Tatiana Yablonskaya, Cucumber harvest (1966) / Courtesy of Art Russe

Tatiana Yablonskaya, Cucumber harvest (1966) / Courtesy of Art Russe

Art Russe Collection of 20th Century Russian and Soviet Art: War and Peace

At Emirates Palace, Dubai

7 October – 10 December

This unique exhibition is being held under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan – Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development. Opening in Abu Dhabi on October 7th at the prestigious Emirates Palace, which has previously displayed artists such as Pablo Picasso. The exhibition will introduce the audience to the artistic heritage of this important period of Russia’s history. The exposition Art Russe Collection of 20th Century Russian and Soviet Art: War and Peace will include over a hundred artworks of different genres, showcasing several distinctive styles of Russian art that have developed over the past century.

Andrey Filatov, the founder of Art Russe, said: “It is a great honour for Art Russe to present this new exhibition in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi is a recognized cultural centre with world-class museums opening branches here, such as the Louvre and the Guggenheim, and I feel privileged to join them in this great city to present some little known but impressive works from the Russian school of art.

Fyodor Reshetnikov, Low Marks Again (1948 – 1949) / Courtesy of Art Russe

Fyodor Reshetnikov, Low Marks Again (1948 – 1949) / Courtesy of Art Russe

Along with developing science and industry, the USSR placed a great emphasis on fostering the arts, leaving behind a rich cultural heritage. During this era, a number of extremely talented painters and sculptors emerged and a selection of their works will form the heart of our exhibition.

I would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Nahayan for his kind patronage and all those who contributed to this landmark event for Russian art in the Middle East. We hope that this project will encourage cross-cultural exchange and cooperation between our peoples and will show Russia’s artistic treasures to the Middle Eastern audience.”

The goal of the exhibition is to introduce visitors to artists who are iconic to millions of Soviet citizens, but until recently were largely unknown outside the Soviet Union. The Soviet school of art has created a whole galaxy of masters, whose talent was recognised by experts around the world, but who were cut off from the global cultural context by the Iron Curtain.

The audience in Abu Dhabi will be able to explore entirely unknown elements of Russian art history. With a wide range of styles, showing outstanding mastery, intense degree of expression, and enormous energy and individuality, Russian and Soviet artists have created a unique, multifaceted phenomenon – the Russian artistic language of the XXth century. The artworks from Art Russe’s new exhibition will illustrate different aspects of life in XXth century Russia: from the legacy of war and revolution to themes such as peace, family and work. Because of the universal significance of the chosen themes, the exhibition is accessible to the widest audience, including those who have not previously seen Russian art.

Nikolai Roerich, And We Are Not Afraid (1922) / Courtesy of Art Russe

Nikolai Roerich, And We Are Not Afraid (1922) / Courtesy of Art Russe

In total, the exhibition will feature over 120 works, tracing the history of Russian and Soviet art throughout the XXth century. The exhibition – the most complete representation of Art Russe’s collection – will be divided into four sections.

The first, The Legacy of War, shows works relating to conflict, its immediate effects and the language of victory. The second section relates to the theme of Nature and Beauty while the third displays large canvases that deal with the theme of Contemplation. The final section addresses the theme of Endeavour and the heroic actions of Soviet men and women in the fields, in the concert hall and in sporting competitions.

Visitors will see sculptures by Vera Mukhina and Yevgeny Vuchetich, the still lifes of Alexander Gerasimov and Alexei Gritsai, the landscapes of Nickolai Andronov and Semeon Chuykov, the genre paintings of Nickolai Baskakov and Arkady Plastov, the portraits of Abram Arkhipov and Alexander Bubnov, and the architectural landscapes of Tahir Salahov and Vladimir Stozharov, as well as masterpieces by Nikolai Fechin, the Tkachev Brothers, Nikolai Roerich, and many others.

Through these works, the audience will have the opportunity to learn about Russian history, culture and beauty through the eyes of master artists of that time.

ABOUT ART RUSSE

ART RUSSE, led by entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrey Filatov, was founded in 2012 with the aim of developing a greater understanding of Soviet and Russian cultural contributions. In particular, it focuses on collecting and increasing international awareness of Russian art dating mainly from 1917 – 1991, an artistic period known as Socialist Realism for which ART RUSSE has become the point of reference. Its aim is to increase appreciation for this genre through supporting exhibitions, lending to international museums and galleries, and publishing books and catalogues on key artists and artefacts.

Please visit Art Russe website for more details.