Valentin Rodionov
The Saison Russe in Paris

On 19 September 2005 the Musee d’Orsay in Paris saw a long queue at its doors; with or without invitations, all those waiting were eager to attend the private view of an exhibition of Russian art, one both long-awaited – it was four years in its planning – and widely featured in the French press. The general public referred to it as the Saison Russe, and the project was grand indeed, comprising as it did more than 500 pieces that included, beside painting, sculpture, graphics and works from the fields of the decorative arts, architecture and photography, a series of musical and literary soirees, concerts and film screenings.

Galina Churak
The World of Ilya Repin and His Contemporaries

“The World of Ilya Repin and His Contemporaries” opened in the Wuppertal Arts Museum on October 9. 46 canvases and 30 graphic works from the Tretyakov Gallery display Repin’s painting and drawing, alongside 30 works by artists from his circle. With some such figures the artist had studied at the Academy of Arts, while with others he shared common interests through the group of artists known as the Wanderers (the “Peredvizhniki”). It can be said of the painters concerned, both as individuals and collectively, that they constituted an artistic group that thought in similar terms.

Natalya Presnova
The Аrgunovs in Russian Culture

2004 marked the 275th anniversary of the birth of the Russian painter Ivan Argunov, while this year celebrates the 235th anniversary of the birth of his son, the artist Nikolai Argunov. The exhibition currently on display at the Tretyakov Gallery is dedicated to the two events, displaying the work of Ivan Argunov and his sons, Nikolai and Yakov. It includes works provided by the Tretyakov Gallery and other major museums of Moscow and St.Petersburg, among them the Historical Museum, the Russian Museum, the Hermitage, and museums of Rostov-the-Great, Nizhny Novgorod and Novgorod-the Great, Yaroslavl, Samara and Barnaul.

John Smith
Andy Warhol: Artist of Modern Life

Warhol – dandy, flaneur and artist – appears as the perfect embodiment of the painter of modern life.

Andrei Erofeev
Russian Pop-art

“A country with a total shortage of goods and endless queues can’t have pop-art,” the Soviet avant-gardist Vitaly Komar had said before he invented, in 1972, a politicized version of postmodernism wittily called “soc-art” (also known as “sots-art). Some of the prominent “socartist’s” friends and colleagues did not believe his statement and made joint efforts to develop the artistic forms that the poet Genrikh Sapgir called “Russian pop-art”. Today, 35 years later, the question of Russian and Soviet pop-art remains open - did Russia have a pop-art style or not?

Vladimir Nazansky
The Novosibirsk Biennale of Graphic Arts

The Graphic Arts Biennale has been held since 1999 in Novosibirsk, a major city in Siberia and a scientific, economic and cultural centre situated almost in the heart of Russia. The Biennale’s main objective is to create a rich artistic context in Novosibirsk, and bring the authenticity of Siberian artistic life into a wider cultural process. In a relatively short time the Biennale has managed to make its mark not only in Siberia but also on a wider front in Russia and abroad. This year’s Graphic Arts Biennale represented Russia at the oldest graphic arts forum in the world, the 26th Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts (from June 24 to October 2, 2005). Now the Novosibirsk Biennale is opening again...

Натэлла Войскунская
The Modern Russian Portrait

Modern culture – and modern art, in particular – has encompassed the term “re-actualization”, which refers to cases when a phenomenon or genre is taken out of the archive and presented to the cultural community in a new light, with new meanings and a new functional orientation.

Svetlana Stepanova
The Quintessential Moscow Artist

An exhibition marking the 225th anniversary of Vasily Tropinin (1780– 1857) is running at the Tretyakov Gallery from May 25 to September 4 2005. The artist’s creative work belongs to the epoch that is considered.

