№2 2005 (07)

RUSSIA’S GOLDEN MAP

Olga Piulskaya
The State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan

The exhibition based on the collection of the State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan, which is currently on display at the Tretyakov Gallery as part of the project “Russia's Golden Map”, has a special significance given that Kazan is celebrating its 1000th anniversary this year.

EXCLUSIVE PUBLICATIONS

Galina Tuluzakova
Nikolai Fechin: Kazan – Santa Fe

Today, the name of Nikolai (Nicolai) Fechin is still little known to the Russian public – yet this talented and appealing artist was equally gifted in painting, draughtsmanship, wood carving, sculpture and the teaching of art. His work reflects a number of contemporary trends, although art nouveau, with its love of beauty, romantic quest for national roots and lack of a rigid stylistic models was to prove the most appropriate form for this master. Born in 1881 in Kazan, capital of Tatarstan, Fechin trained as an artist at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Returning to Kazan after his studies, he took part in numerous European and American exhibitions. The majority of works from this time were either sold at these events, or sent abroad to foreign coll-ectors. With the beginning of World War I, such international connections were severed: paintings created during and immediately after the war remained in Russia. In 1923, the artist was forced to emigrate: Fechin left for America, taking some of his canvases with him. For this reason, the years prior to 1910 and the period between 1914 and 1923 are the stages in Fechin's career best represented in Russian museums.

EXCLUSIVE PUBLICATIONS

Anna Grigoryeva
Baky Urmanche. A World of Poetic Association

The name of Baky Urmanche (1897–1990) is one of the most interesting new discoveries of the 25th exhibition organised at the Tretyakov Gallery within the project titled "Russia's Golden Map". A cult name in Tatarstan, the artist remains almost completely unknown outside the republic. At that exhibition the works of Urmanche are displayed in the Tretyakov Gallery for the first time ever, alongside the works of acknowledged classics of Russian art. Urmanche is considered to be the founder of Tatar art on a professional level. He was the first of the Tatar artists to receive professional training. At first he studied at Kazan's VKHUTEMAS institute, and later on at its Moscow branch. But no matter where he lived he never lost touch with his national tradition, a factor that became dominant in his mature years. His talent was universal: he was a painter, a sculptor, a graphic artist, a calligrapher and a teacher. His creative work successfully combined highly professional skills with the basics of Tatar national culture.

MASTERPIECES OF RUSSIAN ART

Natalia Soukhova
Vrubel’s “Dream”

As the Tretyakov Gallery's 150th anniversary approaches, the “Tretyakov Gallery” magazine initiates a series of special articles tracing the history of selected paintings from the Gallery's collection. In the first, the focus is on Mikhail Vrubel's “Princess of Dreams”. Next year will not only mark the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Tretyakov Gallery, but 2006 will also be the 150th anniversary of Vrubel's birth – and exactly 110 years since he created his “Princess of Dreams”. The painting brought Vrubel fame as an artist, simultaneously involving him in an enormous scandal in which the Tsar himself was to become embroiled. In recent years, the “Princess of Dreams” has fared better. An entire room was created in the Tretyakov Gallery to house the painting – the Vrubel room.

150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY

Lydia Gladkova
Through the Optical Glass of Artistic Expertise

Artistic expertise and authentication have recently become a matter of great relevance in the world art-istic community and in art marketing practices, the subject of heated debate initiated by art experts, dealers, collectors and critics, and also the majority of art consumers – namely, the general public at large, whose opinion, however dilettante in its nature, cannot be ignored. The arguments have reached an extreme level, both verbally and in the press, as the question of whether museum artistic expertise is admissible and necessary to cater for dealers, private galleries, individual collectors and auction houses. Some think such a task ought to be carried out by independent experts and/or scientific research centres which possess the most advanced technical devices, and are licensed to authorize the authentication of works of art.

INTERNATIONAL PANORAMA

Natalia Mamontova
Warsaw–Moscow

“Warsaw-Moscow. Moscow-Warsaw. 1900-2000” will be the third in a series of exhibitions exploring artistic connections between Moscow and other European capitals. The first, “Moscow-Paris. ParisMoscow” was held in 1979, and the second, linking Moscow and Berlin, in 1996. Work on the Polish-Russian exhibition began in the mid-1990s. In November 2004, the exhibition opened in the Polish capital. Now, “Moscow-Warsaw” has arrived at the Tretyakov Gallery on Krimsky.

