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Renée Rautenbach Reviews Incredible Tretchikoff by Boris Gorelik

Incredible TretchikoffVerdict: carrot

Nobody seems to have neutral views on the man who coined the phrase “laughing all the way to the bank”: you either look down your nose on Vladimir Tretchikoff’s work, or you might shyly admit that you actually liked the Lost Orchid on your grandmother’s dining room wall.

The fact that author Gorelik used “incredible” in his title is explained by himself in a recent article (Rapport: June 9). Contrary to most English-speaking Westerners, he had never heard of Tretchikoff until about 10 years ago when he was doing research for a thesis with focus on Russian immigration in South Africa. Gorelik became fascinated by the Russian artist whose prints (labelled kitsch by most) adorned many a wall from Cape Town to Canterbury and Chicago and who became the highest-selling artist (after Picasso) in his own lifetime.

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