№1 2006 (10)


Vladimir Petrov
Alexei Savrasov: Truth and Poetry

24 May 2005 marked the 175th anniversary of the birth of one of Russia’s most eminent landscape artists, Alexei Savrasov. Wellloved to this day, Savrasov is most often associated with his masterpiece “The Rooks Have Arrived” (1871). Although this is an outstanding achievement of Russian realist landscape painting, the actual scope and depth of Savrasov’s work is far greater. As early as the 1850s, Savrasov was seen as one of the leading Russian landscape painters. By his mid-twenties, he had produced many wonderful works, most of which played an important part in the development of Russian painting as a whole. Isaak Levitan, Savrasov’s favourite pupil and follower, called his teacher “the creator of the Russian landscape”, claiming that Savrasov’s art brought out the “lyrical quality of landscape painting”, being filled with “boundless love for his homeland”.


Ida Gofman
The Blue Rose of Russian Symbolism

The exhibition of Russian symbolism, “The Blue Rose”, which opens in early March 2006 at the Tretyakov Gallery, was initially part of the “Europalia 2005” festival in Belgium, shown in Brussels from October 10 2005 through to February 5 2006. It was meant to introduce European viewers to one of the most important periods in early 20th-century Russian art. Russian symbolism reflected general European traditions, while at the same time it brought its own colour and national features into the general stream of this artistic trend, showing traces of Russian folklore in its bright ornamentation. Its images are characterized by a soft lyricism and dreaminess typical of both the Russian spirit and Russian nature.


Irina Zagorodnyaya
“Ratification of friendship…”
Ambassadorial Gifts to the Russian Tsars

In the middle of December the Assumption Belfry of the Moscow Kremlin opened an exhibition of works by foreign masters from the “The Moscow Kremlin” museum’s collection. Upon entering the hall, styled in sunny, soft colours, visitors find themselves in a festive and formal atmosphere, that in which the visits of foreign diplomats to the royal palace would take place.


Lyudmila Marz
Inhabited Islands

Выставка, которая состоится в феврале–марте 2006 года в Государственной Третьяковской галерее, и изданный к ней альбом посвящены юбилею галереи. Они подготовлены в рамках художественного проекта «Обитаемые острова» (автор проекта – Анна Намит), являющегося совместной благотворительной миссией правительства Москвы, Министерства культуры и массовых коммуникаций РФ, Третьяковской галереи и международного концерна ДаймлерКрайслер АГ, традиционно поддерживающего искусство по всему миру.


Yulia Loginova
Art Manezh 2005

The current fair displayed 60 galleries specializing in modern art. The following loyal galleries were among them: “7 Gvozdei”, “Eastern Gallery”,
“ASTI”, “Alla Bulyanskaya Gallery”, “Dom Nashokina” Gallery, “Karina Shenshieva Gallery”, “Kino”, “Manezh”, “PAN-DAN”, “Segodnya”, “Tretyakov”, “U Yara”, “Melarus Art”, “Gertsev Gallery” and of course the Zurab Tsereteli Gallery.


Yekaterina Selezneva
Pavel Tretyakov and the Paris World Fairof 1878

It is believed that Pavel Tretyakov generously lent his paintings to exhibitions, including foreign ones, a belief started by Vasily Stasov, who wrote: “… when told about the new World fair he opened the doors of his wonderful gallery and let them take what they wanted.” The reality was far more complex.


Ksenia Antonova
From an Inventory to a Multi-volume Catalogue

The next volume of the Tretyakov Gallery’s comprehensive catalogue devoted to early 19th-century painting is scheduled to appear in the nearest future. Even today, in the context of swiftly developing electronic means of collecting and storing information, the book is a major event. It is a fundamental illustrated edition with full and detailed information about painters and their works, and it will certainly attract the attention of both experts and a wider general readership of art lovers.


Tatiana Potapova
From Impressionism to Cubism
Russia – Japan

An exhibition of French Impressionist and Modernist artists from the collection of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is currently being shown, with great success, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, and will later move to the National Museum of Art in Osaka. It was organized by the popular Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun which supports many cultural projects in Japan.


Tatiana Gubanova
The Passionate Dance of the Avant-garde

Museum of Modern Art in Rovereto (Trento province, Italy) opened an exhibition titled “The Dance of the Avant-Garde” on December 16, displaying paintings, scenography and costumes from Degas to Picasso, from Matisse to Haring. Over 1,000 paintings, sculptures, graphic works and photographs created in the 20th century introduce the viewer to the magical union of dance and the visual arts, and to the wonderful century of real-life and fantastic images.


