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The exhibition "Uladzimir Murakhvier On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the birth"

From July 2 to August 30, 2021, the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus hosts the exhibition of Uladzimir Murakhvier, the Honored Art Worker of Belarus and Honorary Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Arts, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth. The exhibition displays about 30 glass works from the funds of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus.

Uladzimir Murakhvier belongs to the galaxy of artists who determined development paths of the national culture for years to come.

In 1959, after graduating from the Leningrad Higher School of Industrial Art named after Vera Mukhina, Uladzimir Murakhvier was sent to the well-known Nioman Glass Factory. Since the 19th century, its production has been famous for glassmaking traditions and experienced glassblowers who are ready to use the most challenging ideas. In Belarus, the peak of art glass as an independent art with its expressive means began with the coming of professional artists. This means that the author’s principle, an individual aesthetic concept and an experiment came to the fore.

Naturally, there is a limit to artistic freedom inside the factory. It is not a place for ‘art for art’s sake’ detached from reality. The artist had to think not only about his original ideas, but also about replication, mass production from patterns developed by him. However, for such masters as Uladzimir Murakhvier, this is a challenge that requires special creative solutions, giving an additional impetus for creative searching. Undoubtedly, Uladzimir Murakhvier managed to find a happy harmonious balance between utilitarian and decorative glass functions – the ability to transform household items into pieces of art.

He became one of the first artistic innovators who made breakthrough in the Belarusian glassmaking. Uladzimir Murakhvier tried to present different state of glass, its dynamic nature and plasticity, to demonstrate the beauty of color and textures, effects of light and mass flow.

The first experiments of Uladzimir Murakhvier were based on the traditional blowing method, when a master blows a glass mass melted to a temperature of more than 1000 degrees using a special tube and gives it a shape in a short time, until it gets cool. The activities of the artist and a glassblower embodying his ideas, contains improvisation, so Uladzimir Murakhvier had a lot of graphic solutions while working. The works made in blowing method have emotional charge, because this is a frozen moment and the materialization of human breath. Uladzimir Murakhvier expressed his admiration for the art of glassblowers in a number of works with stylized images of these masters similar to musicians with fancy wind instruments.

Throughout his life, Uladzimir Murakhvier experimented a lot with various techniques, because the glass artist’s activities are a continuous search not only for new images, but also for innovative methods and original ways of finishing the material. Uladzimir Murakhvier had the desire to create something as an art object.

For instance, the artist makes even the most traditional ware shapes to be anthropomorphic. Uladzimir Murakhvier ‘guesses’ human figures and faces in the outlines of vessels. People, angels and monsters are the artist’s favorite images.

Another important source of inspiration for Uladzimir Murakhvier is nature: animals and birds, ‘vegetable’ textures and, of course, natural colors (shades of green, blue, brown and red). But no matter what images the artist embodies in glass – even if they are figures of people or animals – this is not just a ‘realistic’ image, but always a certain symbol. Philosophical discussions, lyrical mood in glass and grotesque seem to be within the artist’s power.

Undoubtedly, Uladzimir Murakhvier created his unique world of art. And at the same time, he stood at the origins of the formation of the Nioman glass style. He was one of the artists whose works made at the Nioman became famous far beyond the borders of Belarus. They are a source of national pride, for example, Murano glass in Italy or Bohemian crystal glass in the Czech Republic.

 

Uladzimir Murakhvier

1931–2017

1931 – born in Ananiv, Odessa Region (Ukraine).

1952 – graduated from the Tashkent Art School.

1959 – graduated from the Leningrad Higher School of Industrial Art named after Vera Mukhina, specializing in art pottery and art glass processing.

1959–2000 – worked at the Nioman Glass Factory in Biarozaŭka, Lida District and Hrodna Region. From 1966 to 1973 – as a chief artist.

Since 1960 – participant of art exhibitions. He was awarded gold, silver and bronze medals of the Exhibition of Economic Achievements of the USSR, a silver medal of the USSR Academy of Arts, a medal ‘Yablunets–79’ and others.

1990 – Honored Art Worker of the BSSR.

The works by Uladzimir Murakhvier are in the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, the National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus, the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg (Russia), the State Museum of Ceramics in Kuskovo (Russia), the Glass Museum in Ebeltoft (Denmark), as well as in other Belarusian and foreign museums and private collections.

 

Exhibition curators: Yulia Zagorskaya, senior researcher of the Department of Belarusian Art of the 20th–21st centuries, and Mariya Shugaley, researcher of the Scientific Fund Department.