Born in Moscow in 1940, Alexander Anufriev endured many years as an underground "unofficial" artist in the Soviet Union due to the spiritual nature of his paintings and his view of life. Since coming to the United States in 1980, his motivation as an artist has not changed. "When I paint, I stand between the heavens and the earth, trying to make the invisible visible. I try to bring about a unification in my painting. Some might call it mysticism – the idea that we are all linked by our divine beginning. I think this unification is often expressed by beauty – so I am always looking for beauty." Alexander is strongly influenced by art of the Renaissance – particularly Pierro della Francesca, Fra Angelico and Byzantine icons.
What attracts us to the works of Alexander Anufriev is perhaps their mystery. But equally compelling is their style. The mannerist refinement dispatches the recognizable to another level of reality, which he makes visible. A leading member of the Odessa group, he emigrated to the United States and now lives and works in the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia. Since his move to Virginia, he has had many successful solo and group shows.
The vast majority of Alexander’s poetic, visionary works hang in museums and private collections throughout Europe, the United States of America and the former Soviet Union.
He elaborates that "by looking at the world in this way, one can imagine one's own striving for perfection. The inherent good, and not the evil, must be examined in attempting to achieve perfection, while searching for the positive in the outer world at the same time."
What is most important to Alexander Anufriev as an artist is conveying the essence of things. "I try to represent what I feel from the core of the object," he explains, "not just the exterior or visible part. In a stone, a table, a tree – in these objects there is some kind of divine substance that unifies them. In my perception of objects and people, I try to get beyond what exists today, to go beyond the temporary in order to express what is eternal."