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Porcelain Inspiration

The exhibition ‘Porcelain Inspiration’ is dedicated to the creative activities of artist Lieanid Bahdanau (September 12, 1937–March 23, 2018), one of those who created a new kind of Belarusian decorative and applied art – decorative porcelain – in the second half of the 20th century.

Lieanid Bahdanau came to Minsk after studying at the Lviv School of Applied Arts and the Lviv Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts. He began working at the Minsk Porcelain Factory in 1962. The artist worked there for the next 46 years. In the 1960s, the factory had a team of professional artists, experimental and art laboratory where great challenges of porcelain production were solved. There were not own deep traditions for this art in Belarus. The secrets of porcelain art at the Minsk factory are gradually being mastered in working on mass-produced tea things and tableware.

The early works of Lieanid Bahdanau are associated with the creation of painting patterns. In the early 1960s, the laboratory artists made original paintings for tea sets modelled on the All-Union Chamber of Commerce (Moscow). The overglaze painting of the service ‘Bilberry’ by LieanidBahdanau is emphatically laconic. Its vertical black twigs on red ribbons, golden stripes and white porcelain are well associated with the form of simple and round objects.

Minsk porcelain masters develop their new forms of ware and create their style of items based on the modern understanding of the beauty of household items.

LieanidBahdanau was good at making interesting works in an extremely intensive factory rhythm of mass production. He liked working with the form. The form is a source for a porcelain item. The artist tried to find his expressive plastic language to design the ware. He preferred complex relief forms. Nature was a source for his ideas of forms, colors and textures. Lieanid Bahdanau attentively observed the nature. The potable set ‘Glade’ was made on spring impressions from nature. The décor of cups and a jug looks like blooming flowers with fanciful spring-shaped handles. The richly ornamental form and colour choice of the teapots ‘Folk’ are inspired by the Kharoshki Choreographic Ensembleperformances. The wonderful items are made by the method of bright laying with spots of fantastic golden flowers. The double tea pots ‘Bison’ have a harmonious silhouette as emphasized by a graphic pattern. LieanidBahdanau strives to harmoniously combine rich forms and original decor in his works. The master’s tea things are perceived as true works of art.

The animalistic genre played a special role in the work of LieanidBahdanau. The figures of animals are modelled finely and clearly. They are full of fabulous fantasy, a sense of the artist’s generous and kind talent.

The exhibition ‘Porcelain Inspiration’ is Lieanid Bahdanau’s longstanding dream of his solo show in the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus. It presents the works from the collection of the artist’s family as well as the works from the collection of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus. Many of them are displayed for the first time.