Artist Spotlight: Alexander Deineka

By Christopher Harrity

Originally published on August 03 2013 4:00 AM ET

The Boys Start Running Out of the Water, 1935

Deineka (alternately Deyneka and Deinyka) was a Soviet Russian painter, graphic artist, and sculptor, regarded as one of the most important Russian modernist figurative painters of the first half of the 20th century. Gay? Bisexual? Who is to say? We include his art here for his idealistic view of the male athletic form.

Deineka was born in Kursk to a railroader family. He was educated at Kharkov Art College. His youth was spent — as was many of his contemporaries — devoted to events around the revolution. In 1918 he worked as the photographer in Criminal Investigation Department, managed a section of the Art of Regional Educational Department, designed campaigns, and became involved in the defense of Kursk. In 1919-1920 Deineka was in the army where he managed art studio in Kursk Political Department.

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See more of Deineka's art on the following pages >>>

After the Battle, 1944

The Defense of Sevastapol, 1942

Baton Race

Relaxed, 1928

After Work, 1948

Skiers, 1950 (mosaic)

Runners, 1935

Showerrs, 1954

Self-portrait, 1948

The Football Players, 1955

The Blacksmiths, 1957

Fine Morning, 1960 (mosaic)

On the Beach, 1961


The Tractor Driver, 1956

Friends, 1962