Yekaterina Selezneva
In Search of Perfection

Flowers accompany us throughout our lives. They have long been a focus of scholarly interest: botanists describe and collect them to form herbariums, while medical researchers study the useful and salutary properties of these exceptionally diverse plants. Nearly all nations of the world have traditions, dating back over history, to greet guests and see them off on special occasions with flowers, and to use flowers for decoration. But apart from their aesthetic properties and practical use, flowers also became symbols and tokens of sentiments; their meaning often varies from one nation or period to another.


Nadezhda Tregub
Vasily Vatagin – Master of the Animal World

The 125th anniversary of Vasily Alexeevich Vataginʼs birth was marked in 2008, and proved a good reason to present the masterʼs work more extensively. The spectrum of his work is broad - illustrations for academic as well as art books, painting, graphic art, lithography, and sculpture. Vatagin (1884-1969) was the author of books about animals for children and adults, a museum space designer, and a teacher. He created a whole gallery of portraits of renowned men of arts and science. It is hard to believe that one person achieved all of this. He made wall-paintings on themes of zoology, paleontology and zoogeography. The State Darwin Museum collaborated with Vatagin since 1908. The museumʼs galleries include more than 50 of Vataginʼs paintings and sculptures, and one may say that Vataginʼs works are exhibited in the Museum every day. But the Darwin Museumʼs collections hold many more works that have not yet been shown to a mainstream audience. The Darwin Museum, together with the Tretyakov Gallery, has prepared two major exhibitions of more than 150 paintings, sculptures, and works of graphic art. Many visitors, who know Vatagin as a sculptor, will see his large-scale paintings.


Vera Golovina
Oscar Rabin. The Return

In Autumn 2008 the Tretyakov Gallery held an anniversary solo exhibition of Oscar Rabin, as one of a series of shows titled “The return of the master”, highlighting the work of artists who were born, educated and came to fame in the USSR but later left the country for different reasons.


Anna Dyakonitsyna
Valentin Sidorov: “Shine on, shine brightly, so the light will stay alive…”

The anniversary exhibition of Valentin Mikhailovich Sidorov — Peopleʼs Artist of the USSR, full member of the Russian Academy of Arts, and Chairman of the Artistsʼ Union of Russia — ran in the Engineering Wing of the Tretyakov Gallery from November 13 through December 14. The retrospective continues the series of personal exhibitions of the masters of the generation of the 1960s, the “shestidesyatniki”. Today the rediscovery of the art of this period is an actual phenomenon. The exhibitions of Nikolai Andronov, Pavel Nikonov, Gely Korzhev, and Dmitry Zhilinsky were outstanding events of the cultural life of recent years. A contemporary viewer may see the phenomenon of the “shestidesyatniki” in a new light when comparing the work of different creative individuals who are often polar opposites. Thus, in the Tretyakov Gallery, along with the exhibition of Valentin Sidorov, there is the exhibition of Oscar Rabin, who also celebrated his 80th birthday this year. World War II left an indelible mark on the lives of these artists - their formative creative period was the post-war years, full of hardships. While their manner and individual style are so different, their formal searching is so varied, and the themes and plots are so unlike each other, that the art of their generation is charged with a special ethical and philosophical content that makes them stand out from the artists of the generations that followed.


Olga Yushkova
Mikhail Schwartzman: On the Way to a New Canon

Few artists in the history of art have been able to create their own universe. The art of Mikhail Schwartzman is a distinctive and outstanding phenomenon; its place in the history of 20th century art is still to be determined. The name of Schwartzman was well known in artistic circles. He graduated from the Moscow State University of Applied Arts (formerly the Stroganov Institute) in 1956, and he began his creative activity in the time of the Khrushchev “Thaw”. A society of artists and writers, who took up a position of unofficial art, appeared at that time in Moscow. As a rule, Schwartzmanʼs name is mentioned among such artists because of his deep influence on the artists, poets and philosophers of the underground.


