«Soon after he was born Vyacheslav’s family moved to Moscow where the boy lived until the age of 16. Those were the times when Vyacheslav discovered painting and began to study at the studio at the Bolshevik factory. His teacher, A. Nikolsky was a very interesting person who was deeply committed to his work. The students along with their teacher made designs for people’s festivals where they later took part at.
At Ryazan state art school Tokarev again was lucky to meet a very good teacher. Yakov Kalinichenko belonged to the generation of Peredvizhniki often called The Wanderers or The Itinerants in English, a group of Russian realist artists. He was a very good painter and a wise teacher who shared time with the students not only at school but also often invited them to his studio to show his own, sometimes unfinished works.
In 1939 Tokarev entered Ilya Repin Leningrad Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (the Academy of Art). However these happy days of studies were soon interrupted by the World War II. Tokarev joined the Red Army. He was injured two times. During the periods of recovery he ran to the embankment of Neva river, to the Academy of Art where the creative art life went on against all odds. After the war ended Tokarev continued his studies there in Alexander Osmerkin’s workshop. Osmerkin, a wonderful painter and art teacher, a highly original artist who contributed to development of the Russian avant-garde taught his students the acute sense of artistic and social responsibility. Tokarev recalls with gratitude upon his other mentors – modest and restrained S. Abugov and severe E.Pavlovsky.
In 1949 Tokarev relocated himself to Odessa where he began to teach at Odessa state art school. At these times he commenced his serious work at his major paintings».
«Iskusstvo» magazin, №6, 1977
Biography and dates
26 july 1917
Born 26.07.1917 in the town of Bogoroditsk in Tula Governorate, Russia
Studied at Ryazan state art school
Entered the Ilya Repin Leningrad Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture
Joined the Red Army and fought a the Leningrad front
Was injured and therefore demobilized from the army
Graduated the Ilya Repin Leningrad Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture
The first solo exhibition in Odessa. Took part at the 10th Ukrainian art show in Kiev
Worked as an art teacher at Odessa state art school
Took part at the exhibition of Ukrainian art at the Decade of Ukrainan art in Moscow
Became a member of the Union of the Artists
Took part at the exhibition of Ukrainian art dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the Reunification of Russia and Ukraine
Awarded with Order of the Badge of Honor
Honored the title of Honored Artist of Ukrainian SSR
Solo exhibitions in Odessa and Kiev
Solo exhibition in Moscow
Solo exhibitions in Leningrad (USSR), Warsaw (Poland), Bydgoszcz (Poland)
Honored the title of People’s Artist of Ukrainian SSR
Awarded with Order of the Patriotic War
Solo exhibition in Lugano, Switzerland
1992, 1998, 2000
Solo exhibitions in Odessa Fine arts museum
Died on 22 of april in Odessa, Ukraine
The poets of revolution. 1987. Oil on canvas,240x150
Union of artists of USSR
Vyacheslav Tokarev is an established artist in the late 80-s. In 1989-1991 the tryptich «The word and the feat» appears («The word», «The october», «The feat»). Here the author returns to the same events as in his previous historical series of works shifting the meanings. The new structure is being created where restrained colors and active forms bring on the new tension and burning passion. Laconic and sharp human figures express what is the most characteristic and the most essential.
He successfully melts traditions of Leningrad school and some features of south-russian school what makes him a very unique artist on the modern ukrainian art scene.
catalogue «Vyacheslav Tokarev», Kiev, 1992
«Tokarev is engaged in the broad range of subjects and genres. He works on portraits, landscapes, he draws a lot. The main direction of his work is a large scale thematic painting which always comes as result of his pondering over life. Year after year he shows his paintings at the exhibitions: «At the opening of a Hydroelectric power station at a collective farm » (1956-1957), «The Milkmaids» (1958-1960), «The summer» (1961), «The new school» (1963-1965), «The soldiers» (1965), «The truth» (1967), «The commissar» (1966-1967), «The cart» (1969), «The October in the working class neighborhood » (1970-1971), «The Awakening» (1972), «The first mechanics» (1971), «The October poem» (1974).
The artist’s work is always long, challenging and meticulous. The torturous quest of the one and only best version of a final painting that will fully express the vision of the artist is the essence of his work and the path that leads from the first sketch on a scrap of paper to the last version of a painting. The drawings of the artist are interesting not only as his creative laboratory. They are the thoughts of the artist being captured, the first impressions of nature and people. Sometimes they are very expressive, but they are never rendered mechanically onto a painting. They are just means to find a plastic form. The final solution regarding the composition and color comes always during the work on the canvas.
The best Tokarev’s paintings belong to the so called «stern style», an art movement that was born in the 60-s. That was the time of strong masculine characters, discreet feelings and restrained yet expressive colors.
The paintings «The commissar», «The cart», «The October in the working class neighborhood» were passionate yet stern. These painting have a lot in common – the time that unifies them and the logic of their structure».
«Iskusstvo» magazin, №6, 1977
The poets of revolution.1978-1979. Oil on canvas,200x180
Оdessa literary museum