Mykhailo Vainshtein

Mykhailo (Moisei) Vainshtein (1940–1981) was a painter and graphic artist.

Mykhailo Vainshtein was born in Druzhkivka, Donetsk region, in 1940. He lost his parents during World War II and was brought up in an orphanage. He graduated from Kyiv Art Institute in 1965 and then took part in a number of all-Union and international exhibitions. In 1967, Mykhailo Vainshtein was accepted to the Artists Union of Ukraine. The painter died in 1981 and was buried in Kyiv, in Baikove cemetery. 

Mykhailo Vainstein was a painter of great artistic power. He was one of the artists of the 1970s Ukrainian underground who opposed socialist realism with new artistic themes, images, and plastic decisions. Some art historians consider Mykhailo Vainshtein as the founder of a “strict style” in Ukraine, which was meant to free art from clichés of socialist realism. 

The artist has left a great number of amazing works, which are examples of easel painting as well as graphics. During his final years, Mykhailo Vainshtein also created some sculptures. One can see his works in the National Art Museum of Ukraine as well as other museums and private collections in Ukraine and abroad, for example, in the United States, Germany, Britain, Poland, France, and Canada. 

The art collection of the Center holds 12 paintings of Mykhailo Vainshtein (created in 1965–1976) in the portrait genre. Among them are portraits of his colleagues, the painters Zinovii Tolkachov, Vilen Barsky, Lucien Dulfan, Olena Rapoport (Ahamian), and actor Borys Kohan-Shats (the father of the painter Matvii Kohan-Shats).

Researchers of the life and art of Mykhailo Vainshtein might also be interested in the materials from his family archive, which include letters, drawings, and school works.