Irina Nikiforova
Alberto Giacometti Sculptures, Paintings, Drawings

The exhibition “Alberto Giacometti. Sculpture, Paintings, Drawings” is the latest in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Artsʼ series of largescale international projects, which in themselves reflect much more than ideas brought about by the long examination of its own collections. The museum researchersʼ inquiring minds and painstaking efforts have always been aimed at projects illustrating different stages of arts history that fill in the gaps of the museumʼs existing displays. Such projects introducing Modernist artists and classics of 20th-century avant-garde art have included exhibitions devoted to Pablo Picasso (the first in Russia), Amedeo Modigliani, Raoul Dufy, Joan Miró, Salvador Dali, René Magritte, Piet Mondrian, and Andy Warhol. 40 years ago such shows were a veritable cultural shock, a bold display of a different art language against the background of the “aestheticized mythology” of the totalitarian state.


Ksenya Karpova
The Russian Academy of Arts Presents…

Like previous years, 2008 saw a number of fascinating visual art exhibitions – both solo and group shows – at the Russian Academy of Arts on Prechistenka Street in Moscow. This magazine has already covered some that took place during the first half of the year, and in this issue – the final issue for the year 2008 – we review exhibitions that took place between September and December.


Svetlana Usacheva
The Italian Journey of Fyodor Matveyev

In September 2008 the Tretyakov Gallery opened the first solo show of the Russian landscape artist Fyodor Mikhailovich Matveyev (1758-1826), commemorating the 250th anniversary of his birth. Matveyev spent most of his life in Italy, where he gained European acclaim. The great artist's legacy had the same fate as academic art in general – appreciated by his contemporaries, it was later relegated to oblivion and for a long time considered outmoded and lacking in originality. The present exhibition re-introduces Matveyev to modern audiences. The project brought together many Russian and international museums, including the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, the National Art Museum of Belarus, and private collections. The work led to many interesting discoveries: the discovery of previously unknown facts about the artistʼs life, a more accurate attribution of the content of his landscapes, and a better knowledge of the specifics and dates of their creation. The catalogue published as a part of the exhibition project is the first dedicated to Matveyevʼs works. The panoramic views of Italy and diverse graphic pieces, including journey sketches on display in the Galleryʼs Engineering Building, take the viewer on a “painterly journey” in the spirit of the 18th century together with an artist more than fond of the beauty of nature.


Lyudmila Markina
Borovikovsky from Paris

Last year marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lukich Borovikovsky (1757-1825). The artist was the last of the acclaimed painters of the 18th century. His portraits of personalities of the age of the Enlightenment, and first of all the sentimental young ladies whose beauty was “preserved by Borovikovsky” (in the words of the poet Yakov Polonsky) won him a deserved acclaim.


Irina Shumanova
The Magic of Watercolour

The exhibition of watercolours from the 18th to early 20th centuries from the Tretyakov Galleryʼs Department of graphic art.


Natalya Apchinskaya
The Sculptor Lazar Gadaev: The Saga of Man

Lazar Gadayev, who is one of the most interesting and original modern sculptors of European level with a highly individual sculptural style, belongs to the generation of artists who made a name for themselves in the 1970s. His art and consummate professionalism are an integral component of the Moscow school of sculpture. Yet, the artistʼs originality is rooted in the nature and culture, ancient legends and poetry of his native Ossetia. The world of Lazar Gadayevʼs images is simple and austere: man, earth and heaven, love, passion, loneliness and compassion, despair and prayer. The maestro never fails to express very delicately all the depths of the emotional turmoil and sufferings of his characters who often conduct a voiceless dialogue between themselves. The sculptorʼs style – lean, terse, free of glitz but full of inner dynamism – accumulates the integrity of his uncompromising character. Lazar Gadayevʼs retrospective solo show, hosted last September at the Tretyakov Gallery, which is a keeper of a big collection of the maestroʼs oeuvres, covered all the stages of his creative career. It became the prominent sculptorʼs last exhibition held during his life-time.


Natalia Alexandrova, Yevgenia Polatovskaya
About Vladimir Lubarov and His True-life Stories

Vladimir Lubarovʼs solo exhibition “The Nation of Peremilovo: Scenes from a Provincial Life” opened at the Tolmachy Exhibition Hall of the Tretyakov Gallery on September 5, and ran through until September 28. It featured over 70 paintings and graphic pieces from the 1990s-2000s from the series such as “Peremilovo Village”, “The Township of Shchipok”, “Flood”, “Welcome and Cheers”, and “Luck of the Jewish”. Vladimir Lubarov is a famous artist and illustrator of more than 100 books of authors such as, Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann, Nikolai Gogol, and the Strugatsky brothers. Having moved in the 1990s to a rural area, the artist started to work on an original series of paintings focused on the life of the Russian provinces.


