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31  /   01   /   2019

Artists: Valery Isayants (H.L.A.M)


Valery Ivanovich Isayants (January 1, 1945, Voronezh - January 6, 2019, Voronezh) was a poet, painter and translator. He graduated from the Voronezh Suvorov Military School, and then from the Faculty of Philology of the Voronezh State University. After graduating from VSU he worked as the teacher of high school in Siberia, the literary assistant of the large-circulation newspaper in Transbaikalia. Except Russian he had good skills in German and Armenian languages. Isayants’s mother after the Second World War lived in Voronezh and held the senior post in the sphere of the food industry. Valery was on friendly terms with Natalya Shtempel in the 60s in Voronezh, the girlfriend of Osip Mandelstam who was in exile in Voronezh during the period 1935-1937. Isayants used to trip to Koktebel every summer , the place where the Soviet literary bohemia usually gathered, he was also in good relations with M.S. Voloshina, the widow of the famous poet.

  In 1971 Valery met the sister of Marina Tsvetaeva – Anastasia, they started an affair. Anastasia Ivanovna Tsvetaeva estimated poet's talent at once. They were spending summer months in the Crimea, mostly - in Koktebel. Anastasia Tsvetaeva had written a book about it entitled "History of One Travel". In 1976 Valery was published in the self-published magazine "37".  A book of poems by Valery Isayants called "Shapes" was released under edition of Arseny Tarkovsky in Yerevan in 1978 though he cut down it in 2/3.  Isayants’s art had made a great impact on participants and witnesses of the Russian culture's flushing of the first third of the 20th century (P. Antokolsky, E.B. Pasternak, M.S. Saryan, A.G. Efron and also S.I. Paradzhanova and мн. other), and they took part in his destiny. Isayants was writing poems during 80th, translating Gelderlin and other German romantics. After his mother's death in the late eighties young poets and philosophers were gathering at Isayants "regional committee" apartment. However soon uncertain people suggested the poet to move to the apartment of the smaller area, he agreed since there "bells are better heard". Then he moved to the small apartment, and after it – to the suburban settlement called "Fisherman's". 

  At the beginning of the 90s the poet had lost the last wooden lodge and became homeless, since then he had been leading a vagabond life. He lived in forests on the outskirts of the city. Since the beginning of the 90s Isayants had been starting to do many pictorial works on cardboard. Isayants has the Armenian roots – that's the reason of colors and temperament of his artworks. He treated the world generous, and was extremely sensitive to a word: to an order and a shade of words. Practically he didn't recognize death. Plots of his pictorial works are unexpected, paradoxical, substantial, deeply poetical and demonstrate deep his erudition and how much the author was keen on of music, ballet, literature, theater, history, philosophy, religions, sport, traveling. Almost all from these artworks were lost in the 90s and 2000s, Isayants as Khlebnikov, carried them in swags behind shoulders, moving through the country in electric trains and spending nights in fields. However as a part of A.I. Tsvetaeva's fund (The Moscow city archive) there are many works of Isayants of different years: verses, plays (including "Joan of Arc", which Valery suggested to put in the Bolshoi Theatre) and also more than 600 letters to A.I. Tsvetaeva. In 2005 members of the Voronezh cinema club "LIK" published the collection of verses by Isayants "A notebook for accidental wrong recordings …".  The significant collection of verses by Isayants "Landscapes of otherness" had appeared in 2013 due to the forces of enthusiasts from Voronezh.   

   There is a most part from the remained pictorial works by Valery Isayants (cardboard, a ball pen, a marker, varnish or an adhesive tape, the size from 10х7 cm to 30х40 cm) is kept in the H.L.A.M. gallery foundation. Valery Isayants had not worked at canvases. The works by V. Isayants are acquired by collectors and the Russian museums in the last 10 years.

  The pictures of Valery Isayants always have the title or more or less detailed comment from the author, often of poetical property. There were some attempts to receive an author explanation about history and the maintenance of what represented. Therefore there is a block of works with author's comments, written down or fixed with a tape recorder. Partially these comments were given in an exhibition. Besides, there are shown some fragments from a talk with Valery Isayants and excerpts from Anastasia Ivanovna Tsvetaeva's letters. The passionate, but muffled speech of Valery Isayants expands an idea of his work and is always penetrated by poetry of the highest standard.

On December 30 Valery Isayants was delivered to Voronezh hospital No. 3 where he died on January 6, 2019. He had no family, investigators found his acquaintances whose names he could mention, only on January 16.

The whip-round was announced, and Valery Isayants was buried at the Beryozovsky cemetery of Voronezh on January 18, 2019


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