Saturday, 13 November 2010

Vadim Trofimov (Russian, 1912 - 1981)

We see very little of Russian printmakers so it's a pleasure to post on the colour woodcuts of Vadim Trofimov. I know absolutely nothing about him but assume he came from Siberia. As you see from his raw and impressive Siberian Tiger, he not only handled colour with subtlety, he gave his prints a tremendous sense of animal movement. It could be by the post-war British artist William Neave Parker (1910 - 1961) on a good day.
This reindeer calf dates from as late as 1960 so he was making prints as if the 1930s were still fresh in his mind. 'Urgent Mail' below has the same sense of vitality. In fact the prints are a strange combination of stealth, power, urgency and remoteness.

The monograms appear to be 'BM' and 'M' even though all the woodcuts are ascribed to him. Needless to say if anyone has anything more on Trofimov, please let me know. The pictures do enlarge well if you want to look at the details.


  1. These are really nice Charles. I like the reindeer best. A classic. I think very few people have ever seen these prints. Vadim most have known William N.P. (or his tiger) don't you think ?
    Please continue opening your vaults of hidden treasures.

  2. Well, I don't know whether Neave Parker and Trofimov knew each other or not. One tiger just made think of the other! It is interesting, though, that they were contemporaries and both animal artists. It all strikes me as rather repressed and Cold War, you know.