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#1 2009 (22)
Sergei Tretyakov: "Aspired to Serve the Community..." On the 175th anniversary of Sergei Mikhailovich Tretyakov
The name of Sergei Mikhailovich Tretyakov (1834-1892) is not well-known, even though his collection of Western European works of art was the origin of the collection of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. More often, his name is recalled only in connection with that of his elder brother Pavel. Yet, during the Tretyakov brothers’ lifetime, Sergei enjoyed more fame than his brother. At that time, Pavel - the owner of Moscow’s renowned art gallery - introduced himself to fellow citizens as “the Mayor’s brother”. When one brother was mentioned, another was also present on the scene, albeit invisible. Throughout their lives, Pavel and Sergei Tretyakov supported and advised each other. The brothers shared common interests and did much work for the benefit of their country. It is possible to say that they “walked along the path of life hand in hand” - so much was shared in common - yet each one of them left his own imprint on the history of Russian art and of their home town.
A special event in memory of Pavel Tretyakov was held on December 15 2008 in the Tretyakov Gallery, honoring, according to tradition, the most senior museum employees. Organized by the Pavel Tretyakov Charitable Foundation, the event’s date marked two notable anniversaries: the 110th anniversary of the death of Pavel Tretyakov, the founder of the Gallery, and the 125 th anniversary of the death of the writer Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev. Dedicated to the Tretyakov family and the great Russian writer Ivan Turgenev this event gave an opportunity to turn to Russian literature, an important part of the Tretyakov family’s cultural world.
The exhibition “Mastery of the Pen”, featuring graphics from the holdings of the Tretyakov Gallery, is part of a show series focused on drawing techniques and media. The 300 pieces tracing the history of pen drawing in Russian art of the 18th-20th centuries include work by Karl Briullov, Alexander Ivanov, Fyodor Tolstoy, Ivan Shishkin, Isaac Levitan, Ilya Repin, Valentin Serov, Mikhail Vrubel, Konstantin Somov, Alexandre Benois, Wassily Kandinsky, Pavel Filonov, and many other famous artists.
The exhibition “18th-20th century artwork from the Yaroslavl and Kostroma regions. Retrieval, findings, discoveries” hosted by the Tretyakov Gallery was intended for a wide range of art lovers. For some of them it was a recollection of the time when they first had a chance to view the works, never before shown to the general public. When first shown, the pictures by provincial artists, now widely famous, such as Grigory Ostrovsky, Dmitry Korenev, Nikolai Mylnikov, Pavel Kolendas, Ivan Tarkhanov, and Yefim Chestnyakov produced an unforgettable impression. For others, the exhibition, just like the 1970s-1980s shows, offered a chance to discover the unique portraits and paintings that grace the collections of the Kostroma and Yaroslavl museums - their most treasured possessions and the emblems of sorts of the cities themselves
In December 2008 the Proun Gallery, at the Vinzavod Contemporary Art Centre, held a Pirosmani retrospective exhibition, the first show of the artist’s work in Moscow for many years. Impeccably designed and staged, it featured 20 works by Pirosmani, mainly from private collections, along with supporting photographic and other visual materials. It proved a huge success with the public, which was ready to queue for some time to see it. This article is a tribute to the art of the outstanding Primitivist painter.
ARTISTS ON ARTISTS
Fate gave Nikolai Mikhailovich Chernyshev a long life — 88 years. He started his creative work at the turn of the 20th century and lived a life that is an example of selfless service to his motherland and faith in the spiritual ideals of Russian art. Chernyshev was a man with many titles: People’s Artist of Russia, professor, painter, graphic artist, creator of monumental works, theoretician, and teacher.
February 20 2009 marked the centenary of the publication of the Futurist manifesto, in which Marinetti denied past artistic traditions and expressed his passionate admiration for a new technological era with its emphasis on speed, industrialization, and changes in the style of life, with a resulting strong demand for new artistic forms, styles and media. “The poet must spend himself with warmth, glamour and prodigality to increase the enthusiastic fervor of the primordial elements. Beauty exists only in struggle. There is no masterpiece that does not have an aggressive character. Poetry must be a violent assault on the forces of the unknown, to force them to bow before man. We are on the extreme promontory of the centuries!” Marinetti wrote. “What is the use of looking behind at the moment when we must open the mysterious shutters of the impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We are already living in the absolute, since we have already created eternal, omnipresent speed. ...We want to demolish museums and libraries, fight morality, feminism and all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice.”
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST
The art of one of the most remarkable and brilliant Russian sculptors Anatoly Andreevich Bichukov is an example of spiritual self-sacrifice, selfless devotion to art, and the epitome of the good and the beautiful. For nearly 50 years he has been putting his talent and sense of purpose in the high service of art. A graduate of the Moscow State Art Institute, now the Surikov Art Institute (MGAKhI), where he became a dean several years ago, Bichukov, as early as his college days, won reputation as a singular personality passionately dedicated to art
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST
With the elegant courtesy of his native New England, Nelson White welcomes me to his studio space at the Florence Academy. Seascapes hang from the partitions. On the main easel, a portrait is a work in progress. But there’s little room to sit down and talk, so we withdraw to a table in the library. Around us, FA students browse through its rich collection of art books.
ARTISTS ON ARTISTS
The eye-catching theatre poster is the key genre of the renowned Russian painter Oleg Savostiuk whose solo-show opened at the Russian Academy of Arts in February 2009. The bright talent of Oleg Savostiuk reveals itself in the theatre posters for the Bolshoi Theatre operas and ballets such as “Ballade of a Hussar”, “War and Pace”, “Swan Lake”, “Nutcracker”, “Ivan the Terrible”, “The Seagull” and “The Golden Age”.
The exhibition “Golubkina. Konenkov. The Secrets of Mastery” opened last autumn in the Museum-studio of Anna Golubkina, the sculptor. It is quite clear that the journey from the idea to connect these two great masters to the actual exhibition dedicated to them both was not simple, but it was inevitable. Sooner or later these two “restless Muscovites”, as they were called in the Academy of Arts, were bound to meet not just in the classroom, or at exhibitions, or while visiting one another, but as the participants of one exhibition in particular - dedicated to both of them.
The exhibition of Nikolai Makarov’s paintings “Space of Stillness” at the Tretyakov Gallery is the first solo show of the artist, who lives in Germany, in a Russian museum. Over a month the public had the rare opportunity to see the work of the artist, who belongs to the international artistic milieu of contemporary Berlin; it was there that he created his “Museum of Stillness”, where viewers can concentrate their attention on direct contemplative communication with a work of art. A part of this museum was reconstructed at the Tretyakov Gallery hall on Krymsky Val. The exhibition showed about 50 paintings dating from 1986 to 2008 from the series “Easel”, “Russian Icon” and “The Black Sun”.