Yekaterina Volkova
Big Orchestra

In the autumn of 2008 “Alexander Tokarev. Man Orchestra” will open to visitors – first in the Exhibition Hall of the Tolmachy corpus of the Tretyakov Gallery, then in the Russian Museumʼs Marble Palace. The title of the show reflects one of Alexander Tokarevʼs brightest series and the main theme of his art. “Man Orchestra” is the artist himself, his perpetual symbolical self-portrait, as well as a visual counterpart of the most diverse musical themes and – in a broad sense – reflections about the image of the author in modern visual art, the image of the artist in his contemporary world and society.


Natalya Sheredega
The Tretyakov Gallery Unveils Treasures of Orthodox Icons from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus

On May 30th 2008 the Engineering Building of the Tretyakov Gallery opened an exhibition celebrating the 1020th anniversary of the baptism of Rusʼ. This landmark event started the process of the Christianization of the Slavic peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The list of exhibits includes 89 icons painted in the period between the 14th and 19th centuries from the major museums of Moscow, Kiev and Minsk. The Tretyakov Gallery presents a collection of the oldest icons demonstrating the variety of the art of Ancient Russia's cultural centres in the period between the 14th and 16th centuries. The collection of the National Kievo-Pechersky Historical and Cultural Reserve reveals the evolution of local icon-painting art in the 16th–19th centuries, tracing it from the post-Byzantine period to Barocco. The National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus introduces a collection of 17th–19th century icons, including works reminiscent of the Byzantine tradition, alongside those created in a manner characteristic of Barocco and Classicism.


Christie's Show of the Pre-Raphaelites at the Tretyakov Gallery

Christie's was honoured and felt privileged to be able to hold a second exhibition at the Tretyakov Gallery – a Treasury of Russian Art and one of the leading museums of the world. Just over a year ago, Christie's exhibited Vasily Vereshchagin's “Solomon's Wall” for the first time in Russia at the Tretyakov Gallery. The present exhibition of masterpieces of Victorian and Russian Art had been specially and carefully curated for this event and will not be seen anywhere else in the world. Christie's was the first international auction house to bring PreRaphaelite art to Russia and this has been the result of the good and longstanding relationship with the Tretyakov Gallery and we are grateful for all their support in the past, and, hopefully, in the future.


Alexander Rozhin
Giacomo de Pass. “Mes Passions”

Giacomo de Pass's first exhibition took place when he was 18, and he won acclaim at once. Since 1960 his works have been displayed together with those of Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, Joan Miro, and Pablo Picasso. De Pass has had more than 100 solo shows at the most prestigious galleries and museums all over the world. The “Mes Passions” exhibition at the Tretyakov Gallery (in the Tolmachy exhibition hall) features the artist's paintings, drawings and sculptures created over the last 30 years. The Tretyakov Gallery show commemorates the artist's 70th anniversary.


Anna Ilyina
Masters and Traditions

In the first half of 2008, the Russian Academy of Arts' museum exhibitions and scientific and educational activities have shown impressive creative results in the diverse areas of its multi-faceted work. Dozens of modern art shows, by both Russian and foreign artists, have been displayed at the Academy's halls, in the Zurab Tsereteli Gallery and Museum of Modern Art, and at other exhibition centres in Moscow and other cities in the country. Russia's multi-objective programme encompassing the spiritual upbringing of the younger generation and the broadening of the aesthetic world of Russian citizens is actively taking shape.


Yana Shklyarskaya
Valentin Okorokov. Object vs. Beyond the Object: The 1920s–1970s

The tragic rupture in the history of 20th-century Russian art and a gap of several decades between the first and second avant-garde movements was particularly detrimental to artistic continuity. For artists of subsequent generations the few surviving luminaries of leftist art became living proof that the Russian avant-garde still existed, although many works had been destroyed or hidden in provincial archives.


