The personal artwork exhibition of Valentine Ioppe, the well-known Toronto artist, interior designer and architect will take place from Saturday, February 10th, 2007 till Friday, March 9th, 2007 at ARTCUBE gallery located at 2387 Weston Road . Please come, you will never regret.
Valentine Ioppe... I say this name and immediately see smiles on my friends' faces. We all remember his colleague's birthday party when Valentine came with a canvas, acrylic paints and .. he was supposed to bring a palette knife that he often used for painting instead of brushes, but he had left it at home. He took a white plastic knife and started working. Other guests were dancing, eating and drinking while Mr. Ioppe was creating his masterpiece as a gift for his dear friend's birthday. He moved to the music and painted, joking and laughing. Forty minutes later all the guests saw a wonderful artwork - fresh lilac in a vase that was placed on a small table, purple flowers were reflecting on a wet surface of the table in the rays of the morning sun coming from the window. The handsome, sophisticated artist smiled looking at the masterpiece and at his friend who was happy to get such a unique birthday present. After the party several guests asked Valentine to teach art and since then they have been gathering every Thursday in his studio creating beautiful landscapes, portraits, abstract paintings, etc. By the way he first started to teach art when he was a University student in 1962. Valentine says that to teach means to give a part of your soul, that's why he teaches a small group of devoted and talented students. Their art teacher is always energetic, admired by ladies and witty. You would be surprised to learn that he has recently turned 65 years old ...
And how did it start? Valentine Ioppe was born to a happy and loving Jewish couple. His parents were both civil engineers and were fond of drawing. The portrait of 7-year old Valentine painted by his father is still hanging in his office. He grew up in Moscow, a unique setting full of beautiful parks, art museums and theatres which continue to inspire his work. When he was three years old his parents first saw him with nails and hammer in his hands. "He will be an architect or a civil engineer", his father said proudly. Twenty years later in 1965 Valentine graduated from the Moscow University of Architecture but his love to build something with his own hands has remained for the whole life.
At school he was a brilliant student, fond of music, singing, piano and guitar playing. When he was 13 years, he first took brushes and paints and prepared himself to draw a painting. He didn't know how to start and nobody could explain to him how to create an artwork since his father had already died. But he started like jumping into cold water without having any idea of what would come of it and several hours later his first landscape was painted. Valentine fell in love with art and drawing, he was one of the best students of the University of Architecture and he used to spend a lot of time studying Russian constructivism, modernism, and postimpressionism simultaneously with the classical art. This experience influenced his early art, which was highly decorative and featured bright colors contrasting with the dark background.
He earned his living with architecture but all his spare time was devoted to art. His paintings from this period include the incomparable series of flowers. Valentine said: "I was painting a bouquet of peonies in blossom and suddenly realized that I should not draw them in a classic manner working carefully at each detail and contour, but I have to make the viewers feel these bright colors, beauty, freshness and happiness which change their vision of life. I want to paint a visual representation of the emotional reaction to a subject rather than its realistic appearance. I realized that the most important thing in art is this feeling, this spirit... "
He experimented frequently with different sorts of expressive abstraction as well. The influence of Vassiliy Kandinsky, Mark Shagal and Pavel Filonov is apparent in his manner and understanding of art. Valentine's first artworks had a strong and beautiful composition. He used to say that architecture and abstraction are very close and if you think like an architect it helps you greatly, especially while painting abstract artworks. Soon abstraction became his best-loved style.
Valentine Ioppe exhibited with the Graphic Artists Group in 1982 in Moscow. In 1985 he participated in the First Exhibition of Abstract Art in Moscow followed by several one-man shows of Valentine. He exhibited in the Moscow galleries and visited other countries with his artworks: Bulgaria (1982), Germany ( 1985), Czechoslovakia (1984), Greece (1990), Spain ( 1997), France (1998). He taught and directed artistic activities. During the early 1990-ies his style evolved from riotous bursts of color in more precise, geometrically arranged compositions. His powerful and dramatic interpretations of the sea and flowers in watercolor have never been surpassed and hold a unique place in Russian and Canadian art.
In 1990 he wrote a profound article devoted to art and artists which includes his ideas concerning the power of pure color and nonrepresentational painting, form, composition an analysis of geometric forms in art. He appeared to be a brilliant theorist. In this work he examines the psychological side of art and famous artists' fates. Valentine Ioppe is a member of the Union of Artists of Russia (the Soviet Union) and the Association of Architects of Russia. He was one of the active members of the Gorbachev Cultural Fund that was successfully exhibiting and selling his paintings abroad for many years.
Since 1991 he has been living and working in Canada. His first Canadian one-man show was held in Montreal in 1992. In his later works Valentine allowed his vision of light to dissolve the real structures of his subjects. To do this he chose simple matter, making several series of studies of the same object at different times of day or year: morning views of the nature, the series of Birches (Fall, Summer, Winter and Spring), a lot of various flowers, expressive artworks, urban landscapes, etc. He is the author of wonderful portraits and monumental nudes as well as the last great lyrical series of autumn red-yellow and golden forest landscapes. His artworks are included in many famous private collections of Russia, USA, Canada, Germany, Spain and Israel.
Valentine moved to Toronto in 1993 and soon became a popular book illustrator. He drew beautiful graphic artworks for "The Dark Days of Love" by Alex Markman in 1993, "The Lost Souls" by Alex Markman (1994), "Learn How to Eat" by Dr. Alex Rivlin (1997).
His brilliant drawing technique is the result of the unique knowledge of composition (the artist knows how to place colors, graphic lines, spots) plus knowledge of materials and classical education of architect and artist. He often uses free sketch of architect and interior design and even in his design works you can see the fantasy and images of a romantic and unpredictable artist.
He says: "Art is a unique activity where you don't need assistants, bosses or colleagues, you can do everything from the beginning to the end from the idea to the product by yourself and you are your own boss responsible for the quality. It is difficult to compare art with architecture or movie production with the croud of people involved. " He follows traditions and laws of art. In addition his talents of a musician, poet and philosopher play their great role in his mastery. Valentine shows a remarkable ability to distill the best from the tradition of painting and he helps to further elevate landscape, still life, and abstraction as important artistic subject matter. Everything is commercialized today and it is not easy to keep one's manner without answering the demands of the market, but Valentine Ioppe has his personal style and you will always recognize it.
"Beauty will save the world"... This phrase of Dostoevsky lives in all masterpieces of Valentine Ioppe, existing as a permanent electric charge that never disappears. All owners of Valentine's artworks can confirm that. His mystic paintings send a flow of positive energy to the viewers and create a nice romantic atmosphere in the rooms where they exist. Valentine is a romantic person and he never draws negative things. Rich colors of his landscapes and flowers greatly contribute to the dull and ascetic modern interior design while his abstract and expressive artworks give a chance to a viewer to be a co-author since he can let his imagination run away endlessly. "I keep looking at Valentine's abstract painting on my wall and see something new all the time: faces, landscapes, rivers and houses...", one of his friends said. His artworks make you think, analyze and feel the beauty. Valentine Ioppe is loved by his family, students and friends. He is active, energetic, enormously productive and full of creative ideas. He is generally considered in his technical virtuosity, enormous versatility, and incredible originality to be the foremost figure in the modern art of Canada.
Welcome to the exhibition and enjoy his new masterpieces.