The paper of Alexander Rozhin, Natella Voiskounski on the International academic conference "ALEXANDER GOLOVIN AND THE CULTURE OF THE SILVER AGE" (14.10 - 15.10, State Tretyakov Gallery).


The July 2014 special issue of the “Tretyakov Gallery” Magazine, “Alexander Golovin. Heritage” (#3, 2014), was exclusively dedicated to the oeuvre of Alexander Golovin and published on the occasion of his anniversary exhibition at the Tretyakov Gallery, “Alexander Golovin. Fantasies of the Silver Age. On the 150th Anniversary of the Artist’s Birth”. This special issue of the magazine was printed after the exhibition had opened, which presented the opportunity to publish a broad overview of the exhibition, its concept, goals, scope, and the approach to the use of exhibition space (by Eleonora Paston, Tretyakov Gallery).

This special issue ran to 160 pages: its size significantly exceeded that of all previous special issues, even though the materials submitted by our contributors had to be cut, sometimes substantially. All the articles that found their way into the special issue offer information that is essential to understanding Golovin’s contribution to art, a fact that testifies to the enduring interest in his work as one of the most outstanding representatives of the Russian visual arts.

As for selecting materials for the issue, the decisions were made in cooperation with the exhibition’s curator Eleonora Paston, keeping in mind that we envisioned this publication as a continuation of, and addition to the exhibition catalogue. Thus, articles on Golovin’s work with Sergei Diaghilev (by Irina Shumanova, Tretyakov Gallery), Vsevolod Meyerhold (Natalya Makerova, Meyerhold Memorial Museum and Apartment, Moscow), and Konstantin Stanislavsky (Margarita Chizhmak, Tretyakov Gallery) offered information that expanded and complemented the catalogue section that was dedicated to the artist’s work for the theatre. The article by Vladimir Kruglov (Russian Museum) on the history of Golovin’s art in the collection of the Russian Museum, and the story of Alexei Bakhrushin’s efforts to acquire Golovin’s works for the Theatre Museum he had founded (Anastasia Dmitrieva and Maria Lipatova, Bakhrushin Theatre Museum) also offered important additional information to the exhibition catalogue. As for the article “‘Your Work is Somehow True…’ Alexander Golovin and Yelena Polenova” by Yelena Terkel (Tretyakov Gallery), it continued and developed the story told by the author’s publication in the exhibition catalogue of the correspondence between Golovin and Polenova from the Manuscripts Department of the Tretyakov Gallery.

There were some topics that were specifically covered in the “Golovin” issue of our magazine. Thus, the article by Olga Davydova (Research Institute, Russian Academy of Arts) “Alexander Golovin’s Art Nouveau: Behind the Curtain of Style” developed a theme that is crucially important for the understanding of Golovin’s creative evolution: his pursuit of style in the context of contemporary Russian and European cultures and the works of his fellow artists abroad.

Just like many other issues of the “Tretyakov Gallery” Magazine, this particular special issue was the result of cooperation between a number of museums, funds and private collectors; such cooperation made it possible to provide all articles with extensive illustrations. The article by Olga Davydova would have been incomplete and less substantial without images of works by Gustav Klimt (through Getty Images), Odilon Redon (courtesy of a private collector), Camille Corot (Getty Images), William Degouve de Nuncques and József Rippl-Rónai (Musée d’Orsay, Paris). On the one hand, the magazine’s special issue “Alexander Golovin. Heritage” followed the tradition of the 2005 monographic special issues “Marc Chagall” and “The Knave of Diamonds”; on the other hand, it was also associated with the 2012 special issue “Ivan Pokhitonov. The Artist Sorcerer”.

Starting with the Tretyakov Gallery exhibition of Isaac Levitan, the “Tretyakov Gallery” Magazine (#3, 2010) expanded its editorial policy by publishing a whole series of articles dedicated to various anniversary exhibitions of outstanding Russian artists. In this respect, our special issue on Levitan, published with Galina Churak’s direct involvement, was our first attempt to add and expand on a published exhibition catalogue, both by way of including materials not covered in the catalogue and publishing English translations of the magazine articles. Later on and thanks to this practice, the GRANY Foundation, the publisher of the magazine, was able to prepare and publish the special issue “Isaac Levitan” (2013) to benefit the Isaak Levitan Museum in the town of Plyos. This issue became particularly popular with the museum’s numerous visitors, including those from abroad.

Over time, similar issues of the magazine have been produced, with the active participation of curators – most of their articles devoted to a particular Tretyakov Gallery project – namely, the anniversary exhibitions of Nikolai Ghe (#3, 2011), Konstantin Korovin (#1, 2012), Mikhail Nesterov (#1, 2013), and Natalia Goncharova (#1, 2014). The special “Diaghilev” issue (#3, 2009), which has been a rarity for a while now, is also worth mentioning; so is the recent “Korin” issue (#2, 2014, the first one published with a supplement.) The “Tretyakov Gallery” Magazine is a valuable source of information for those art lovers and specialists who do not speak Russian. In this respect, we should note that due to the presence of translated materials, our magazine stands out among other publications on Russian and foreign art.

The “Alexander Golovin” special issue, just like all other issues of the “Tretyakov Gallery” Magazine, is available in the libraries of most major Russian and foreign museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art; National Gallery; Library of Congress; The Jewish Museum; The Ukrainian Museum; The Whitney Museum of American Art; MOMA; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; The National Portrait Gallery; the Hillwood Estate Museum; The American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation (all in the USA); Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool, The British Museum (all in the UK); Musée d’Orsay, City of Paris’ Museum of Modern Art (Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris), Academy of Fine Arts (Académie des Beaux-Arts), the Georges Pompidou Centre (Centre Georges-Pompidou) (all in France); the Uffizi Gallery, Academy of Fine Arts of Florence, the Brera Academy, the Braidense National Library (all in Italy); Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Russian House in Dresden, the Russian House of Science and Culture in Berlin (all in Germany); Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, the Kunstmuseum in Bern, and Kunsthaus Zurich (all in Switzerland.)

Our experience with publishing monographic issues of the “Tretyakov Gallery” Magazine, the positive response we receive from many exhibition visitors, as well as the fact that the magazines are much more affordable than exhibition catalogues, allow us to conclude that the planning of large-scale exhibition projects should include the expense of publishing such special issues, which have been proven to be in high demand and offer a good return on investment.



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