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eng Automatic Translation

Vital Charnabrysau

1940 – 2022

Vitaly Feodosevich Chernobrisov

Artist, painter, sculptor. Poet, writer, art theorist, teacher, active public figure. One of the key figures in the formation of informal, underground and avant-garde art in Belarus - he was called the "grandfather of the Belarusian avant-garde".

Member of the informal creative association "BLO".

  • As a teacher, he paid great attention to the issues of children's aesthetic education, the preservation of the natural creativity in each child, and the proper development of freedom of creativity in a person.

Lived and worked in Minsk.


Selected events

Selected Artwork Series

Selected artworks

Associated institutions

Articles on KALEKTAR

Associated Documents


The works are in the collection of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, the Belarusian State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art, the Vilnius Gallery at Library No. 18 (Minsk, Kalinovskogo St., 55), the Museum of Nonconformist Art in St. Petersburg (Pushkinskaya-10), The State Literary and Memorial Museum of F. M. Dostoevsky in St. Petersburg, the Museum of Contemporary Russian Art in Jersey City in the USA. Private collections of Nikolai Blagodatov, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Anatoly Sidorov, Boris Faizulin, Chudnovsky (St. Petersburg), Alexander Glazer (USA) and others, Alexei Andreev, Anna Balash, Tatyana Bembel, Igor Malevich, Daniil Parnyuk, Andrey Plesanov (Minsk) and etc.


Selected dates:

December 15, 1940 [according to documents January 1, 1941]

Born in the city of Frunze (Kyrgyz SSR, today Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan). The artist's childhood took place in the war and hungry terrible post-war years. The time of fatherlessness, criminal lawlessness, constant murders and robberies. Vitaly's mother, Nadezhda Nikolaevna, a woman of extraordinary beauty, was admired by her son, she was an athlete, drew well, played the guitar, studied architecture in Tashkent, then moved to the library department, where the history of Russian literature was taught by a man whom she respected very much, and in his honor she named her son Vitaly. At that time, Central Asia was full of exiled intelligentsia, writers, artists, and since 1941 many scientific institutes, film studios, etc. were evacuated there. By origin, my mother was a Cossack, as my grandfather was the son of Nikolai Smirnov, who was famous in his time - he was the owner of a faience ware factory in the city of Orsk ("Smirnovsky porcelain" was said then). Grandfather Smirnov Nikolai Nikolaevich was an accountant by profession, graduated from a real school in Orenburg, was in the German and civil wars. Since the 1920s, grandfather was the head of the Soviet Gold company in Central Asia, he was friends with Panfilov - they worked together at one time at the stud farm. Grandmother Faina Andreevna (nee Serdyukova) is an honored teacher of the Kirghiz SSR. Father, Chernobrisov Theodosius Alekseevich, originally from Bessarabia. He graduated from the Frunze Institute with a degree in electrical engineering. Mom broke up with her father at the beginning of the war because of disagreements, she did not agree with opportunism and corruption. Later she married Inyutin Alexei Trofimovich, whom she later remembered with respect all her life, and bore this surname with gratitude. Principles, the talent of a scientist made serious enemies for his stepfather, he was "brought" to the grave in the prime of his creative powers.

Since 1951

Moves to Belarus in Gomel . On the advice of friends, my mother left in 1948 for Belarus, for Gomel, where she got a job as a librarian at a military school. In 1951, Vitaly was also taken there. According to Chernobrisov, at that time Gomel was all in wastelands and ruins (people lived in dugouts near the station), they lived poorly, but in Gomel there is an old park, the palace of the Rumyantsev-Paskevichs. A very serious museum of local lore and the city library worked there, my mother often took Vitalik to where you could look at old folios to your heart's content.

  • From an autobiography of 1998: " The park, the palace, the Sozh River in summer and winter, and even at that time there was an era of trophy films, the era of Tarzan, Robin Hood with the best Hollywood actors - all this set us in a romantic mood, too, children imagined themselves to be anyone, but not what they really were.Then it became clear that the time was very harsh in the country, then the tragedy of those everyday life became clear - sometimes I remember: people are sitting at the loudspeaker in awe and waiting for the end of the world - in the anti-Semitic campaign was in full swing, then the death of Stalin.Somewhere, something started to move in the summer of 1953, construction began in the city - what is called the "thaw" began.

