A piece of writing by Henri Pailler, the curator of the Museum of Allard, about the painting of the Russian artist Nikolai Kuzmin

to the `The artist Nikolai Kuzmin, by Henri Pailler, a museum curator´ page in English
to the `The artist Nikolai Kuzmin, by Henri Pailler, a museum curator´ page in French
to the `The artist Nikolai Kuzmin, by Henri Pailler, a museum curator´ page in Russian
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A piece of writing by Henri Pailler, curator of the Museum of Allard, about the painting of the Russian artist Nikolai Kuzmin
and its 8-month exhibition in the museum.



February 2010


I discovered the painter’s colours in Haute-Loire one summer’s evening. The works, hanging in a very small space, revealed astonishingly light hues contrasting with the sombre shades of the nearby buildings. Luba, the artist’s daughter, rendered a perfect mimicry of the rainbow of colours in the paintings: all smiles, she radiated an intense, voluble and communicative happiness. As the perfect hostess she accompanied and guided the visitor. Love of father as an accompaniment to the visit. Rare indeed.


Nikolay Kuzmin
Russian colours in Forez.

Nikolay Kuzmin lives and works in Moscow. You can also find him in Giverny, in the vicinity of the Sainte-Victoire mountain, in Corsica, in Croatia.

Architectures both strong and sweet, humanized landscapes, unchanging countrysides, remote beaches, bright undergrowth, illuminated trees... Kuzmin is an illusionist.

From clear and violently prominent colours the artist renders gentle watercolour-like tints, adds monochromes that match in sensitive and subtle way. The painter’s spatula caresses and gives birth to a maelstrom of powerfully coloured matter. Nikolay Kuzmin reenchants the motif.

From a pixelated unreality he offers beauty and pertinence in a personal recomposition, one previous to standardized images or banal repetitions of our present fallacious clichés. The painter allows us time for contemplation and offers us the pleasure of a delightful and serene interpretation.
We are far from any kind of primitivism. We are way beyond the abstract accents of fauvism.

With this sensitive painter colour becomes a burst of cathodic blobs tirelessly combined, and the pictorial syntax becomes fundamentally contemporary.

When browsing through the paintings one has the urge to bite into the coloured matter. Like a child passionately beginning to model clay to make something of beautypaintbrushes grow on our fingers!
With this painting one feels like a painter of art, just like a brilliant lecturer who makes his audience feel intelligent.

Hung up on the picture rails of the Montbrison Museum Nikolay Kuzmin’s paintings become fabulous boatmen harboured in the world of Fine Arts.

Henri Pailler
February 2010

Nikolay Kuzmin was born the 14th of August 1938 into a peasant family of Talinskoye, near Nizhny Novgorod, a medieval town on the river Volga, where he spent his childhood.

The future artist began studying painting at the Fine Arts College at Pavlovo-na-Oke.

In 1965 he lives in Moscow and continues his studies at the Higher College of Fine Arts. As early as 1970 he participates in regional and national exhibitions in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod...

In 1995 he begins his travels in Europe from where he always takes back new works, and participates in international exhibitions: England, Denmark, Germany, Croatia, France, and a retrospective exhibition of his works is organized at the 850th anniversary celebration of Moscow’s foundation.

Nikolay Kuzmin
Russian colours in Forez

February – September 2010
(hanging and lighting by Sandrine Montagnier)

Musée d’Allard
13 boulevard de la préfecture
42600 Montbrison

Phone : +33 (0)4 77 96 39 15

Closed on Tuesdays and open on all other days from 2pm to 6pm.




Henri Pailler, curator of the Museum of Allard, making a speech at the inauguration
of the 8-month exhibition of Kuzmin's paintings in the museum.