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#3 2008 (20)
RUSSIA’S GOLDEN MAP
The Chelyabinsk Regional Museum of Arts was formed in 2005 through the merger of two art museums: the Chelyabinsk Regional Picture Gallery, the oldest museum in the South Urals region, and the Museum of Applied Art of the Urals, which itself, prior to 1978, was a part of the Picture Gallery.
Created in 1895 following an instruction from Tsar Nicholas II, the “Russian Museum of Emperor Alexander III” publicly opened to big fanfare on March 7 (19, in the Old Calendar) 1898. From the very start the museum became a unique collection of true masterpieces of Russian art and a centre of enlightenment. The backbone of the collection was formed by the works of St. Petersburg masters that rank among the greatest accomplishments of Russia’s national artistic culture.
In September 2008 the Tretyakov Gallery opened the first solo show of the Russian landscape artist Fyodor Mikhailovich Matveyev (1758-1826), commemorating the 250th anniversary of his birth. Matveyev spent most of his life in Italy, where he gained European acclaim. The great artist’s legacy had the same fate as academic art in general - appreciated by his contemporaries, it was later relegated to oblivion and for a long time considered outmoded and lacking in originality. The present exhibition re-introduces Matveyev to modern audiences. The project brought together many Russian and international museums, including the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, the National Art Museum of Belarus, and private collections. The work led to many interesting discoveries: the discovery of previously unknown facts about the artist’s life, a more accurate attribution of the content of his landscapes, and a better knowledge of the specifics and dates of their creation. The catalogue published as a part of the exhibition project is the first dedicated to Matveyev’s works. The panoramic views of Italy and diverse graphic pieces, including journey sketches on display in the Gallery’s Engineering Building, take the viewer on a “painterly journey” in the spirit of the 18th century together with an artist more than fond of the beauty of nature.
Last year marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lukich Borovikovsky (1757-1825). The artist was the last of the acclaimed painters of the 18th century. His portraits of personalities of the age of the Enlightenment, and first of all the sentimental young ladies whose beauty was “preserved by Borovikovsky” (in the words of the poet Yakov Polonsky) won him a deserved acclaim.
Anyone who has compiled catalogues of museum collections knows that in order to study individual works one has to be familiar with the artist’s entire creative output. Only such a monographic overview of the author’s work allows us to accurately date a painting, sculpture or drawing, to correctly name the piece, establish its history, and understand and evaluate its significance.
Designed as both cultural and historical, the exhibition has the objective of presenting Russian art of the end of the 19th- early 20th century which is little known in Germany, in parallel with the Western European decorative and literary movement “Stilkunst” (The Art of Style). Its focus is on the unique Russian integration of various forms of art of the period along with the ideas and thoughts that inspired and nurtured them. The dialogue between traditional, folk and romantic works and those which demonstrate international and Modernist influences increases the diversity of the exhibition.
The exhibition of watercolours from the 18th to early 20th centuries from the Tretyakov Gallery’s Department of graphic art.
Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) was a key figure of the English modernist movement in both art and literature, acquainted with - as friend or enemy - almost all the key figures of British culture in the first half of the 20th century. Best known from 1914 as the founder and leading proponent of the pioneering British modernist movement Vorticism, his considerable legacy in another field, portraiture, was the subject of a retrospective at London’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG).
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST
Tair Salakhov is rightly ranked among the brightest and most significant personalities of the Soviet art world - his work, representative of a whole era in culture due to its magnitude, spiritual richness, imagery, aesthetics and complex metaphors, has fittingly blended with new times, and modernity.
Lazar Gadayev, who is one of the most interesting and original modern sculptors of European level with a highly individual sculptural style, belongs to the generation of artists who made a name for themselves in the 1970s. His art and consummate professionalism are an integral component of the Moscow school of sculpture. Yet, the artist’s originality is rooted in the nature and culture, ancient legends and poetry of his native Ossetia. The world of Lazar Gadayev’s images is simple and austere: man, earth and heaven, love, passion, loneliness and compassion, despair and prayer. The maestro never fails to express very delicately all the depths of the emotional turmoil and sufferings of his characters who often conduct a voiceless dialogue between themselves. The sculptor’s style - lean, terse, free of glitz but full of inner dynamism - accumulates the integrity of his uncompromising character.
Vladimir Lubarov’s solo exhibition “The Nation of Peremilovo: Scenes from a Provincial Life” opened at the Tolmachy Exhibition Hall of the Tretyakov Gallery on September 5, and ran through until September 28. It featured over 70 paintings and graphic pieces from the 1990s-2000s from the series such as “Peremilovo Village”, “The Township of Shchipok”, “Flood”, “Welcome and Cheers”, and “Luck of the Jewish”. Vladimir Lubarov is a famous artist and illustrator of more than 100 books of authors such as, Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann, Nikolai Gogol, and the Strugatsky brothers. Having moved in the 1990s to a rural area, the artist started to work on an original series of paintings focused on the life of the Russian provinces.
In the autumn of 2008 “Alexander Tokarev. Man Orchestra” will open to visitors - first in the Exhibition Hall of the Tolmachy corpus of the Tretyakov Gallery, then in the Russian Museum’s Marble Palace. The title of the show reflects one of Alexander Tokarev’s brightest series and the main theme of his art. “Man Orchestra” is the artist himself, his perpetual symbolical self-portrait, as well as a visual counterpart of the most diverse musical themes and - in a broad sense - reflections about the image of the author in modern visual art, the image of the artist in his contemporary world and society.