CATALOG | BIOGRAPHY
Born: June 14, 1920 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Dead July 21, 2005. Was a Russian Jewish-Mexican painter, known simply as “Vlady” in Mexico. In 1943 he came to Mexico as a refugee from Russia along with his father, writer Victor Serge.
Experience: Vlady’s career was mostly in Mexico with trips back to Europe, gaining fame in the 1960s. In the 1970s, he was invited to paint murals at the Miguel Lerdo de Tejada Library, a 17th-century building in the historic center of Mexico City. Vlady’s career gained momentum when he was in his forties. In 1966 he received a grant from the French embassy in Mexico to go to Paris and make lithographs. In 1968 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and spent a year in New York.
Shows: He had his first individual exhibition at the Instituto Francés de América Latina in 1945, which began a career of individual and collective exhibitions of his work. This included the opening of a gallery called Galería Prisse in 1952 with Alberto Gironella and Enrique Echeverría. It was open for only a year but it was influential in establishing the Generación de la Ruptura. From 1951 to 1961 he participated in the Biennal of Paris (I and II), the Biennal of São Paulo, the IV Biennal of Tokyo and the Biennal of Córdoba, Argentina. Later in his career, the Palacio de Bellas Artes held a major retrospective of his work I 1986. In 1989 he had an exhibition at the Jardín Borda in Cuernavaca. In 2000, the Museo de Arte Moderno presented a retrospective of Vlady’s work with 173 watercolors, sketches, engravings and lithographs. From 2000 to 2005, he work was shown in various exhibitions, primarily in Mexico and Russia including the José Luis Cuevas Museum and the Orenburg Museum in 2003 and Pushkin Museum in Moscow in 2005.
Awards: Vlady received a number of awards for his life’s work including honorary membership with the Russian Academy of Arts. In 1967 he won a medal at the World Homage to Baccaccio in Certaldo, Italy.
Collections: A number of years before his death in 2005, the artist donated 4,600 artworks from his own collection, about a thousand of which are found at the Centro Vlady at the Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México, which is dedicated to research and promotion of the artist’s work.