Alexander Rozhin
Dialogue with the Self

“Cerca Trova”, the phrase of a prominent Italian Renaissance architect used as an epigraph for this article in many respects reflects the life in art of the contemporary Azerbaijani painter and graphic artist Farkhad Khalilov whose solo show was hosted by the Tretyakov Gallery from April 16 through May 18 2008.


Olga Sukhareva
Olympics and Sculpture

The 29th Olympics are due to begin on August 8 2008 on the central square of the Chinese capital. The Beijing Olympics motto is “One world, one dream.” A mobile exhibition “Olympics and Sculpture” took off in August 2005. The travel of the 2008 Olympics statues is a highprofile cultural event organized by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 29th Olympics and other organizations. First stage of the project involved soliciting submissions from sculptures from all over the world. Sculptors from 90 nations from five continents responded to the call, and 270 best works originating from 25 nations were selected from among 2,433 submissions.

Yekaterina Selezneva
“Diex lo volt”– God wishes it so

The exhibition of the graphic art of Toulouse-Lautrec opened on February 18 in the Tretyakov Gallery’s Engineering Building. The Tretyakov Gallery thanks the Library of the National Institute of Art History in France for generously lending to the Russian exhibition works from their collection. Most sincere gratitude is extended to Léonard Gianadda, who supported the event financially and made it possible to exhibit Lautrec’s caricature self-portrait from a private Swiss collection. Special thanks are also to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, and to its director Irina Antonova, who contributed to the exhibition the work “Woman at the Window”. The project would likely not have reached reality without the substantial financial support of Bank VTB. The gallery thanks the bank for guaranteeing the financing of the project

Ida Gofman
“Golden Fleece”. 1906–1909 At the roots of the Russian Avant-garde

The exhibition organized by the Tretyakov Gallery in March 2008 introduces for the first time to the public the work of the “Golden Fleece” movement, an outstanding phenomenon in the history of Russian artistic culture of the early 20th century. The organizers’ goal has been to reflect as fully as possible the magazine’s activities and to illuminate its historical importance. The materials on display are grouped into three sections: “Exhibitions”, “The Magazine” and “Nikolai Ryabushinsky”. The exhibition features the works of Russian and French artists that will evoke and reference their joint exhibitions in Moscow in 1908 and 1909. Its key objective is to highlight the main tendencies of the magazine-sponsored encounters of Russian and French art which contributed to the development and formation of the concept of 20th-century Russian avant-garde art

Yana Shklyarskaya
Viktor Ufimtsev. “We Called Ourselves Innovators”

A retrospective exhibition of the work of Viktor Ufimtsev (1899–1964), the “luxuriantly colourful painter” who is regarded as “the most extremely ‘left’ artist of Asiatic Russia” opened in the Tolmachi Hall of the Tretyakov Gallery in early September.

Olga Sharina
Nikolai Mamontov. “The Pilgrim’s Dreams”

Omsk, 1920s: Without a shade of hesitation, three young men—Viktor Ufimtsev, Boris Shabl-Tabulevich, and Nikolai Mamontov, established the first avant-garde art association in Siberia called “The Three of Hearts”, in allusion to “The Knave of Diamonds”

Tatiana Sokolova
Alexander Kharitonov “A miracle is always inconspicuous”

Historically, Alexander Kharitonov is one of the brightest founders of the Russian avant-garde of the 1960s. But he occupies a special place in the constellation of non-conformist artists working outside the official mainstream: untouched by anything social, his art is profoundly religious.

Nadezhda Yurasovskaya
“Painting. The Leningrad Version”

Artists from the city on the shores of the Neva River do not often exhibit at the Tretyakov Gallery. There are different reasons for that, but the museum’s project of 2007, dedicated to the Russian “1970s” artists, could not dispense with the works of such Leningrad painters as Zaven Arshakuni and German Yegoshin. It should be mentioned that the exhibition took place due to the financial and practical support of the collectors Dmitry Pinsky and Nikolai Botka, sincere lovers of art.


In January 2008, the Royal Academy of Arts staged a landmark exhibition presenting modern masterpieces drawn from Russia’s principal collections: the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the State Tretyakov Museum in Moscow, and the State Hermitage Museum and the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg




Download The Tretyakov Gallery Magazine in App StoreDownload The Tretyakov Gallery Magazine in Google play