as an artisan. All the war, he was on par with adults mining gold in the mine. Earning a bag of flour a month was happiness.

After the war, Michael was appointed chief of construction of the narrow gauge road. Dali horse and tarantas. He was driving around and marking the future road. Draw everything I saw. He showed his drawings to the construction director and said he wanted to go to study. So there was a road to the world of canvases and paints, and this road lay through the Bashkir Art and Theatre School.

As started drawing

Everything started in school. From the fifth grade they produced stennewspaper. Drawing all class, but Michael did not like this fascination for some reason, but he liked sketches to geography and natural science lessons. It’s waterfalls, it’s plants. At that time it seemed to him that he was the worst drawing artist among the guys, but the nickname “artist” stuck to him for some reason.

The art school gave him not only science and skill of drawing, but also communication with teachers Alexander Tyulkin and Boris Laletin. Under their influence, the aspiring artist formed his style of painting paintings.


Graduated from the art school, Michael taught fine art lessons to children at school. He later entered the State Art University in Tallinn. There, Michael dipped into the world of academic drawing. Worked a lot – eight in the morning to ten in the evening. I wanted to work even at weekends. On Sunday the workshops were closed, he often climbed through the forecourt, only to work. In the Baltics, the artist felt free. In Russia in those days much was banned and art dictated. It was necessary to paint Lenin and Stalin on the paintings. IN M. Nazarov Talline felt a special taste for creativity. Great influence on M. Nazarova in that period was rendered by Ilmar Kimm.

The rejection and clandestine period

in 1958. M. Nazarov returned to Ufa. It was filled with new ideas and themes. While living in the city, he still missed the village, his native Kananikolsk, and his memory did not rest. So on canvas began to appear houses, bazaars, rivers, tractors, men in ushanki, women in trapezoidal shape headscarves, “Kananikol”, mine, spit, axe, hammer and cart. He called the images of people in the paintings “Kananikol”.

Over the years, his writing style honed in, but disliked by society. In those years, many artists suffered from misunderstanding and rejection. It came down to outright banning and repression of painters.

Mikhail Nazarov did not give up. He persistently painted and taught painting at the Ufa Institute of Art. Z. Ismagilov. By 1989, Nazarov had over 200 paintings painted, and almost all were on display at his first exhibition in Sverdlovsk. But then still his creativity was perceived twofold. In the book of reviews at the exhibition, some people scaremoniously scolded him and offered to take away all the brushes and paints from such an artist and not to show anyone what he painted.

Years passed, the artist’s workshop resembled more of a storage of canvases. M. Nazarov never aspired to become famous. His live canvases waited for their hour and waited.

At the last exhibition of his life “Miras”, he talked about the painting. He was looking for the size of the ratio of white to black. Started on the left side – from the cross. Cross first painted as the frame of a village window. I came from memory that the basis of the frame of the window in the peasant house is a cross. Just forgotten a long time ago. Then it seemed that the cross would be lonely, and there was a random pattern on the right. According to the author, the dimensions of black and white in the painting are guessed precisely. This painting is perceived by a whole composition because one color supports the other and prevents the two objects from disconnecting.

The artist recalls his sensations while walking through the village. He noticed that when you walk along the street, it feels like it’s not you going, but houses going and moving with you. This is the basis of the construction on paintings with houses.

The composition “Zinka Pustilnikova’s life” is dedicated to her aunt Zinaida Mefodyevna. It was presented at the Sverdlovsk exhibition. About her was written flattering for M. Nazarova response in the book of reviews. The lines said that if the artist had written just this painting, it alone would be enough to admire him.

All Nazarov’s works are a conversation about living – being, about “zhitukha”, which was portrayed by “sixties”. The characters of the artist are real Cananicolans, only their faces and figures as if cut down. The paintings seem to say that life is hard and harsh.

You know how to teach others more than a

quarter of a century he devoted to teaching students painting. Many became folk and honored artists of the Republic of Bashkiria:

Remembering teachers, they speak kind words about him. At the Miras exhibition, Amir Mazitov said: “To me he is such Bashkir and Socrates, and Plato, and Aristotle, and Herodotus in one person. He can very simply say about some deep sublime things…”

Students sought to get to him in painting courses. About him in the environment of artists were formed legends. He attracted and fascinated with stories about the homeland, about Bashkiria, about the painters of all time. The young caught his every word, already realizing that they were communicating with a real master.

Mysterious footprint

Each epoch gives birth to innovative currents. A new word in painting was destined to say to two masters of Bashkiria: Mikhail Nazarov and Ahmat Lutfullin. In the 70s, both artists were harshly criticized. Nazarov for avant-garde, Lutfullin for realism. But criticism doesn’t override the essence of creativity. The bottom line was that their painting was riddled with anxiety for the fate of the village man, pain about the land.

M. Nazarov understood that human memory cannot preserve much. He remembered the picturesque beauty of his native village, tens of kilometers surrounded by pine forest. He bathed in the clear river Cane, where came to spawn red fish — the flaunts. He couldn’t change anything in the life process. Everything was disappearing and collapsing. Forests were cut down, the river was polluted, and fish were gone. People moved, rotted abandoned houses. All he could was to express and keep his years of experiences in the paintings.

M.A. Nazarov retired from life for 93 years. Until the last days he painted in the workshop. He wrote 3 paintings a day. His paintings are simple and naive only at first glance. Each picture reflects the world of Nazarov: the village and the universe. M. Nazarov spent many years punching and defending his picturesque language. He, a village boy from Zilair, managed to root the sprouts of informal — abstract art that for many still remains a mystery.

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