About Irina Stolyarova
Irina Stolyarova is an art collector, nonconformist movement expert, art director of Flying in the Wake of Light collection. Her collection is focused on the work of Russian artists of several generations, living both in the home country and in the West; and the first émigrés generation associated with the School of Paris. Stolyarova’s collection, Flying in the Wake of Light, collected during the last decade, and not all the Russian artists included are products of Soviet soil. Many are émigrés or children of émigrés, like the formidable Pierre Dmitrienko (1925–1974), with a biographical
background that is more Montparnasse than Arbat. Yet the animating genius of the whole is nonetheless a distinctly Russian spirit that, as the Evangelist said, bloweth were it listeth, evidently, even in the desolation of the Soviet epoch. That cogency of purpose is what makes this private collection remarkable; indeed, this is what makes it a private art collection — in the same qualitative, if not quantitative, sense as those built by the Fricks and the Mellons of yesteryear — rather than a selection of pictures decorating the walls of a private house.
Irina, please tell me when and how you started to put together your collection?
I started collecting about twenty years ago. I think I ‘grew’ as a collector and connoisseur of art with my collection. I was initially keen on the so called ‘Little Dutch’ school, Russian painting seemed to me derivative…