Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Yuri Kapralov dies at 73

East Village legend Yuri Kapralov died of a stroke on 27 August following a battle with liver disease. Kapralov, 73, was honored in an obituary, "Yuri Kapralov, a 'grandfather' of E.V. counterculture" in the 21-27 September issue of the Villager.

Kapralov came to New York as a refugee of World War II from the Caucusus, then part of the Soviet Union.

Kapralov was first and foremost an artist. "Though he never attained any lasting fame, his works - which included abstract paintings, sculptures and constructions made of found materials - were featured in group shows alongside artists like William de Kooning and Franz Kline," writes the Villager.

Better known are his books, including the gothic novel Castle Dubrava, Devil's Midnight about the Russian Civil War, and Once there Was a Village, about the East Village in the 1960s and 1970s. The latter is about Kapralov's life in the neighborhood; in 1965 he moved to East Seventh Street, and then later to East 11th Street. More than just a memoir, the book is a social history of the East Village - and its Slavic residents in particular - during that period.

(Photo: Yuri Kapralov from the Villager)


Anonymous said...

...good guy!

I remember he gave to me, as a present, one of his picture - or sculpure?? -, a pece of wood covered by pianos'stuff...

he was exposing in an italian restaurant - Tanti Baci - situated in NY west village, I was working there as waitress :-)

Bye good guy,


Anonymous said...

I was friends with his son in the East Village.
Yuri was a great guy.
He was an imposing figure, but was always kind to me as a kid.
He was a very cool guy.

Nickname unavailable said...

Yuri was my boyfriend's stepfather and a formative figure in his life. If there is a sculpture of his available (especially one of his piano sculptures) we would like to buy it as a keepsake. Any information on how to acquire a piece of his would be helpful. Thank you, Anita

Anonymous said...

Knew Yuri back in the late Sixties.
We lived in the same building at 216 east 7th. st. I remember he was in our apartment to interview my mother and her living here in the East village.Must have been writing that book Once there was a Village. Have to find and buy that book now.

bee bee said...

Anita, go to his building and ask the super. He left several of those goofy piano artworks in the cellar, the one accessed from the trapdoor in the street. His name is Michael Demarco, 525 E. 6th Street, Apt. #6 (he's also supt. of 627 E. 6th St.)My email is I used to visit and cook supper with Eva Wong, his roommate. Youri wouldn't eat, but ask me money for beers. Poor guy, such talent, wasted.