The wind kicks up and raindrops blast against the windows of the art gallery as Victor Lasuchin poses for a picture.
“Alright Victor, just stand right there,” I say, trying to settle him.
“No,” Victor firmly responds in his thick Russian accent, “I will sit.”
Victor is curating a memorial show in Mount Airy of his brother Michael’s work. It marks the fifth year since his death.
Michael Lasuchin’s work is in collections the world over, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and countless others.
Michael Lasuchin was born in Kramatorsk an eastern city in the Soviet Union, in 1927. He and his brother studied art at the Rostow College of Art in the USSR before being captured by the German Army and placed in a Nazi internment camp. After two years in the camp they returned to the Soviet Union to find their country was little more than rubble. They decided to head for the United States.
The Lasuchin brothers found themselves in Philadelphia working in a design firm to finance their education. Michael studied at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, and the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) where he returned later in life as a professor.
The show is spread across two floors, filled with Michael’s work from “his middle to late period.” Lasuchin worked in abstraction, in fields of color and form that are both precise and lyrical. His work is contemplative. There’s nothing easy about it. Any understanding must be worked towards, and left to sit from time to time to be absorbed.
Victor Lasuchin’s personality is much like his brother’s work. You can’t try to force too much out. He has a dry quiet kind of humor.
“This is my brother’s last work,” Victor Lasuchin pronounces standing in front of a triptych composed of triangles seemingly reflecting into parallelograms. The piece is computer generated, one of the few Michael produced this way. “My brother never learned to use the computer,” Victor says with a rare smile creeping onto his face, “So I would have to sit there with him and draw everything out.”
This world-class exhibition of art is being held in the most intimate of galleries, Lasuchin’s home just off Germantown Avenue. Visitors are welcome, free of charge, for the next two Saturdays between 1 and 5 p.m.
124 E. Cliveden St. Philadelphia PA
Visitors Welcome: April 23 and 30
Between 1 and 5 p.m.