    By this time, I was already so passionate about drawing that I thought it was better to draw in the park than sit at a desk at school. The teaching staff fought hard with this attitude of mine, since then they realized that yes, “art requires sacrifice”.

    One autumn in 1956 I was drawing the tomb of the Paskevichs, and a man approached me - looked at my drawings with interest - and it turned out that he was also a romantic, and even an architect, a teacher of drawing at the BIIZhT of Gomel. It was Dzhivkashvili Zurab Alexandrovich - he decided to do the restoration of the chapel. He offered me cooperation - together they made measurements, climbed both up and down the crypt at the bottom of the chapel - these were my first efforts together with a professional artist.

    Acquaintance with Zurab Aleksandrovich can probably be considered the beginning of my creative biography.

    So - I was 15 years old, I wanted to be an artist and a sailor: to sail along the Sozh to the Black Sea and further ... to Argentina ... at that time there was a wonderful film "The Age of Love" in Gomel, and the heroine of the film, the incomparable Lolita Torres, sang and danced exactly Argentina...!!! This film is the reason that I even began to learn Spanish on my own, instead of the hated English. Thanks to my mother, who very delicately influenced my reading, there were always "Scarlet Sails" nearby. Alexander Green called into the distance. All this turned out to be serious, but more on that later .

Since 1958

The family moved to Minsk . Stepfather, Boris Grigorievich Chernukha, a military man - the rank of major, was transferred to a military school in Minsk. Since then, Vitaly Chernobrisov has lived in Minsk, in the Zeleny Lug microdistrict.

He left school, went to work as a carpenter and concrete worker at a construction site, worked at a factory as a mechanic. The craving for art led him to the Belarusian Academic Theater, where he worked as a stagehand. It was the "golden time" of the theater, there was a magnificent ensemble: they played - Glebov, Platonov, Rakhlenko, Dedyushko and others. Im Sumak, the Beijing National Opera, the famous "Picolli Podreko" group from Naples were on tour in Minsk, but Marseille's tour was a special event Marceau - 2 days in the House of Officers, poignant humanity, professionalism and poetry of each number made service to high art understandable.


The military registration and enlistment office gave a respite for a year, Chernobrisov goes "savage" to Odessa on a ship, reads Alexander Blok, a special romance of the traveler. Then the army : service in the Guards Vitebsk division, which was located in the Moscow region, Vladimir, Ivanovo, Kazelsk, Suzdal. At first they were sent to Moscow, saw the Kremlin Square ("the splendor of the Kremlin Temples"). In May 1961, Chernobrisov's division suppressed unrest in Murom. This greatly influenced the artist. In the second year of service, Leningraders arrived in the regiment. He met with the St. Petersburg intelligentsia and became close friends with the poet Mikhail Zaraisky.

Since 1965

After serving in the army, he went to Leningrad .


He entered the Minsk Art College and in the direction of the course was sent to the Kaunas School named after Styapas Zhukas . I studied for a year and was expelled for poor progress in general disciplines (he did not know the Lithuanian language well). During the year of study in Kaunas, where Chernobrisov was the headman in the class and in the hostel, two exhibitions were organized. The Lithuanians have defined their work as the "School of Picasso".


While working in art workshops (work is not creative, mechanical - coloring wooden toys). Chernobrisov quits his job and goes on a trip to the Crimea (the route is Simferopol, Bakhchisaray, Yalta, Kerch, Feodosia and the old Crimea). A very important event also takes place there - a meeting with Alexander Grin's wife, Nina Nikolaevna Grin. Nina Nikolaevna Green, who gave the artist advice-covenant: "If you want to preserve the author's creative heritage, you must transfer everything to archives and museums, the only way to save everything" . Chernobrisov followed this advice all his life, he transferred all his materials to archives, libraries, museums.


After returning, work began in the children's art studio at the house management. This greatly captivated the artist, and then he discovers the bewitching world of children's creativity. He was an artist-teacher of the children's art studio at the ZhES of the Pervomaisky district of Minsk, which since the 1980s was called the free association "Artel", where, under the leadership of Chernobrisov, young people were engaged in aesthetic decoration of the city and houses of Minsk, holding exhibitions and plein airs in Belarus. It was closed by the authorities, but the idea of "Artel" continued to exist and implemented various projects.


