Picks of the Week

Originally published in The Moscow Times on February 18, 2000

Art must run in this family. Four members of three generations have been artists: two parents, their son and two grandchildren. Apparently, the members of the Kugach family have found their calling in classical painting of the Russian school.

Five full decades of the family's work (1940-1990) are on display at the Central House of Artists at the "The Bonds of Time: A Dynasty of Artists" exhibit.

Note that your careful efforts to discern some familial resemblance among the paintings may prove disappointing: Art and genetics evidently don't mix. The paintings have little in common. Certain themes, however, do resonate from parent to son to grandchild.

Olga Svetlichnaya - the grandmother, who recently died - favored nature as a subject: snowy scenes of rivers and forests. Eighty-two-year-old Yury Kugach - the grandfather - preferred painting his wife to water and trees. His "Olga at Work" shows Svetlichnaya painting in the country on a wintry day.

Their son, Mikhail Kugach, paints dark interiors and melancholic landscapes. His "Life Goes On" shows a pensive, elderly man sitting quietly in his izba, or wooden hut, with his cat.

Grandson Ivan Kugach inherited his father's regard for dachas and his grandmother's love of country scenes, while his sister, Yekaterina Kugach, appears to have severed the proverbial…

Read the full text at The Moscow Times.