Monday, October 13, 2014

Legends Never Die: The Legacy Lives!

Legendary Painter Leonid Steele Passing and Memorial October 15

"Self-Portrait in Ukrainian Shirt" 1953

It is with a profound sadness and pain we share the news of my Great Dad's passing on the morning of 
October 4th, 2014. 
  
A True ARTIST and Giant, he lived life anyone can only dream of.

He cheated death so many times that his entire life is a miracle. He survived the 1933 golodomor in Ukraine, a burst appendicitis in 1939 while in the Army (before newly discovered penicillin use it was considered untreatable), a heavy air bomb concussion in a first siege of Kharkov in 1941 that left him in coma for three months...

With all that he created ART, a kid from Kharkov, the first exhibition in his life was a 1939 World Fair in New York out of all places... he was part of the Soviet Children Art pavilion... While recovering from his concussion in Novosibirsk, he met and studied with the director of the famed Tretiakov Gallery that was evacuated to Siberia and who was Levitan's student.

He went to Repin Academy after the war and became part of the core generation that revived a full glory of classical Russian Academic tradition and method.  He melted that capability into decades of fearless stylistic feats.  He moved mountains in ART.  He became one of the founding influences of Severe Style with his 1958 "Dawn."  He participated in 11 All-Union exhibitions, the most prestigious in the USSR, a rare fit for a maverick artist who enjoyed public love, but never held any official post in the soviet art bureaucracy.  Because of this public love of his work he had a high mass media coverage of his Art totaling around 30 million in circulation. His output is truly gigantic.  He painted masterpieces.  He loved life and was loved back generously.  He loved people and his own visual brand of humanistic rendition of very depths in personal characters made him unique within Socialist Realism.  He touched universal humanity while faithfully portraying a nation.  He lived ART to his last breath.  He is a Star that guides, a true compass. 



"Family" 1972

We thank everyone for all your comforting words, good wishes and prayers in this difficult moment.  Old dear friends, who knew and loved him, spent happiest of times together... all who knew and loved his phenomenal work or got to know it... Our family deeply appreciates the outpouring of your support.

Thank you to all remarkable artists and whole Classical Underground Community, who made last CU the most special ever. Though I could not be there in person, I will treasure the recordings and photos forever.



For those who wish to say goodbye in person 
to my Legendary Dad, the memorial is going to be held on
  
 Wednesday, October 15 at 1pm 

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 
6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038. 
  
Followed by 
 A Drink in Eternal Memory of Leonid 
and
Studio Exhibition:

"Legends Never Die: The Legacy Lives!"

at my studio 
20795 Main Street, Carson, Ca 90745
 


If you wish to make a charitable contribution in Dad's name, you can make it to California Art Club were he was an Honorary Signature Member for Life.

The Era is closed - the Legend continues. Dad's Legacy is Forever.
ART lives! 



"The Land" 1968

Monday, October 6, 2014

Alicia Ponzio - Musical Plasticity of Movement



Classical Underground Showcase, October 6, 2014: It is an extreme pleasure to open our season with showcasing one of my favorite contemporary figurative artists - the sculptor Alicia Ponzio. Strong sculptors in many ways are even more rare than strong painters, and Alicia without any doubt possesses a rare strength of three dimensional mastery. Her heads and figures are imbued with a rare nowadays Form Sense and truly musical plasticity of movement.
  
If that was not enough, Alicia bravely tackles something specifically important to my own understanding of what constitutes the ultimate challenge and excitement in our ART form: a multi-figure composition. As I saw Alicia's magnificent "Lingering Shadows" at California Art Club's last Gold Medal Show, I was struck by the seriousness and depth of all her visual decisions masterfully weaving in space the three glorious figures. Force and Grace - what could ever be better to experience.  

Despite all conformist perils, there is some true ART being made within newly emerging post - contemporary cultural terrain!
  Alicia Ponzio
 
  Alicia Ponzio - The Lingering Shadows 
    
      
In art we trust!