This series, first shown at an exhibition in support of the World Conference for General Disarmament and Peace, also includes the present painting Freedom which depicts a man, deranged with emotion and wearing only rags, bursting from a doorway into our visual field. The character, almost certainly the artist himself, seems to be escaping from a prison camp and the quick, staccato brush strokes emphasise the disturbing energy of this autobiographical work.
150 × 103 cm; 59 × 40½ in.
Moiseenko lived in Leningrad and became one of the distinguished masters of the Leningrad Art School. He was trained at the Academy of Arts under A. A. Osmerkin. He later taught at the Academy and became a pr ofessor in 1963. In 1974 he was awar ded the Lenin Prize and he was made a Hero of Socialist Labour in 1986. During the last years of his life he worked on a series inspired by his devotion to the poetry of Alexander Pushkin.
Moiseenko interrupted his studies at the Academy of Arts and volunteered for the fr ont, joining the people's volunteer corps in July 1941. After experiencing bloody battles on the Leningrad front, he was taken prisoner by German troops and spent over three years in concentration camps on Polish and German territory. From the last of these camps – Altengrabow, near Magdeburg – Moiseenko was finally fr eed by American troops, after which he returned to the Soviet standing army, where he served until the autumn of 1945. In Leningrad it was assumed that Moiseenko has fallen during the war , and Pr ofessor Osmerkin was said to have wept on remembering his talented student. In many ways, the distress and torment experienced during the years of war shaped Moiseenko' s unique style of art, with its piercing emotional depth, vivid palette and rhythmic dynamic. Moiseenko's most famous works wer e created in the 1960s, when his talent became widely recognised. It was also in this period that he produced the famous series of nine works, dedicated to the war, entitled This you cannot forget!.