Yekaterina Selezneva
Variations on the Theme of Melancholy

Those who initiated the exhibition “Melancholy: Genius and Madness in the West” that recently opened Yekaterina Selezneva at the Galleries Nationales du Grand Palais in Paris are sure that subjects invoked by and devoted to melancholy can be traced throughout the history of European art, from Antiquity to the present day. No other state of the human soul seems to have evoked so considerable interest among so many illustrious figures of the Western world over the centuries as this mood.


Valerie L. Hillings
RUSSIA! A True Blockbuster

Even before its mid-September opening, RUSSIA! garnered a great deal of positive advance press in the United States. In its September issue, the fashion magazine Elle included this “stupendous exhibition” as #24 in its exclusive annual “Top 25” list. Vogue proclaimed that the show would make clear that between icons and abstraction, Russian art was far from a “Siberian wasteland.” To be sure, such articles were related to the predominance of Russian-inspired styles in the fashion industry’s fall lines, but they spread word of the show to these publications’ substantial readerships.


Yekaterina Selezneva
The DADA Encyclopaedia

The Dada exhibition that opened on October 5 2005 in the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris was organized by the French National Museum of Modern Art together with the Washington National Gallery of Art and MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York). The exhibit will travel from Paris to Washington (February 19-May 14, 2006) and then to New York (June 16-September 11, 2006). Initially each of these institutions, both the Washington and Paris museums, started preparing a retrospective of the Dada movement independently. When the museums learned of their overlapping interests they decided to join forces and invite a third party – the newly renovated MoMA with its rich collection of Dada art.


Raya Zommer-Tal
Marcel Janco and the DADA Spirit

The Janco-Dada Museum can be found in the centre of the picturesque and peaceful artists’ village of Ein-Hod in the north of Israel; it opened to the public in 1983 at the initiative of friends and family of the artist Marcel Janco who wanted to establish a home for his work and ideas. The museum concentrates its activities in two main areas indicated by its name: the artist Marcel Janco and the Dada movement of which Janco was one of the founders.


Dr. Lisa Fischman
Desert Treasure

Russian artists, or as they are usually referred to “artists of Russian origin” – those who left Russia for good at the beginning of the 20th century, and won recognition and fame abroad and whose artworks are represented in almost all world-famous museum collections – no doubt constitute an invaluable part of the Russian cultural heritage. Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973), a renowned sculptor of the 20th century, is no exception. His bright extraordinary creative activity started in France and ended in the USA. In 1928, the outstanding Russian art critic Abram Efros called Lipchitz's sculptural work "the highest and most dominant point of the Russian intrusion" into the art of the West. Lipchitz became one of the most notable adepts and advocates of Cubism and he persistently applied Cubist principles in his works, gaining enthusiastic recognition from both connoisseurs and the general public. Over time Lipchitz drew back from the movement, though in his monumental and easel works continued to visualize expressive deformations of organic natural forms, boldly shifting flat planes, resulting in a structural angularity; later he came to a looser spatial play.


Andrei Pilipenko
Serpukhov Art and History Museum

The collection of the Serpukhov Art and History Museum (SAHM) was shaped largely thanks to the efforts of the Maraev family of industrialists in the late 19thearly 20th century. It is traditionally assumed that it was started by Anna Maraeva; she was the first in the family to buy art and historical objects, and effectively became a founder of the Serpukhov museum. Nevertheless, she had no full level of proper education and could not be aware or formulate clearly the nature and aims of the collector's activity.


Galina Churak
Vasily Surikov: I loved beauty everywhere...

On March 1 1881 the “Peredvizhniki” (Wanderers) group was to open its ninth exhibition at the Yusupov palace on the Moika Embankment in St. Petersburg. Tragically, the event coincided with another one, among the most sinister in Russian history – the bomb thrown by a member of the secret political group Narodnaya Volya (People’s Will) killed Emperor Alexander II. However, as soon as the days of mourning
ended, the long wait of art enthusiasts was more than rewarded with masterpieces from the new generation of talented Russian artists: alongside Ilya Repin’s portraits of the composer Modest Mussorgsky and the author Alexei Pisemsky, “Alyonushka” by Vasily Vasnetsov and landscapes by Alexei Savrasov and Ivan Shishkin, viewers would discover the talent of the young Vasily Surikov. His name meant little at the time, but his work “Morning of the Streltsy Execution” seemed to predict in some enigmatic way the recent tragedy. The painting created a sensation. “His appearing to the artistic world with the painting ‘Execution of the Streltsy’ was sensational; nobody had started like that,” remembered Alexandra Botkina, Pavel Tretyakov’s daughter. “He did not hesitate, did not try to size up whether the time was good or bad for the exhibition of such a painting, but went off like a bolt.” Immediately after the exhibition in St. Petersburg, Surikov’s painting, acquired by Pavel Tretyakov before the exhibition, was moved to its permanent home in Lavrushinsky Pereulok. The Tretyakov Gallery was already considered a major collection of Russian art.



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