Viktor Efimovich Popkov (March 9, 1932 - November 12, 1974) was a Soviet artist and graphic artist. Laureate of the State Prize of the USSR (1975 - posthumously).
Born March 9, 1932 in Moscow in a working class family.
He studied at the Art and Graphic Pedagogical School (1948-1952) and the Moscow State Art Institute named after V. I. Surikov (1952-1958) under E. A. Kibrik. Lived in Moscow. The creative activity of V. E. Popkov began during the “thaw”. In the 1950s and 1960s, the artist traveled extensively around the country. He visited Irkutsk, Bratsk and other cities and regions of Siberia, where large construction projects were being carried out at that time. Performed a number of paintings based on impressions from trips. Among them is one of the central works of the "severe style" - "Builders of Bratsk" (1960-1961; also known as "Builders of the Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station".
The artist was in a constant search for knowledge and impressions, so he traveled all over the country throughout his creative life.By the mid-1960s, he completely departed from this style. After the official art of the Stalin era, which expressed the state ideology, it was in the works of Popkov that the author's voice again sounded. The narrative in his paintings unfolds as if "from the first person". The artist openly expressed his personal attitude to the world and man. His work reflects the theme of the unfulfilled fate of the generation that became a victim of the Great Patriotic War (cycle "Mezen's Widows", 1966-1968). In his later works, Popkov was inspired by the creativity of the peoples of Russia. The search for his own style led him to constantly change the way he conveyed his ideas and observations.
A special theme for the artist was a self-portrait, in which he creates a collective image of a contemporary ("Father's Overcoat", 1970-1972). Popkov's painting influenced the formation of the creative principles of the young masters of the 1970s, including T. G. Nazarenko. The posthumous personal exhibition of his works, held at the State Tretyakov Gallery, became an event in the artistic life.
The artist died on November 12, 1974 as a result of an accident: he was shot dead by a collector at close range when he approached the collector's car and asked the driver to give him a lift. Subsequently, the collector claimed that he acted according to the instructions.
He was buried at the Cherkizovsky cemetery.
The main works of Viktor Efimovich are devoted to the Soviet life of his time:
"Builders of Bratsk" (1960-1961), State Tretyakov Gallery (TG)
"Northern Song" (1968), State Tretyakov Gallery
"The Bolotov Family" (1968), State Tretyakov Gallery
"The brigade is resting" (1965), State Tretyakov Gallery
"Father's Overcoat" (1972), State Tretyakov Gallery
"Two" (1966), State Tretyakov Gallery
“Grandma Anisya was a good person” (1973), State Tretyakov Gallery
"Memories. Widows (1966)
“One” (from the cycle “Mezen Widows”, 1966-1968), National Art Gallery of Armenia.
"Autumn rains. Pushkin" (1974), State Tretyakov Gallery, unfinished.
Viktor Efimovich Popkov