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PYOTR KONCHALOVSKY
To the evolution of the Russian Avantgarde

28 March - 28 June 2010
Benois Wing

The exhibition of the famous Russian painter Piotr Konchalovsky (1876-1956) includes nearly 120 works from the collections of museums-organizers and private collections. There are presented for the first time the pictures from the collection of artist's family and the rare archives, papers and private things of this master.
The 1910's are stressed in the exposition - the years, when Konchalovsky was a participant of the famous group "Jack of Diamonds" (1910-1917). The main task of which was the renewing of the easel painting on the basis of the singular synthesize of the plastic discoveries of the French postimpressionism and traditions of the Russian folk art. The artist's close attention to the art of such a masters as Sezann, Gogen. Van Gog and Picasso had found the reflection in the series of the still lives, landscapes and portraits. These works are distinguished by the measure of convention, but they always keep the sensation of high picturesque culture, inherent also to the later Konchalovsky's works. Together with the powerful, expressive style of the postimpressionist's and cubist's canvases just one more source of his distinctive picturesque manner is the art of Proto-Renaissance, with which painter had got acquainted during the trip to Italy at the beginning of the 1910's.
In the decade after the October Revolution the general way of Konchalovsky's artistic searches was connected with the consistent mastering of the heritage of the Old Masters and traditions of the Russian realistic painting of the XIX century. That had found the reflection in the so-called "Novgorod cycle" and also in the pre-war portraits and still lives. The noticeable place here belongs to the self-portraits and also the portraits of the artist's relatives and friends, where in the evocative characteristics was stressed the optimistic sonority as well as tragic intonations (as the example one can mention the well-known portrait of Vsevolod Meyerhold, had been created not long before the destruction of the famous theatre director) The after-war Konchalovsky's works testifies that until the end of his life he kept the independence of his artistic position, which in general coincided with the basic tendency of the development of the Soviet art of the 1920-1950's, but at the same time retained the successive contact with the plastic achievements of the Russian Avant-garde of the beginning of the XX century.
The exhibition was prepared in common with the Petr Konchalovsky Foundation and the State Tretyakov Gallery with the support of Government of the Russian Federation and Ministry of Culture of the Russia.
With the financial support of the Gazprom and VTB Bank.