1986 Solo exhibition (Architects’Union. Leningrad)
1987 IX All-Union Watercolor Exhibition (Moscow)
1990 Exhibition in Manege Exhibition Hall (Leningrad)
1991 Exhibition in Germany (Bavaria, Walfratshausen, Munchen)
1992 Solo exhibition (Architects’Union. Leningrad)
1993 Exhibition in Germany (Bavaria, Baierbrunn)
1995 Exhibition in Germany (Bavaria, Baierbrunn)
1997 Exhibition in Finland (Aanekoski, Korpilahti)
1999 Solo exhibition (Artists’ Shop, St. Petersburg)
2000 Exhibition in Germany (Munchen, Wolfratshausen)
2003 Exhibition «Watercolor Class» (Artists’Union, St. Petrsburg)
2003 International Exhibition «ART-MOST-AKVAREL» (St. Petersburg)
2003 Exhibition to the 70th anniversary of the Artists’Union (Manege Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg)
2003 Exhibition «300 years of St. Petersburg» (St. Petersburg)
2004 Exhibition «Watercolor Water Area» (Muzeum of Water, St. Petersburg)
2004 II Biennale of Graphic Arts (Manege Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg)
2006 III Biennale of Graphic Arts (Manege Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg)
2007 Autumn Artists’ Exhibition (Artists’ Union, St. Petersburg)
2007 Exhibition «Water and Color» (Artists’ Union, St. Petersburg)
2009 V International Biennale «ART‑MOST-AKVAREL» (St. Petersburg)
2012 Anniversary Exhibition «80 years of the Artists’ Union (Manege Exhibition Hall)
2013 Solo exhibition in «Molbert» Gallery dedicated to the memory of Oleg Pomeranysev
2013 VII International Biennale «ART-MOST-AKVAREL» (Manege)
2014 Exhibition «From Viborg to Porvoh» («Hermitage Viborg»)
2015 International Exhibition (Manege Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg)
Oleg was born on January 1st, 1949, or at least that's the official date recorded on his birth certificate. His real birthday was on December 27, 1948. It was done to avoid future complication with school placements, which was a common practice at the time.
He was born in Ozersk, near Chelyabinsk, a small town in the heart of Ural Mountains, Russia (then Soviet Union). His parents were the original settlers of the booming new town; his father Igor was a civil engineer and his mother Olga was a nurse. Oleg also had younger sister, Mila.
At the early age, his parents made him study music and Oleg spent few years practicing playing violin. Although considered to be musically gifted, Oleg later confessed that he thought of it as a torture and he never played violin later in his life.
His heart was drawn to painting and it took a keen eye of his first art teacher, Vladimir Efremovich Puzanov, to see a massive talent hidden in young Oleg. They started their private lessons and soon developed a friendship that lasted a lifetime. It was Puzanov who persuaded Oleg to chose a career that will allow him to further study graphics and art, such as Architecture.
At the age of 17, Oleg left his home in Urals and began his studies at the Leningrad's ( now St. Petersburg ) Institute of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Architecture.
Oleg belonged to the elite class of young intellectuals, with whom we associate the golden era of the 60's. Future architects, after going to a sold out "Evening of Poetry" would jump into the train and go on a weeklong camping trip. Oleg was almost always the initiator of that types of adventures.
At the university he met his future wife, Valentina, meeting her in rather a romantic way - she was one of the volunteers helping him ink his final exam blueprints and fell asleep on top of them, with ruler still in her hand. They were not yet introduced, but it didn't stop Oleg from taking off his jacket and putting it around her shoulders. They exchanged their first words only after he successfully passed the Final Exam and have not parted since, for 40 long, happy years.
Oleg graduated in 1972 as a Certified Architect and began his professional career in Nuclear Plant building. In 1973 he was assigned a position in a remote town of Cherepovets where he moved to with his new family, after birth of their only child, Anastasia.
After designing of two of the largest nuclear plants buildings in Russia, he was accepted as a member of the Union of Architects of USSR in 1978. His career growth finally allowed him to settle back in the Leningrad, where they received a brand new apartment from the government.
