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Constantine Cherkas



Born "Constantine Cherkasheninoff" in Sokol, Russia, Constantine Cherkas (1919-2011) was known for his bold and beautiful watercolor and oil paintings. Interested in art from a very young age, he apprenticed under the renowned Russian Expressionist Ila Mashkov when he was only 14 years old. In 1936 Cherkas became the youngest artist to ever be accepted into the Moscow Academy for the Fine Arts at the advanced graduate level. He was also one of only thirty students out of 3,000 to be chosen as a finalist in an art competition.

Cherkas' progress was suddenly interrupted when he was captured by the Nazis and had to work in a prison labor camp during World War II. As soon as he was released by the Allied victory, he returned to his art and was soon accepted into the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany and later, into the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. After completing his studies, Cherkas immigrated to the United States and moved to New Mexico with the help of the Tolstoi Foundation.

Cherkas' work expanded and developed when he lived in the Southwest; he used vibrant, rich hues and developed the ability to move between modernism and realism in his paintings. His skills for depicting sunlight, shadow, and color made him an internationally respected artist.
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