Selected solo exhibitions were held in St. Petersburg (1969, 1970, 1991). First, he takes his paintings to St. Petersburg, where the first personal exhibition of Vitaly Chernobrisov took place with Igor Sinyavin. Chernobrisov joins the world of St. Petersburg underground. From Sinyavin, the exhibition moved to the apartment of a famous ballerina in Leningrad, the guests of the exhibition were prestigious people, a group of writers came, headed by Gennady Gor (author of a book about Filonov "At Five Corners"), etc. Especially important was the meeting with Sergei Yulievich Lipshitz, the brother of the famous sculptor Lipshitz, a friend of Modigliani and Picasso. Sergei Yulievich told a lot of interesting things and showed his brother's book "Modigliani - Sculptor". He was in correspondence with Picasso - he did a lot of good for the artists. The tradition of holding apartment exhibitions was preserved in the work of Chernobrisov until the 2000s.


He works as a night watchman at the State Art Museum of the BSSR (now the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus), took part in museum expeditions around Belarus. At night, he arranged informal tours of the museum, but this was forbidden and strictly confidential.


In Moscow, friends introduced him to Vladimir Bronislavovich Sosinsky , who lived in Paris in the 1920s and personally knew many artists from the Paris School. It was this acquaintance that largely shaped Chernobrisov's spiritual orientation. All the time he was engaged in self-education, enthusiastically read books, always sought to discuss impressions and discoveries. But it was from the St. Petersburg period that he formed as an artist. His work is leitmotifs, constant repetitions of favorite images, which he always considered autobiographical, and repeatedly emphasized that there should be self-irony in art. His favorite images become a self-portrait, a portrait of a gypsy, a philosopher, a writer, a hussar - as images of his generation, the ideals of the era associated with freedom of creativity and philosophical reflection, and of course, the special pretentiousness of characters (the image of the camp and the hussars). For example, the painting "Wandering Musicians" 1978 from the collection of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus belongs to a series dedicated to the era of lyrical bard culture in the USSR.


There was a trip to Poland to Alexander Kots, because of this, there were two party meetings in the National Art Museum - all just because "watchman Chernobrisov is going to Poland." At this time, getting acquainted with Kirill Zeleny, a Belarusian art critic, was a long fruitful creative tandem.

Late 1970s - early 1980s

The work of the Chernobrisoa children's studio has been activated . The Union of Artists even planned to create a Center for Children's Creativity, but, unfortunately, it still does not exist in Belarus, as well as a museum of children's creativity. Chernobrisov is actively working in his studio for painting exteriors and interiors, holding exhibitions in Minsk, St. Petersburg, Moscow. A seminar was held on the book by Boguslav Kovach (Slovakia) "The Wonderful World of Children's Drawing" - a book on the psychology of age-related characteristics of children's creativity. Circulation 600 copies (2 of them in the library of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, 20 in the National Library of the Republic of Belarus). Chernobrisov acted as the organizer and sponsor of the translation of the book.


Member of the aesthetic commission at the Union of Artists of the BSSR on children's creativity. Deputy Chairman of the Fine Arts Section of the City Pedagogical Society at the City Institute for the Improvement of Teachers.


Restructuring time . In addition to working in the children's art studio, Chernobrisov constantly travels to St. Petersburg, Moscow, gets acquainted with collectors Blagodatov, Loginov, Chudnovsky and others. Participation in the exhibitions of TEII, LOSH, "From unofficial art to perestroika" in St. Petersburg, in Minsk, participation in exhibitions of the Belarusian avant-garde. Exhibitions "Minsk avant-garde" (Germany), "BLO" group in St. Petersburg and "Strange games of the Leningrad avant-garde" (Tomsk), exhibition in 1991 in the Dostoevsky House. Many exhibition projects were accompanied by educational tasks, to show, teach, explain to many what art should be. Chernobrisov never got tired of talking about art, about creativity, about artists, and, as before, he continues to donate his works to museums and galleries. It is no coincidence that his art critic Nadezhda Usova called him "the grandfather of the Belarusian avant-garde." several generations of avant-garde artists have passed through their friendship and influence, starting from the generation of Artur Klinov, Valery Pesin, Igor Kashkurevich and many others to the youth of the 2000s, when Chernobrisov supported and exhibited jointly with young, aspiring artists. In many ways, he saw his mission in enlightenment and education, but, of course, this was in a free form, without edification, only as advice from an older comrade. For this, he was greatly respected and appreciated by artists and collectors.


