The Catto Gallery is proud to present the biggest ever retrospective exhibition of Sergei Chepik's work at London's Mall Galleries on Wednesday 29th January 2014.
Chepik was the only living artist ever to have had his paintings hung in St Paul's Cathedral. He was also Margaret Thatcher's favourite portraitist.
Hailed by critics as a 'searing visionary' and 'one of the greatest living Russian painters', his life was cut short two years ago at the age of just 58.
Now, Catto, in conjunction with his widow Marie-Aude, has curated the most comprehensive display of his work to be seen, worldwide. Amongst the most important pieces are 'Petrushka' which has not been shown anywhere for almost a quarter of a century, and the preparatory sketches for his famed St Paul's paintings - The Way, The Truth and The Life. The originals, at 14 feet high, are simply too vast to be accommodated within the exhibition space.
Another highlight is a piece which has never before been shown in public - Chepik's diploma work from his student days - a 10ft x 10ft piece titled 'Theatrical Phantasmagorical'.
During Chepik's 30 year career he produced astonishing canvases with fantastical compositions from his own imagination. He found inspiration everywhere from the louche bars of Paris to the bullrings of southern France and the canals of Venice.
Ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev sat for Chepik, as well as the former Prime Minister, who is said to have liked his portrayal of her better than any other and, as such, proudly hung it above the fireplace in her London home.
On display will be some 85 paintings - lent by Chepik's collectors and friends for this unique event. A commemorative brochure of these works will be available to purchase for £10.
The rooms at the Mall Galleries will also feature a further eighty pieces which are for sale, with prices ranging from £1000 for a small watercolour sketch to £55,000 for a major oil painting.
Amongst them is an homage to Van Gogh, with Chepik's own version of Sunflowers. Both artists found inspiration in the Provencale town of Arles, the Russian having chosen France as his home after fleeing the Soviet Union in 1988. For any would be collectors, the Chepik sunflowers are priced at £18,000, a mere snip compared with the £24 million price tag for Vincent's version.
The Mall (by Trafalgar Square)
London SW1 United Kingdom
Ph. +44 (0)20 79306844
Daily from 10am to 5pm
- Sergei Chepik, A Midsummer Nights Dream, mixed media on canvas, signed, 175 x 165 cm
- Sergei Chepik, Ship of Happiness, 1992, mixed media on canvas, signed, 130 x 87 cm
- Sergei Chepik, Petrushka, 1985-86, mixed media on wood, signed, 150 x 130 cm
- Sergei Chepik, Scheherazade, 1995, oil on canvas, signed, 60 x 81 cm
- Sergei Chepik, Sunflowers, 1998, mixed media on canvas, signed, 71 x 60 cm
- Sergei Chepik, French Cancan, 2005, pastel on paper, signed, 52 x 52 cm