#1 2007 (14)
On 27 December 2006, the 174th anniversary of the founder of the Tretyakov Gallery, the first ever winners of the new Pavel Tretyakov Prize were honoured and received their awards. The list of laureates was announced by a group of Tretyakov Gallery staff, each of whom has worked in the gallery for over half a century. These were the Tretyakov Gallery Deputy Director Lydia Iovleva, Head of the Graphic Art Department Evgenia Plotnikova and Manuscripts Department Senior Expert Natalia Priymak.
The 250th Anniversary of the Russian Academy of Arts
Before the emergence of the Wanderer artists, or Peredvizhniki, all aspects of Russian art - the education and work of professional artists, their rank, title, rights and position in society - were directly connected with the Academy of Arts. When, in the 1860s, a group of former Academy students established the St. Petersburg Artel of Artists, a distinct, independent union, their work nevertheless continued to be exhibited in the Academy, and the majority of the group eventually became academicians: the world of Russian art was, in those days, organised around a single pole.
MASTERPIECES OF RUSSIAN ART
In June 1877, Vasily Polenov came to Moscow, intending to work on a subject from Russian history - “The Tsar’s Unworthy Daughter Takes the Veil” - and to settle in the capital for some time.
An important figure in late avant-garde art and a pupil of Kazimir Malevich, Konstantin Rozhdestvensky (1906-1997) is, nonetheless, little known to Russian art lovers. The current retrospective exhibition in the State Tretyakov Gallery is the first large-scale public showing of Rozhdestvensky’s drawings and paintings to take place in Russia.
The second half of the 19th century brought Russian art a number of talented masters, whose names have now largely been forgotten by specialists. Despite the fact that his work speaks volumes about the period of its creation with its problems and contradictions, the sculptor Alexander Opekushin is precisely one such undervalued figure.
Five St. Petersburg museums - the Russian Museum, the Academic Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts, the St. Petersburg Museum of Theatre and Music, the Yelaginoostrovsky Palace-Museum and the Russian Ethnography Museum - were exhibiting the works of Alexander Benois di Stetto (1896-1979). His works, never before shown in Russia, reaffirmed the reputation of the illustrious family of artists as the most significant, and artistically most prolific and versatile dynasty of its time.
To mark Yekaterina Belashova’s centenary, in December 2006 the State Tretyakov Gallery Department of 20th century sculpture held an exhibition of the sculptor’s work in the Tretyakov Gallery on Krimsky Val. This included pieces from the gallery’s collection, as well as items belonging to the sculptor’s family. The exhibition was accompanied by a special memorial event. with guest speakers including art specialists and artists, many of whom were taught by Yekaterina Belashova.
POINT OF VIEW
The Engineering Wing of the State Tretyakov Gallery hosted an international conference to mark the gallery’s 150th anniversary. Entitled “The Museum and Society”, this event was opened with a congratulatory address from the Russian UNESCO Commission.
The opening of the Paul Klee Centre in Bern in July 2005 was an important page in the history of 21st century museum life. In the eyes of its creators, this contemporary museum was to act as a cultural forum, enabling visitors to develop their creative potential through in-depth acquaintance with the artistic legacy of Paul Klee.
Helsinki can hardly be called a city famous for its art museums. True, there is the Athenaeum, a collection of Finnish classical art, in its cosy centre, and not far away is Kiasma, where works of modern art are exhibited. Otherwise, there are several country estates housing art galleries, donated in the wills of their previous owners. And, of course, mention should be made of the Sinebrychoff Museum of Fine Art, without which Helsinki is simply unimaginable.
Today, visitors to the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow’s historic Lavrushinsky Pereulok can also admire an open air exhibition of Alexander Burganov’s sculpture. An important event in the cultural life of the capital, this initiative forms part of a larger joint project between the State Tretyakov Gallery and the “Burganovs House” Moscow State Museum. Dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Tretyakov Gallery, the project likewise includes a special exhibition in the Tretyakov Gallery on Krimsky Val.
There is no doubt that in the 20th century one of the main features of European and Western art was a pluralism of artistic style. Starting with Impressionism, a powerful stream of centrifugal forces emerged, multiplying and spreading different forms of artistic expression all over the world and reaching giant dimensions with the appearance of the “historical avant-garde” and “Neo-avant-garde” after World War II. This active promotion of new forms would at times slow down, as if taking a break for short reflection, to subsequently give rise to new and more dynamic developments of different artistic styles.
The Israeli artist Lora Verhovsky’s exhibition of large-size artworks made of leather and suede in the Museum of Applied Arts was a success - with numerous articles in the press, and sincere appreciation from Muscovites and visitors to the Russian capital. Thus the exhibition “Revival” enjoyed no less popularity than in Israel, and at least one of the attractions was the technique - the so-called “leather intarsia”.
The growth and development of Ingush art is a little researched topic. The creative Weltanschauung is closely connected with the history, religious customs, ethical norms and aesthetic values of a people. The work of the two “fathers” of Ingush professional art, Khadzhi-Bekr Akhriev and Gazi-Magomed Dourbekov, is no exception.