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The exhibition of paintings ‘The Space Pilgrim’ by Aleksander Kishchenko (1933–1997)

On September 6, 2019 at 5.00 p.m., the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus will host the grand opening of the exhibition of paintings ‘The Space Pilgrim’ by the national artist of Belarus Aleksander Kishchenko (1933–1997).

Aleksander Kishchenko is a European-level intellectual artist. His works are widely known not only in our country, but also far beyond its borders. He made a real breakthrough in the sphere of the contemporary fine culture. He realized unschooled talent and truly space thinking in Belarus, in his second homeland, where he lived most of his life. The artist not only played lead role in the formation of the school of monumental art in Belarus, but was also one of the founders of the school of Belarusian contemporary tapestry. His famous ‘Tapestry of the Century’, which looks like monumental philosophical epos was noted in the Guinness Book of Records in 1999.

Aleksander Kishchenko was also an easel painter, who mastered the methods of drawing, composition, coloristics. The ‘Space Pilgrim’ exhibition presents exactly this artist’s skill.

The exposition presents the genre and thematic easel artworks by Aleksander Kishchenko for the last twenty years of the master’s life from the collection of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus and his family, as well as private collections. These are multifigured compositions, portraits, still life paintings in which social issues are touched upon, themes of coexistence of the ideal Man and the Universe are revealed, biblical and mythological motifs are rethought, etc.

The exhibition managers have included both famous canvases by the master, and pieces have never before shown to viewers. For example, ‘War of the Worlds’, the last work by the master, among them.

In the late 1970s, his plastic system of the ‘space’ construction, which he called ‘universal realism’, was finally formed. From now, his style was based on the interaction of two principles: the symbolism inherent in the methods of monumental and decorative art, and the realistic persuasiveness of the easel painting.

Aleksander Kishchenko looks like as a real demiurge, director of his own universal performance on the planetary stage, where people, characters, objects and means of expression ‘play’ their roles on equal terms. The master managed to achieve a perfect art form in which his main idea was ideally embodied: everyday life can become a real launching pad for creative cosmism. The artist acutely experienced the urgent problems of the era and embodied a lot of ideas in his poetical and philosophical plastic art.

Aleksander Kishchenko belongs to the geniuses who are ahead of their time for many decades to come. This is the name that Belarusians can and should be proud of. It is impossible to explain his paintings to the end – they can be loved, felt, understood, accepted or not, but definitely not remain indifferent. His art captures and excites consciousness. It makes to reflect and provides us with wealth of strong emotions...

The exhibition runs until October 20, 2019.

Curator: Nataliya Selitskaya, leading researcher, Department of Contemporary Belarusian Art