60TH ANNIVERSARY OF VICTORY

Tamara Kaftanova
The Tretyakov Gallery during World War II

May 2005 will mark the 60th anniversary of the reopening of the Tretyakov Gallery after a four-year break when the museum was compelled to evacuate its unique collections out of Moscow. This article, presenting for the first time the Gallery's history during World War II, draws on so far little-known – or completely unknown – events and documents; it is dedicated to those individuals who worked unselfishly to evacuate its treasures, and save them for future generations able to appreciate, and enjoy the major achievements of the country's art.

INVESTIGATIONS AND FINDS

Galina Andreeva
Portrait of the Charlemont family by Thomas Lawrence

It is rare to find British art in Russia, either in museum collections, or, still more so, those in private hands. Most of the significant works and those of less artistic value have been exhibited in two recent exhibitions – From the Banks of the Thames to the Banks of the Neva (1997) and Unforgettable Russia. Russians and Russia through the eyes of the British (1998). The latter contained over 300 works, mainly paintings, but also miniatures, drawings, engravings, objects of applied art and books. One tenth of these were exhibited and published for the first time in that show.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Alexander Morozov
On the Cross-roads of Mastership

Preparing for the exhibition of Andrei Vasnetsov's work, held in honour of the artist's 80th birthday, it was hard not to feel a curiosity on the issue of how his work would be perceived today, at the dawn of the 21st century. The grandson of the eminent painter Victor Vasnetsov, Andrei Vasnetsov has been known as an artist since the late 1950s. One of the main young painters to bring the tendencies of the “thaw” into Soviet art, Vasnetsov was also among the first to introduce revolutionary modernist ideas and techniques. Despite repeated dressings-down from the Communist Party, he did much to develop contemporary mural painting and composition, combining vigorous modern rhythms and forms of expression with a humanist philosophy and free intellectual spirit. He also became one of the greatest teachers in late 20th-century Russian art. An academician and professor at Moscow's Polygraphic Institute, for many years he guided pupils through their studies; a People's Artist of the Soviet Union, he was to become the last chairman of the Soviet Union of Artists.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Andrei Yerofeev
The first exhibition of “actual” art from the Tretyakov Gallery collection

The exhibition “Accomplices. Collective and Inter-active works of Russian Art from the 1960s–2000” was planned and realized by the Tretyakov Gallery's department of new art trends at the gallery's building on Krymsky Val, and constituted a special project of the First Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. The major event of the Biennale's “Dialectics of Hope” took place in the former Lenin Museum and represented a rather small international group of young artists (only six of them from Russia), whose creative efforts were considered by the six curators as indicative of their times, and signifying a new stage in the development of “actual” art. But the impact of the Moscow Biennale would have been almost negligible, were it not for some “special” events staged at several locations in the city, such as the Central House of Artists, the Moscow House of Photography, both the Museums of Contemporary Art (Tsereteli's on Petrovka Street, and the newer one on Yermolaevsky Pereulok), the State Centre of Contem-porary Art on Zoologicheskaya Street, and many other state, corporate and private institutions. Though participating on their own initiative – and with their own resources – their contribution to the Biennale cannot be overestimated, and made it a really large-scale and multi-faceted panoramic event.

INTERNATIONAL PANORAMA

Paris “Vernissages”

Limited in number, and neither too extravagant nor too shocking – such are the Spring “Vernissages” in Paris – a long-established artistic centre of Europe, and a meeting point for internationally-renowned masters. The spring of 2005 proves no exception: a show of Klimt in the Musee Maillol; “Matisse. Une Seconde Vie. 1941-1954” in the Musee de Luxemburg; and “NeoImpessionists. From Seurat to Paul Klee” in the Musee d'Orsay, to mention only the most impressive examples.

title ?>" data-url="<?php print $node_url ?>" data-url_text="<?php print $content ?>">