Grube Alexander


Soviet sculptor, National Artist of Belarus. The formation of monumental sculptural art in the USSR is associated with his name. He was the author of the first lifetime monument to Vladimir Lenin. Grube created the iconic sculptural composition "The leaders of the three major powers at the Crimea Conference" in 1945.

Alexander Grube was born in 1894 in the Bashkir village of Grigoryevka. During his studies at the Penza gymnasium, he was fond of drawing and sculpturing, attended the art school as non-degree student. He entered the Petrograd University Faculty of Mathematics and Physics on the eve of World War I, but was expelled for participating in a revolutionary strike and was called into the Imperial Russian Army.

After the Revolution, Grube taught at one of the schools in the town Krasnopole in Belorus and continued his creative activity, working with clay and wood. The first monument to the Bolsheviks’ leader was made from this material. In 1925, the gifted self-educated artist was seconded to the group of workers led by Ivan Shadr, the famous monumentalist. This job became the real school of professionalism for Grube. In the 1930s, the sculptor created the All- Belorussian Association - the future Union of Artists of this Soviet Republic. The sculptor manged to stylize in masterly fashion the centuries-old traditions of the Belarusian folk wood carving in his creative work. He integrated them into the sculptural images inherent to socialist realism, achieving monumentality, high-level expressiveness and generalization. A Labourer became a symbol of vigour of the Soviet state in the works of Grube.

During the Great Patriotic War, the sculptor lived in Moscow, in the famous colony of artists in Maslovka street. His war period works featured the ordinary soldiers and military leaders’ feats of arms. The All-Union Exhibition of Painting, Graphics, Sculpture and Architecture, where the works of frontline artists were exhibited, was held in November 1942. Grube was among its organizers. In 1944m, the sculptor was awarded a rank of the first People’s artist of Belarussian Republic.

In the post-war period, down to decease in Moscow in August 1980, Grube continued his active social activities in the Union of Artists of the USSR and the BSSR. He created small statuary, relief and monumental sculptures. The master’s works are stored in the leading museums of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine; are the integral parts of the architectural ensembles and squares in many cities of the former Soviet Union.