first six pictures courtesy of Jelena Bobrusova-Davies
(ArtNaive Gallery (Moscow) which exclusively represents the artist)
Located in the north-west of Belarus, Liozno is a small town of some 6700 inhabitants close to the country’s border with Russia. One can find here a modest art environment, made by an elderly lady who during a large part of her life was a self-taught artist.
After her school days she lived for some time in Ukraine, where she met her future husband, Anatoly Fomichev, who like she was from Belarus, but was conscripted in the military in Ukraine .
The couple returned to Belarus and settled in Verkhnyadzvinsk. In 1956 they got a son and later three daughters were born.
Throughout all the years as a self-taught artist she was engaged in making paintings, mostly in a naive style, an activity she continued after her husband had passed away.
Moreover, she embellished the interior walls with visual art and murals, decorated the exterior walls of the house with colorful motives and added two-dimensional wooden sculptures to the garden around the house, in this way transforming house and garden into an art environment.
The small wooden sculptures in the garden mainly depict animals, such as a deer, a cock or a fox.
The exterior walls of the house are embellished with paintings of flowers arranged in bouquets and with painted diamond-shaped motives comparable to those one finds on traditional Russian and East-European houses and farms.
The interior walls of the house are almost completely covered with Tamara Litvin’s paintings, included some rather large murals.
Although creating art environments in particular appears to be a male activity, fortunately Europe also has examples of female involvement.
For a long time her visual art was only known to a small circle of family and friends. She would just give away her paintings. However, in recent years the situation changed.
In 2012 Tamara Litvin, together with artists from Belarus, Russia and Latvia, participated in the exposition of naive art Insita 2012 in Vitebsk, which was organised by local museums in cooperation with the Museum of Naive Art in Moscow (This exposition was also organised in honor of Marc Chagall who 125 years earlier was born in Vitebsk and who spent his early years in Liozno).
In 2016 she had her first solo exposition in the ArtNaive Gallery in Moscow and in the same year the gallery presented three of her paintings at the Outsider Art Fair in Paris.
On april 6, 2017 the ArtNaive Gallery announced the sad news that Tamara Litvin some days earlier had passed away
* Entry about Tamara Litvin on the website of the ArtNaive Gallery in Moscow
* Article by Julia Poholkina (nov 201) in local newspaper Liozno News
Decorated house and garden
Liozno, Vitebsk region, Belarus