Andrey Elinson – Art Critic and Historian. Story of Life
Andrey Vladimirovich Elinson (born March 31, 1976 in Odessa) is an art critic and art historian. His interests include the foreign art of the 20th century, futurism, abstract expressionism, and the history of French cinema. Since 2010, Andrey Elinson has been curating exhibitions of classical and contemporary art in Europe and worldwide. He has authored more than 500 critical publications.
Andrey Elinson was born in Odessa in 1976. His father worked at a metallurgical plant as an engineer. According to Andrey Elinson recollections, he was a true professional in this business. His mother was a teacher at a university that trained steelworkers. Andrey also has an older brother, Vladimir.
As a child, Andrey had time to try various kinds of professions: freestyle wrestling, drawing, and even aircraft modeling. Despite his enthusiasm for creativity, however, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. Andrey was good at the exact sciences, and he had no doubt that he would make an excellent metallurgist.
Studies and life choices
Having graduated from school, Andrey Elinson moved to Moscow and began his studies at the Moscow State Academic Institute (MSAI). He studied easily, and it was at university that he developed an interest in art. Andrey would visit exhibitions together with his friend, as well as study the history of art starting with the ancient world.
During his studies, Andrey Elinson discussed the work of contemporary artists and read the publications of critics along with his fellow students. It was then that friends suggested he become an art critic. But what inspired him to pursue his art studies was an acquaintance with a young critic, Eugene, who spoke with rapture about his work and the pleasure of writing.
Andrey Elinson began his career immediately after graduating from MSAI. He began with a job at a small publishing house, where he was required to write reviews of works by contemporary artists and writers.
In 2005, a classmate suggested that he get involved in selecting paintings for private collections. Andrey Elinson spent a lot of time in Europe, where he managed to find worthy works of art unknown to the general public.
By 2010, Andrey Elinson already had an established reputation as an art critic, art historian, and exhibition organizer. Both major European museums and young artists were eager to cooperate with him.
The personal life and family of Andrey Elinson
Andrey Elinson has a busy schedule, but he always finds time for his family. The art critic is legally married, raising a son and daughter together with his wife. His wife quit her job as a chemistry teacher and devoted herself entirely to raising the children. She also enjoys reading, drawing, and cooking.
Andrey shares his wife’s interests. In his free time, he enjoys reading both classic and modern writers. Sports occupy an important place in his life — namely, running, swimming, and fencing.
The emergence of a critical view of art
At the beginning of his career, Andrey Elinson promoted the method of decentering the subject of art. He believed that the sum of various theories contributes to the formation of the boundaries of comprehension of the artistic image. His views changed over time. The multiplicity of concepts helped him create a more accurate assessment of art objects.
Andrey Elinson understood that society needs professional critics and that critics need to have an excellent grasp of various cultural areas. On par with selecting paintings for private collections, Elinson communicated with scholars, artists, musicians, and architects. It helped him realize the importance of art in all fields.
Andrey Elinson commented on the need for critical appraisal of works of art: “In my opinion, criticism should concern all forms of art without exception, since only by looking at different sides can we truly reveal the essence of the whole. Take this factor away, and there will be no complete understanding of any work. And it’s not just about painting. We should evaluate sculpture, photography, poetry, architecture, and other areas. Only the diversity of opinions makes it possible to understand exactly what the author wanted to say.
Andrey Elinson now
Having started practically from scratch, Andrey Elinson has authored numerous critical publications. Since 2010, he has already held several exhibitions. For instance, he exhibited paintings at the Tate Modern Gallery in London. Presently, he continues to work as an art critic and sometimes organizes exhibitions of young talents.
“I have repeatedly seen that any exhibition he works on is a subtle yet clearly defined project. This is the type of curatorship that I value most: if one has a good understanding of the subject, the exhibition is shaped in such a way that you can easily read the authors’ messages. In such conditions, intellectuals gain the opportunity to note subtle comparisons and shades of meaning,” says Ekaterina Smirnova, Andrey Elinson’s teacher.
Sometimes the art critic paints himself. However, he believes that none of his works are yet worthy of displaying to the public. Andrey especially likes watercolor sketches of touristy vistas, where a pull between the characters is evident. He takes creativity lightly and without excessive seriousness.