Valentin Rodionov
“RUSSIA!” in New York's Guggenheim Museum

New York’s Guggenheim Museum will see the opening of a large-scale art exhibition titled “RUSSIA!” which commemorates the 60th anniversary of the United Nat-ions. The exhibit is sponsored by Russia’s Federal Agency for Culture and Cinema, together with Vladimir Potanin’s Charitable Foundation.

Alexander Morozov
On the Cross-roads of Mastership

Preparing for the exhibition of Andrei Vasnetsov's work, held in honour of the artist's 80th birthday, it was hard not to feel a curiosity on the issue of how his work would be perceived today, at the dawn of the 21st century. The grandson of the eminent painter Victor Vasnetsov, Andrei Vasnetsov has been known as an artist since the late 1950s. One of the main young painters to bring the tendencies of the “thaw” into Soviet art, Vasnetsov was also among the first to introduce revolutionary modernist ideas and techniques. Despite repeated dressings-down from the Communist Party, he did much to develop contemporary mural painting and composition, combining vigorous modern rhythms and forms of expression with a humanist philosophy and free intellectual spirit. He also became one of the greatest teachers in late 20th-century Russian art. An academician and professor at Moscow's Polygraphic Institute, for many years he guided pupils through their studies; a People's Artist of the Soviet Union, he was to become the last chairman of the Soviet Union of Artists.

Andrei Yerofeev
The first exhibition of “actual” art from the Tretyakov Gallery collection

The exhibition “Accomplices. Collective and Inter-active works of Russian Art from the 1960s–2000” was planned and realized by the Tretyakov Gallery's department of new art trends at the gallery's building on Krymsky Val, and constituted a special project of the First Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. The major event of the Biennale's “Dialectics of Hope” took place in the former Lenin Museum and represented a rather small international group of young artists (only six of them from Russia), whose creative efforts were considered by the six curators as indicative of their times, and signifying a new stage in the development of “actual” art. But the impact of the Moscow Biennale would have been almost negligible, were it not for some “special” events staged at several locations in the city, such as the Central House of Artists, the Moscow House of Photography, both the Museums of Contemporary Art (Tsereteli's on Petrovka Street, and the newer one on Yermolaevsky Pereulok), the State Centre of Contem-porary Art on Zoologicheskaya Street, and many other state, corporate and private institutions. Though participating on their own initiative – and with their own resources – their contribution to the Biennale cannot be overestimated, and made it a really large-scale and multi-faceted panoramic event.

O.Atroshchenko, M.Valyaeva
“Russian Seasons” in Old Bavaria

The idea of the “Russian Munich” project has developed only recently - and spontaneously – in conversations between art critics and artists. Until that moment art history did not know any such notion, although the theme itself, of cultural ties between Russia and Germany, had its own historical background in both countries.

Mark Chagall ‘Bonjour, Patrie!’

Named after a painting created by the artist in 1953, the major Chagall retrospective exhibition “Bonjour, Patrie!” will run at the Tretyakov Gallery between 25 February and 29 May 2005.

A.Morozov, N.Alexandrova
In the Russian Tradition

The idea of writing these notes came up in anticipation of the “In the Russian tradition.” exhibition, due to open at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC in December 2004. The collection to be shown in Washington and later in Minneapolis, at the Museum of Russian Art (TMORA), features Russian paintings from the period of 1900 through to the 1970s, from both the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the Minneapolis collection.

Russian Poster

The art of the poster, and its history in Russia and the Soviet Union, has been the subject of a 12-year-long research project undertaken by the Lotman Institute of Russian and Soviet Culture at Ruhr University in Germany and the Russian State Library. Their joint effort culminated in a monograph accompanied by a DVD; the German version was brought out in 2002, while its Russian equivalent appeared in Russia in 2004. Finally, an exhibition was held in the Folkvang Museum (Essen, Germany) in 2003, an abridged version of which, now on display in the State Central Museum of Russian Contemporary History in Moscow, is the crowning touch for the project. The Moscow exhibition is it coincides with the publication of the Russian version of the book.



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