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The exhibition of works by Belarusian artists celebrating their anniversaries in 2020 "Stream of time"

The anniversary is an occasion to recall famous and not very famous artists, to see their aesthetically valuable and historically informative works, which have not been watched for ages by anyone except the museum staff, and will be taken back to the store-rooms after the exhibition.

This is the 14th group exhibition dedicated to the art of the artists celebrating their anniversaries in 2020. Such traditional exhibitions have been held in the museum since 2008. In some years there were several separate exhibitions of this kind in our museum. Now more than 90 paintings, sculptures, decorative and applied pieces by more than 60 artists within the range of anniversaries from 150 to 70 years are exhibited. But the most impressive date, 240 years old, belongs to Jan Damel, who spent the last years of his life in Minsk. His unique works are not displayed at this exhibition for a number of reasons. However, they are in the museum permanent exhibition and the Wańkowicz House branch. This year the international exhibition dedicated to Damel is also planned in our museum. Andronik Lazarchuk (150 years), the Ukrainian artist, participated in the Minsk art exhibition in 1908. The only author’s work displayed here was miraculously spared, returned from Germany after the war and finally restored. Once Gawryil Vijer’s (130 years) autobiographical ‘Young Artist’ was exhibited and duplicated a lot. Obviously, its social aspect was especially appreciated in the 1920s and 1950s: talent, creative urgency, the boy’s perseverance who came from the lower classes of society, who was a man of the people.

The artists whose works are displayed at the exhibition had or have a different level of talent, but each of them depicted the world, time, themselves, presented their ideas of the universe, their preferences in art and life. The exhibition includes the pre-Soviet and the pre-war art, mainly works of the 1950s–1980s, the ‘classical’ and chresthomatic period of the Soviet and the late Soviet art, as well as a number of works of the 1990s–2000s. Thus, the exhibition presents the paradigm evolution (system of ideological and plastic qualities) of the Belarusian art in the second half of the 20th – the early 21st centuries.

Not all artists born in Belarus worked here. For example, most of the life of Miejer Ajzenshtadt and Raman Semashkevich took place in Moscow. Uladzimir Gulietski was born in Viliejka, but he lived in Siberia and in Rostov-on-Don. Several paintings and graphic works by Gulietski were transferred to the museum from the first post-war exhibition of the Belarusian art, which opened in Moscow in 1944 and in Minsk in 1945. During the war, the artist served in the Central Headquarters of the partisan movement. Galina Rusak and Tamara Staganovich lived and worked in the USA. They embodied their world view in art forms which combine the American and Belarusian art in different ways.

Certainly, these artists’ art has aesthetic, informative and historic interest, but it is important to note special painting skills of Ivan Karasiow, Anton Karzhanewski, Aliaksandr Mazaliow, Ivan Raj, Ivan Ushakow, Jaugen Kharytonenka.

Some authors’ key works are also in the section of the Belarusian art of the permanent exhibition in the new museum building – M. Ajzenshtadt, L. Gumiliewski, M. Danzig, L. Dudarienka, I. Karasiow, K. Kachan, S. Kawrowski, A. Mazaliow, I Raj, T. Sakalova, R. Semashkevich, G. Skrypnichenka, L. Khobataw, and younger masters such as A. Zadoryn, N. Zalozny, S. Tsimokhaw.

Obviously, we can display only a few works by each artist among so many masters and in a limited exhibition area. We hope these pictures give an informative, ‘epigraphic’ idea of the artist.