The improvement in living conditions, such as separate kitchen, with room for a table, was oddly what started the beginning of Oleg's career as an artist. He now had a personal space that allowed him to return to his passion. It was there, in the kitchen, at the table by the window, where he set up his tiny studio - palettes of watercolor paint, little jam jars filled with water and a tray to contain runaway watercolors. The kitchen remained his favorite spot to paint for the rest of his life. That's where most of his masterpieces were created.
In the beginning of 1980, Oleg started to show some of his works to friends and colleagues, who praised and encouraged him. His first exhibitions were held at Pomerantsev’ apartment, where Oleg had set up
a "gallery" by leaning the paintings against the couch and chairs. The entire collection of his early works was given away as birthday presents and tokens of appreciation. Oleg has yet to view himself as a professional artist, viewing his vocation as a hobby.
The lift of Iron Curtain has prompted the surge of foreign tourists to St. Petersburg and soon the artists seized the opportunity to sell their art directly to them for hard currency. They set up their "shops" by laying their framed artworks directly on the pavements of Nevsky Prospect, in hopes to catch an eye of a German or American tourist. At the advice of other artists, Oleg had joined them and soon was allowed a spot in a prime location, at the corner of Gostinii Dvor and Duma.
It was a tremendous success, he was selling 2-3 paintings a day whenever he had a chance to display his art and it earned not only a decent amount of hard cash, but also a reputation as a skillful artist. Art critics had noticed him and he began receiving his first invitations to participate in exhibits. After few local exhibits, his true emergence as an artist came with the invitation to join an exhibit in Germany in 1991.
Coming home back from the exhibit was the pivot point in Oleg's life. He had established himself a name as an artist and his art was now displayed on the walls of the galleries, not on the asphalt of Nevskii Prospect. Between his continued 9 to 6 job at the architectural firm, his weekly escapes to the wilderness and time spent with family, he was now pressed for time to produce more paintings.
He seriously considered leaving his permanent job in hopes to become a full time artist, but the demise of the Soviet Union in the 90's had decided his fate for him. It was not to be. Times became hard and the art was no longer selling due to sudden economic disbalance of the entire country. Yet Oleg continued to participate in the exhibits, displaying his works in various galleries in Russia and Europe, while working several jobs in architectural firms.
When economy somewhat stabilized in 2000's, Oleg had finally achieved his zenith. He was back in high demand and now the family was well provided for from success of his career as an artist. There was true happiness in the later years of his life, life free of struggles and worry. He was able to measure his success by looking around him - at his art hanging in the prestigious exhibit halls, at his improved living conditions, and, most importantly, at the happy face of his loving wife, Valentina, who supported his every step for 40 years, until his untimely passing from cancer on August 7, 2012.
The portrait of Oleg would not be complete without mentioning his other passions, which he carried from his youth. Those who know him personally knew that he could not live without his weekly "escapes". Every chance he get, even if just for few hours, Oleg would go fishing. Or mushroom hunting. Or to see if his secret forrest spots are simply alright. He could not live without the nature.
On most Saturday mornings, his family heard a familiar clanking of his fishing gear and the sound of front door quietly closing, only to reopen later in the evening, bringing all the smells of forrest in the apartment. He had mastered the art of fishing and mushroom hunting as well, often amazing others at his ability to see that well hidden porcini mushroom or even more so, by being able to catch fish in streams and ponds where no one ever thought there was fish at all.
He was a perfectionist by nature and he had to master every skill he had passion for. His wife used to explain it differently: talented person is talented at everything he does. Besides providing the family with delicacies of the forrest, Oleg emotionally needed to escape to the nature, to take a full breath of clean air, to contemplate nature by looking at its beauty, visible to him in a special way. He translated those visions in language of watercolors.
In his pensive talks with his daughter, understandable only by those two, he talked about the way artistic visions came to him. It was in these exact words, "it comes to me", that he had described his creative process. He did not plan what he was going to paint or draw next, he simply took a brush and let it guide him. Rarely he worked on location, most of his creations are inspired by snippets of particular scenery, infused with the visions inside his head, his soul.
It came to him. He brought it to us, for that we are eternally grateful.
© 2015 Pomerantseva-Motola, All rights reserved.