Russian sculptor Yuri Firsov is a graduate of the Leningrad Mukhina Art and Industry College. Mr. Firsov has enjoyed an artistic career which spans more than three decades and boasts a critical acclaim both in his native Russia where he has been a member of the national Union of Artists, and in the countries of Europe and North America.
One of the creative vectors in Mr. Firsov’s artistic exploits has been distinctively British. It has revealed itself in his series of sculpture miniatures dedicated to the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Inspired by her femininity and elegance, the sculptor has created the touching image of a woman whose royal grace goes hand in hand with her simple human vulnerability and striking inner beauty. One of the sculptures named after the song by Sir Elton John and entitled, The Candle in the Wind, serves a sad reminder of her tragic, untimely passing on the night of August 31, 1997. Her lively, bright and fragile appearance immortalized in bronze conveys the mood surprisingly accurately: we all remember her exactly that way.
Another series of sculptures is dedicated to Rudolf Nureyev, whose 80th birthday the world was celebrating on March 17. The ballet’s greatest who enjoyed 15 magnificent years as a leading dancer at the Royal Ballet and the partnership with its great prima ballerina, Dame Margot Fonteyn, is presented as The Corsair, the character Nureyev has come to personify on stage throughout the world. The dancer is captured in a split-second vision of a spirited leap to what has become his undying legacy. The preciseness of this moment frozen in metal has made Mr. Firsov the winner of the 1995 Nureyev Tribute Sculpture Competition in Toronto, and the smaller copies of this sculpture finished in gold and platinum are being awarded to the best dancers at the New York International Ballet Completion. Mr. Firsov is also an active partner with the Zurich-based Rudolf Nureyev Foundation.
Other protagonists of Mr. Firsov’s creations have also stepped over the boundaries of the uniquely Russian art: Tchaikovsky’s Christmas fairy tale’s main character, the Nutcracker, is standing close by the figurine of the renowned international prima ballerina, Ms. Diana Vishneva.
The two literary giants of Russia, whose lives are closely connected to the city founded by Peter the Great, Nikolai Gogol and Joseph Brodsky, so unique and so different in their creative heritage, exude sudden kinship that spills over time and national borders – the feeling one gets looking at their bronze renditions created by the skillful hands of such a great master who Mr. Firsov certainly is.
The exhibition will be on display until 29 March.