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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ernst Neizvestny. The long goodbye


Shelter island called the “island of millionaires”. He is, in the words of Vasily Aksenov, “between the jaws of long island, like a duck in the jaws of a crocodile.” In addition Aksenov about this picturesque luxury resort where from new York to go two and a half hours, wrote Steinbeck, and Vonnegut.


photo: Oleg Sulkin

From now on shelter island, it is appropriate to rename the island of Ernst Neizvestny. Outstanding sculptors of Russia and the world spent many months of his American cut of life in a house built on a secluded island here from the mainland accessible only by ferry) for his own project. Here, in the workshop, he created many of his works, large and small, including the famous “Tree of life”, now decorating the lobby of the bridge “Bagration” in Moscow. The house has a garden of his sculptures.

Here, a 20-minute walk from the house, in the old cemetery at the Presbyterian Church Ernst I. Unknown was buried last Saturday. The ceremony came family and closest friends and colleagues.

First, the coffin was exhibited at the funeral home of Frank Campbell’s on Madison Avenue, where eventually pass elite new York establishment. In the hall if not half enlightened Russian new York, the kind of his third. Artists, representatives of art community, writers, representatives of the local media, patrons, lovers of the master.

Jeff Bliumis frozen in place with grief. The artist and sculptor, he has for many years helped the Unknown to be cast in the metal of his work. Jeff foundry workshop, located in the forests of the Catskill mountains.

“Only now I fully realized who we lost,” said Jeff. Ernst is a person of planetary significance: the philosopher, the theorist, the great Creator. And delicate and charming man, which was impossible to leave, which you could listen for hours”.

The funeral service was held at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Manhattan. A Requiem service was served by Bishop of Naro-Fominsk, John. Broad-shouldered, tall, not old Bishop is the administrator of the Patriarchal parishes in the USA.

Goodbye… Anna Graham, wife of Ernst Neizvestny
In the United States parted with the sculptor Ernst Neizvestny (14 photos)

In the hall of the temple — the Unknown wife Anna, his daughter from his first marriage to Olga, the adopted daughter Olivia, other relatives, close friends and admirers of Ernst Iosifovich. Living in Moscow, daughter of Unknown Olga, the artist and art consultant, had to run and nervous at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for several days did not give a visa for an emergency trip to America, the officials demanded the death certificate of his father, and getting it took a few days.

As told to Anna Graham, Ernst I. requested his burial in the Orthodox rite, not cremated and put on the grave is a simple cross. There are no monuments.

Elizabeth Astley Nilen heads the Museum of Ernst Neizvestny “Tree of life” in Sweden, in the town of Otterberg, about an hour drive from Stockholm.

“Our Museum was opened in 1989 my father, who admired the work of the Unknown, — said Elizabeth. — We have collected many of his beautiful sculptures, sheets of graphics. When Ernst came to us, it has always been spacious Studio, built especially for him by the father.”

Workshop without a Master
In the United States parted with the sculptor Ernst Neizvestny (14 photos)

Mikhail Petrov came to the parting of the Urals. He is from Chelyabinsk, is a longtime representative of the Unknown in Russia and ardent promoter of his work.

While the audience was waiting for a truck will bring a special land, drowsy, quiet cemetery deer wandered from a nearby wood. Not at all afraid of people, they are idyllically frolicking among the graves. I think an Unknown would have liked.

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