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Vladimir Yakovlev

At the age of 18 Vladimir Yakovlev almost lost the power of sight, but acquired the ability to speak of things invisible.

His contact with artists belonging to the "Other Art" group formed his artistic principles. The international exhibitions that were organized within the framework of the 1957 International Youth Festival provided a decisive impulse for him to concentrate on painting. His subjects are simple: flowers and people, sometimes animals and landscapes. However, what impresses most of all are emotions expressed by the colour pattern and sharp contrasts, which make it possible to convey lyric and dramatic elements in one image.

The artist’s mental ill health reinforced his artistic vision. It was as if Yakovlev was physically incompatible with the oppressive Soviet regime. From 1945 onwards he spent long periods in mental clinics and after his mother’s death in 1983 moved into a neurological boarding house. Also he was rapidly losing his eyesight, which was partly restored in the 90s. Paradoxically, he created his best works when he was almost blind.