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Sergei Pavlenko and Tatiana Radko at Herrick Gallery

Exhibition preview

FROM May 26 to June 25, 2016, Herrick Gallery is presenting an exhibition of oil studies by two distinguished artists, originally from Russia, Sergei Pavlenko and Tatiana Radko.

Pavlenko has a prolific career as a portrait painter, his sitters including: the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Lord Bonham Carter, HM King Abdullah II of Jordan and several members of the British Royal Family.

Radko’s impressive oeuvre encompasses lively landscapes, still lifes and interiors.

In 2000, HM The Queen sat for a portrait by Pavlenko, commissioned by The Worshipful Company of Drapers. It is said to be the Queen’s favourite portrait since her Coronation, and was personally unveiled by Her Majesty. In 2013, a detail of the head was used on a Royal Mail stamp to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of The Queen’s coronation.

The artist was subsequently commissioned to paint a large-scale picture of The Queen meeting Prince William and Prince Harry at The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

The exhibition surveys a more intimate side to these artists’ work. In the case of Pavlenko, the brisk and expressive studies that he makes for his iconic portraits, and elegant nudes, demonstrate a skilful handling of paint and economy of expression where every mark is handled with assurance and sensitivity.

As Pavlenko explains: “I try to create a painting that would appeal even to people who do not know the sitter. Every brush stroke on all parts of the painting working to show the character, soul, taste and lifestyle of the subject.”

Philip Hook (Senior Director, Impressionist and Modern Paintings, Sothebys London) said of his work: “Sometimes it takes a foreigner’s eye to capture an essentially British ‘look’. One thinks of Van Dyck and Lely from Flanders, or more recently Sargent from America. Sergei Pavlenko belongs to that tradition.”

Sergei Pavlenko graduated from St Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts in 1988 and was nominated for the Gold Medal. He moved to the West in 1989 and became an established portrait painter in Europe and the USA. In 2004, he had two solo exhibitions, at the Russian Embassy in London and the British Embassy in Moscow. In Britain, Channel 4 showed a film about Sergei and his portraits. Pavlenko’s name has been added to the list of “highly distinguished emigrants”. He and his wife Tatiana are both now British citizens, and live and work in London.

Tatiana Radko also studied at St Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. She was taught by the master and academic, Yuri Neprintsev, famous for his emphasis on colour and impressionistic vision. She graduated in 1988 and taught for several years at the Children’s Fine Art School in St Petersburg before marrying Sergei Pavlenko, and moving to the UK in 1992. She has exhibited widely and her work is in private collections in Russia, USA, France, Spain, Austria and the UK.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm.

Herrick Gallery, 93 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7NQ

Website: www.herrickgallery.com/