Leonid Zikeev Gallery Safed
|Classically-trained artist whose works are noted as modern Tzfat classics.|
Leonid Zikeev arrived in Safed from Russia in 1991. He was one of the first artists from the Former Soviet Union to open a gallery in Tzfat after the Soviet Union collapsed and new Russian immigrants began to stream into Israel.
Leonid Zikeev was born and raised in Leningrad where he studied art, first at the Kursk College of Arts and then at the prestigious Faculty of Painting of the Leningrad Academy of Arts. He specialized in the study of “Graphics and Moral Painting.” He arrived in Tzfat with the wave of Jewish immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and established his gallery in the Tzfat Artist Quarter.
After his university studies Zikeev taught himself graphic art and developed his style of including graphic designs in his paintings. He also experimented with etchings, creating images by etching into different types of metals such as copper, steel and zinc. He also trained himself to produce linocuts, monotypes and lithographies. He paints in oils and in watercolors.
Zikeev’s subject range widely. Subjects vary from scenes of lovers embracing to landscapes of Tzfat and the Galilee mountains. Some of his works evoke surreal images such as an etching of a knight slaying a dragon. Others portray realistic scenes of lovers, friends, workers and animals.
Zikeev’s Israel and Tzfat scenes are color-filled and pastoral while his monochromes and etchings convey a harsher reality. Many of Zikeev’s landscapes depict his homeland, Russia, and evoke the wild beauty of the Russian countryside and landscape.
Zikeev groups his work into categories such as “Russia,” “Israel,” “mythologies” and others. One of his biggest collections is a massive collection of paintings and etchings which depict the Russian writer Dostoevsky in various poses together with illustrations of Dostoevsky's village and home. Zikeev created these scenes as Dostoevsky had written about them in his writings. In 1985 these works were exhibited at the Dostoevsky Museum in Leningrad (St. Petersburg.)
Zikeev maintains a permanent exhibition in Tzfat’s Artist Quarter, next to the General Exhibition. He has also participated in exhibitions in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Poland, the United States, Canada, Spain, Brazil and Yugoslavia. His works hang in private collections throughout the world.