Monday 11 am - 5: 30 pm
Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 5:30 pm
Thursday Night ArtWalks 7 - 9 pm
Sunday by Appointment
7103 East Main Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
SOLD 12" x 8 3/4" oil on board signed on reverse 1963
SOLD 9 5/8" x 13 5/8" oil on board signed on reverse 1961
SOLD 27 1/2″ x 43 3/8″ oil on canvas signed 1969
1924 - 1984
Zinovi Efimovich Popov was born in 1924 in a small village in the Penza Region. He fought in World War II and was wounded on the front in 1942. He returned home and in 1947 began working as a security guard in a building occupied by artists’ studios. As he was working at night he was able to cultivate his natural artistic ability through constant absorption and practice. In 1949 he passed examinations to enter the Penza Art College.
After graduation he moved to Voronezh, a known cultural center, where he became inseparably connected to the art scene there. During his early years in Voronezh, he taught at the Voronezh Art School, which has now reached the level of Academy of Art.
Zinovi Popov constantly searched to express himself in his own way. In 1954 he began submitting works to the Voronezh Union of Artists, finally being accepted in 1960. He was a natural leader, active in all the artistic activities of the city. He exhibited in local, regional, and All-Union exhibitions (not an easy thing to do — this was by invitation only).
His creativity was always focused on plein air painting, although he was also well known for his lively and colorful portraits. As he matured as an artist, he began to develop a highly original style that drastically broke with the Soviet notion of Soviet Realism. Although he was at the time director of the Artists’ Union, during the 1970s he was rebuked for abandoning he Soviet ideal. However, by the early 1980s when he died he was being labeled a genius. Zinovi’s technique was masterful and his palette lush and colorful, full of the vibrant and brilliant colors he loved.
After Popov’s death, the Kromskoi Museum in Voronezh held a personal exhibition of his works that consisted of 130 paintings and graphics. The works were made up of landscapes, some portraits, and a small number of still lifes, all extolling the everyday lives of people.
Most of his major works were landscapes, by his own admission his favorite subject. He said, "I love this work and feel that I have run the whole scale of greenery. Landscape offers peace and tranquility."
His landscapes are a hymn to the land, blazingly executed and sympathetically painted. Zinovi engraved on the hearts of his fellow Russians bountiful harvests and springtime bursting with new life. A vital, exhilarating mood always accompanies the offerings of this uniquely creative artist. With landscape Popov expressed all that, to his eyes, were the best and most beautiful aspects of his rich heritage. The loftiest force was achieved, growing stronger and bringing together the artist and viewer.
When he died on July 19, 1984, he was working on a commission in the Crimea. He once predicted that his works would live on long after he was gone and this has been the case. The works he left have provied funds to support his wife and son and have enriched the lives of many people throughout the world.
He is listed on page 248 of Matthew Bown's, A Dictionary of Twentieth Century Russian and Soviet Painters.