Member of the informal creative association "BLO" .

Since 1990

Member of the St. Petersburg Humanitarian Foundation "Free Culture" (Pushkinskaya st., 10, apt. 1).

Since 1993

Membership of the Artistic Commission of the Museum of Children's Creativity in St. Petersburg.

Second half of the 1990s

He travels around Belarus, participates in plein-airs, works a lot in stone . He also has his own principle here, it is very important to see the image in the material and the author's hand should only reveal it. He believes that each stone already contains one or another type. Collaborates with Gomel, at the invitation of the "Green House" gallery together with "Artel" participates in the summer plein air, exhibitions, makes paintings in the Youth Center, organizes exhibitions of children's art from St. Petersburg. His studio, created at the ZhES, was closed, but Chernobrisov continues to find orders for Artel, paint schools, translate and promote Bohuslav Kovac's book The Wonderful World of Children's Drawing.


In the urban village of Fanipol, the Compassion Humanitarian Foundation held a charitable plein air of the Artel association, at which Chernobrisov made stone works and donated to the village.


With the help of the Belarusian Cultural Foundation, Chernobrisov organized an exhibition from the collection of Blagodatov N.I. "Graphics of Leningrad. 1960 - 1980" . This exhibition travels around Belarus (Minsk, Gomel, Mogilev, Derzhinsk).


He donated rare books, paintings and sculptures, catalogs of various exhibitions and monographs about artists, booklets, newspaper clippings, photographs, almanacs "Monologue" and much more as a gift to the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus.

Actively participates in exhibitions. He continues to create ironic self-portraits, paint and cut stone images of beautiful gypsies and naked torsos, images of archaic gods and characters, this seems to him especially important. He himself repeatedly emphasized that he was carried away by the "archaic". The formal solution also corresponds to this; in many respects, his works can be compared in terms of the power of expressiveness with primitive art. The images of Chernobrisov's paintings are always emotional, conditional and expressive.


Personal exhibition in Minsk.


A trip to Berlin , friendship with Igor Kashkurevich, joint production of stones for sale in a park in Berlin. In the western forest of Berlin, Grunewald, the image "Floating Zeus carrying the sun" was created in stone (granite, 150 x 250 x 150 cm).


In Minsk, Chernobrisov organized in the workshop of the poet Dmitry Strotsev another "kvartirnik" called "Stones in the White Study" , it was a project of four authors: two photographers (Daniil Parnyuk and Valery Vedrenko and two artists (Vitaly Chernobrisov and Maxim Khopta).


Personal exhibition for the anniversary at the VILNIUS Gallery in Minsk. Also this year, an apartment exhibition of Vitaly Chernobrisov and his friends took place in Minsk.


Personal exhibition in Belarus "Time H" was held in the city art gallery. Schemelev in Minsk.


At the exhibition "Minsk. Nonconformism of the 1980s", the curators of the project recreated the workshop of Vitaly Chernobrisov in the gallery of modern art "Ў".

January 16, 2022

In Minsk, in the 82nd year, he passed away .

  • -

  • Olga Arkhipova:

  • "Vitaly Chernobrisov is, of course, one of the key figures in the formation of informal, underground and avant-garde art in Belarus. Speaking about his formation as a person, it is important to note his principled positions, views on the personality of a person. First of all, he believed that every person is a creative person, an artist from birth, and the problem lies only in issues of education and pedagogy.Chernobrisov paid great attention to the issues of children's aesthetic education, the preservation of natural creativity in every child, and the proper development of freedom of creativity in a person.Recalling his path in art, Chernobrisov noted fateful meetings with interesting people whom he proudly called teachers, and, of course, this is not literally, but figuratively. These are people who changed his life, had a strong influence on him and shaped his worldview. First of all, this is a family. "