«VICTOR BOUNDIN was born on November 8, 1926, in a Russian village on the banks of the river Volga and died on May 3, 2000 in St. Petersburg.

He received academic professional training (1950-1956) at the oldest educational artistic institution of Russia, known before the 1917 revolution as the Imperial Academy of Arts, and later as The Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. This education provided him with a strong background for pursuing work within the diversity of creative arts.

Upon graduation it would have been natural for Victor Boundin to devote himself to heroic military painting. This genre was familiar to him from his early semi-professional experience gained during military service (1943-1950) and was studied in-depth at the Institute. Work in this genre would have insured his well-being and official recognition. Instead he, as well as some other artists of his generation who started careers during Khrushchev's "thaw" era (the early 60s), preferred to search for new and alternative ways of making art, different from those that he was taught. Studying the achievements of the global artistic culture of the twentieth century, he began to depart first from the common and officially approved stereotypes of social realism, and later from social realism altogether. However, he remained faithful to the realistic style of painting, and for the most part his work became devoted to still life, landscape and portrait - all meditative genres that transpose the focus of an artist's work from the reconstruction of a visual impression to the active interpretation of reality.

Victor Boundin lived an isolated life defined by a narrow circle of friends and devoted himself almost exclusively to artistic work. He toiled for years, sometimes for decades over individual paintings. Often returning after a period of time to one painting or another, he supplemented and reworked them, sometimes radically, in pursuit of desired excellence. Being very demanding of himself, he signed and dated only works that he considered finished - and not many of these were left upon his death. Looking at his canvases, even those we might judge to be completely done, one can not be certain if they present an expression of his final will, and this adds a sense of mystery to many of them.

The individuality of his paintings is based on the presence and interaction of two antagonistic ideas: realism and ornamentalism. This interaction is most evident in portraits that pronounce a dramatic contrast between ornamental background and realistic depiction of a figure. In his landscapes, on the other hand, this antagonism gives way to compromise and interconnection between both concepts.

A small (possibly unfinished) series of St. Petersburg landscapes that preoccupied Victor Boundin during the last years of his life is by and large one of the most important manifestations of his talent and skill. Although easily recognizable in his paintings, the city is in fact a product of artist's imagination. The artist has transformed it through his impressions and built the St. Petersburg he wanted - an empty, frozen, and almost fantastical city.

The painting heritage of Victor Boundin, amounting to a multitude of works, is practically unknown to the public. The artist rarely participated in exhibitions, seldom sold his works, and only a chosen few were admitted to his studio.

Appreciation of the work and life of this artist is just beginning.»

Erast Kouznetsov, August 2001

About the author. Erast Kouznetsov (1933) graduated from the Leningrad / Saint-Petersburg State University with a degree in art history (1956). He has published works since 1956 on the topics of Russian Art of the nineteenth - twentieth centuries, modern Russian painting and graphic art, Russian theatrical art of the twentieth century and the art of book illustration. He is the author of over 200 articles and presentations, as well as 16 books, including "Pirosmani" (Leningrad, 1975, 1984); "Texture as an Element of Book Illustration" (Moscow, 1983,1986); "Illustration of Children's Books and Russian Avant-Garde" (Florence, 1991); "Russian Artists", Encyclopedic Dictionary - compilation and 60 articles (Saint - Petersburg, 2000). He is a member of the Society of Theater Workers, Association of Journalists, and International Association of Art Historians.