Kell, one of Kazakhstan’s most prominent artists, was born in the Tula region, but moved early with his family to Tzelinograd (now Astana,) where he has lived since. During his career, Kell decorated the interiors of many buildings around the capital and his landscape sculptures gave special colour to the Korgalzhyn reserve museum. His works can be found in private collections in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, the Baltic States, Europe and Turkey. Kell is a member of the Kazakhstan Academy of Arts, a participant in many national and international exhibitions and his name is included on the list of the world’s most famous artists, which was compiled in Moscow in 2011.
Kell has worked with different genres using a range of mediums. Two years ago, his personal exhibition in the Russian Centre of Science and Culture won viewer attention with a series of watercolours known as the “Streets of Old Akmolinsk.” At this exhibition, professionals and amateurs have unanimously praised another watercolour series, “Winter in Astana.”
The series “Winter in Astana” consists of 50 miniature pictures depicting the young capital.
“Graphics is an incredible innovation. It seems very personal to me,” said Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art Nelly Shivrina. “Watercolours allow no superficiality. They require concentration and the ability to stop the moment and convey its mood. Kell’s watercolours reflect his perception of the world; they encourage viewers to think carefully, to scrutinise the world around them and listen to their own feelings.”
Last summer, his watercolours received a warm welcome in Crimea, where Kell presented 50 miniature paintings devoted to nature and the region’s scenery. The exhibition was held in the Bakhchisarai and was called “Doublet,” because it presented the works of two artist-brothers, Victor and Vyacheslav Kell.
“This is our first joint exhibition; it is a dream come true,” Victor Kell said. “Southern artists are completely different, but we understand each other and I gifted my watercolours to my Crimean friends.”
The artists continued to develop their Crimea theme in a recently completed series of watercolours, depicting Balaklava, Sevastopol, Bakhchisarai, the famous Khan Palace, the bell in Chersonese, ancient columns, fortresses and seascapes.
The next part of the Astana exhibition is devoted to portraits.
“These are the portraits of my family, friends, those dearest to me and someone unfortunately no longer with us,” Kell said.
It is obvious that the Renaissance is especially close to this artist. His self-portraits are done in Renaissance style and his other works include his favourite themes from his art history lectures at Kazakh Saken Seifullin Agrotechnical University. Kell has been working with students for more than 20 years.
At the opening of the Astana exhibition, his friends and colleagues congratulated the artist on winning the Kurmet (Honour) of the Kazakhstan Union of Artists, which was awarded by the Chairman of the Konyr Mukhamediyev Association.
“I am happy that people like my work. I love working with students. They inspire me and allow me to travel through centuries and epochs. The exhibition is called ‘All that I love.’ I am happy to share it with you,” the artist said.