Alexander Ivanovitch Sheltunov (1951–2008) was born in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. At the age of 15 he arrives in Irkutsk with his pillow, blanket, mattress and absolute assurance to enter Art School. Despite a great competition, he managed to enter from the first attempt. The place of studies’ choice was not accidental, as Irkutsk Art School was considered to be the best in Siberia and the Far East. His creative life started since that very moment.
He was inspired by the city spirit, communication with his friends and students of the same year. Indefatigable energy and ambition made him work hard. Sheltunov’s creative method was formed just precisely in Irkutsk, which is traditional in the finest and the most serious sense of the word: hard preparatory work at the endless open air in the city, environs, the Baikal, and then all collected material was deeply thought and processed at the studio.
Frequently masters either work all their lives in one technique and in one kind of visual arts or try to work in many different kinds and genres. But as for Alexander, his creativity seemed to have been split into two not equal parts according to the time: he was a graphic artist from the mid 70’s up to 2000 and first of all he was a watercolorist. From the early 2000’s, he was basically painting in oils only. His basic genres are landscape and still life. He had a pastose style of painting and a wide dab.
His latest works devoted to 350th Irkutsk anniversary are of a special interest. Sheltunov appeared as a completely mature master of painting in oils. We can see the works perfectly arranged from the point of colorful spots’ plastic art which adequately reproduce the artist’s thoughts and feelings. The master created a magic flashing and shining world of the city’s wooden architecture, the world which has transformed into the legend to a considerable degree. The legend is a favorite one especially by older generation citizens of Irkutsk. The legend which is all about outgoing dramatic and enjoyable, with plenty of confidence and hopes, full of creative activity time. It took more than half a century to figure out how to save an old, mostly wooden downtown. Meanwhile, this old city was gradually disappearing under the pressure of industrial architectural technologies. There has been a charming myth, a legend about a disappearing town and Alexander Sheltunov was probably one of the most outstanding and talented creator of this myth. His series of works devoted to the 350th Irkutsk anniversary is a royal gift to Irkutsk indeed.
The text writer: Iraida Fedchina
2011 Moscow. State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. "Irkutsk melody" exhibition
2011 Irkutsk. Irkutsk regional Sukachev Art Museum. Retrospective devoted to author's 60th anniversary and 350th anniversary of Irkutsk
2006 China, Manchuria. Exhibition devoted to the year of Russia in China
2005 Irkutsk. The House of the Russian writers
2002 France, Nantes
2002 France, Le Havre
2001 France, Ancenis
2000 Irkutsk. The Baikalsky House of Europe. Alexander and Nikita Sheltunov
2000 Shelehov. The municipal museum exhibition center together with Nikita Sheltunov
1999 Irkutsk. Exhibition at the "Actor's House"
1996 Spain, Madrid. Exhibition in Pushkin Fund
1991 Japan, Tokyo
1988, 1989 Poland, Zielona Gora
1987 Irkutsk. The House of Literary Men "Across Bulgaria"
1987 Germany. Stuttgart
1984 Irkutsk. The House of Actor
1983 Irkutsk. The House of Literary Men
1977 Irkutsk. East-Siberean Newsreel Studio