James Yarosh Associates Reflects the Past in Celebration of Upcoming Kugach Show
Holmdel, NJ— For James Yarosh, owner of James Yarosh Associates fine art gallery, 2009 has begun with an extraordinary opportunity for reflecting on the last decade of introducing fine Russian art to American collectors, specifically through his relationship with the Wurdeman family, which has allowed his gallery unimaginable access to Russian Master artists once unknown in the Western world. Now, one such family of artists, the Kugach family, is set to be honored in Kugach, Kugach, Kugach: Three Generations of Russian Artists, a nationally-featured exhibition set to open in Washington , D.C. on January 31.
Yarosh began representing artists from the famed Surikov Institute ten years ago after he happened upon their paintings, and those of other Russian artists at a quiet New York show.
It was then that he was drawn to the beauty of Russian realist works, masterful depictions of everyday Russian culture, landscapes, and people of the Soviet era.
Around that time, Yarosh met Jonathan Wurdeman, a young artist, and the only American artist ever to be accepted and graduate from Moscow ’s Surikov. When returning to the United States , Wurdeman brought with him the paintings of his professors and peers, beginning with those of artists such as Zabelin, Koslov, Dubavik and Kosnichev, and later including artists such as Fedosov, Malsev and the Kugach family: the artwork now collectively credited as the most important realism movement of the 20th Century.
Since then, Yarosh has dedicated two events each year, a Spring show and Holiday exhibit, which debut the most recently arrived paintings from Russia in an exclusive trunk show setting. The tri-state area exclusive events are co-hosted by John Wurdeman, the artist’s father, who has since founded the Lazare Gallery in Virginia , renowned as the western world’s foremost repository of works from the Moscow School of Russian Realism.
At a time when Western galleries and collectors had not yet discovered the now highly desirable Russian art market, Yarosh purchased the works of seemingly unknown artists with his heart, rather than from an investment perspective. Such was the beginning of a personal passion for Russian fine art, a focused direction for his gallery, and the unexpected discovery of his own Russian ancestry. “The work of the artists such as the Kugach family and other Russian realist artists has truly defined my gallery, and has undoubtedly played an inspirational role in my life path,” said Yarosh.
For Yarosh, “Life has always been very simple for me. Surround yourself with beauty, appreciate what you have, and keep in mind the big picture of what is important. It is with great pride that I have shared with collectors the artwork that I believe in, and now can offer them the opportunity to lend back pieces from their personal collections for a museum show such as Kugach, Kugach, Kugach.”
Recently featured in Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, the renowned artists of the Kugach family include Yuri Kugach, now 91, his late wife Olga Svetlichnaya (1915-1997), and their son Mikhail Kugach, born in 1939. The gift of extraordinary artistic ability also extends to several, more distant, relatives within the Kugach family, including Nikita Fedosov (1939-1992).
The Kugach family story is rich in history, discipline, and artistic integrity. Yuri Kugach is widely- known for his selfless decision to endure the political and artistic pressures of Stalin’s Russia , while shielding his wife from the same, and thus affording her the luxury of painting from the heart. As the senior member of the family, Yuri Kugach continues to paint, most recently unveiling a series of moonscapes which have captivated the attention of dealers and collectors nationwide.
Kugach, Kugach, Kugach: Three Generations of Russian Artists is sponsored by the Global Arts Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting peace through a greater understanding of foreign cultures. The event will run from January 31-March 15 at the American University Museum in Washington , D.C.
For Yarosh, the very subject matter of the Kugach works to be displayed offers a beautiful reminder for daily living. “Russian realist painters, such as those within the Kugach family, demonstrate the amazing ability to depict even the most ordinary objects in the most breathtaking of ways. Life can be complicated if we cannot find a way to stop and make time to enjoy the simple life. What better evidence of life’s beautiful simplicities than in the remarkable works resulting from a lifetime of dedication by the Kugach family,” he said.
James Yarosh Associates Fine Art Gallery is located an hour outside New York City in the Design and Fine Arts Building at 55 East Main Street, in Holmdel, NJ. The nationally-recognized gallery provides personalized fine art services to individuals and professional design firms for both corporate and residential projects. For more information about the gallery or upcoming events, visit www.jamesyarosh.com.