Sunday, August 31, 2014

New exhibitions at Masters of Soviet Art ... and big news from the proprietor, A. Gamborg.

"I just saved Angela Davis from the Moscow rains and winters. A big girl. Made in the 1970s, and she has been outside for at least 10 years. Just needs the hand of a gentle restorer. We shall overcome ... "

Over the years, I've repeatedly doffed my ushanka in the general direction of Allan Gamborg. It's hard to believe 27 years have passed since I first met Allan, Kim Andersen and Kim Wiesener during the rambunctious summer of '87. These three Danes of the apocalypse have been artfully weaving in and out of my travel narratives ever since, as during this famous escapade (in Allan's own words):

For example, I still think of the evening in that Belgium beer place (2000?), where all got complete rat-assed and the party just dissolved in utter chaos.

Ah, those were the daze.

Allan has lived in Moscow for at least 15 years, and somewhere around his third or fourth career in the workaday world, he assumed yet another identity: Purveyor and advocate of Soviet-era art and artists. You can use the handy Blogger search feature with "Gamborg," and view previous postings at NAC. The format's usually the same, and it's always worth a few minutes to peruse the art. You need not be a Commie to enjoy Allan's web site, Masters of Soviet Art.

This time around, there's a significant addendum: Allan's getting married, and quite soon. In fact, it might have been possible for us to attend one of the weddings, but logistics wouldn't bend. So, all the best to Allan and Irina.

There'll be time, down the road, when we'll all coincide once more.


Dear Friends,

We have a series of new exhibitions on the web:

Anti Colonialism Posters
In the 20th century, the USSR represented themselves as the foremost enemy of colonialism and imperialism, and thus politically and materially supported Third World revolutionary organisations who fought for national independence. These countries included Cuba and South American countries, many African countries, as well as South East Asia. We show a series of posters stating that point of view.

He Who Does Not Work Shall Not Eat ! (Кто не работает, тот не ест !)
A famous slogan of the Soviet Union, part of the overall campaign to develop Socialist behaviour in the Soviet Population. The origin is from the bible: “He who does not work, neither shall he eat” is a Biblical aphorism derived from II Thessalonians 3:10. According to Vladimir Ilich Lenin, “He who does not work shall not eat” is a necessary principle under socialism, the preliminary phase of the evolution towards communist society. The phrase appears in his 1917 work, The State and Revolution. Through this slogan Lenin explains that in socialist states only productive individuals could be allowed access to the articles of consumption. We show here a series of works from 1963 by various famous poster artists interpreting that theme, for example by Viktor Govorkov, Veniamin Briskin and Valk.

Konstantin Grigorevich Gneushev was born in Gneushevo, Orel. As a boy he went to a specialised art school. In 1938 he entered the MIPIDI, Moscow Institute of Applied and Decorative Art. In 1941 he volunteered for the army, and served on several fronts: He was seriously injured in 1942, and he received several distinguished medals for his service. After the war and several years of hospitalisation, he entered the Stroganov Institute, where his main teacher was the famous Pavel Kuznetsov. Other teachers were Aleksander Kuprin, Sergei Gerasimov, and Egorov. Konstantin Grigorevich's favourite media since the 1960s is the pastel. His style is light and full of life, showing a direct link to French impressionists. That was also noted mockingly by Alexander Kuprin during a students' exhibition at the Stroganov Institute. Gneushev was always very fond of sports. This can be observed in his numerous pastels and oils of the 1960s, depicting gymnastics, ice hockey, fencing, and swimming.  In the 1970s he was enchanted by the world of ballet and opera. In the mornings and the afternoons he would go to the theaters, most often the Stanislavsky, and paint the ballerinas and the corps de ballet during rehearsals and before the show. The circus is one of his passions. In his vintage years, Konstantin Grigorevich is painting mainly landscapes and still-lives, all in his favourite media - pastel. In his landscapes the sun always shines.

Hans Christian Andersen Fairytales, illustrated by Nika Golts
Ганс Кристиан Андерсен, иллистрации Никы Гольц
A series of original illustrations to Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales by famous Moscow book illustrator Nika Golts. On show are illustrations from The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling, The Princess on the Pea, The Emperor's New Clothes, Little Ida's Flowers, The Money-Box, The Little Match-Seller, The Tinder-Box, Ole-Luk-Oie - The Dream-God, The Brave Tin Soldier, The Red Shoes, Soup from a Sausage Skewer, and The Shepherdess And The Chimney-Sweep.

Difficult Verses (Elena Blaginina) - illustrations by Marina Uspenskaya, 1960
Трудные стихи (Елена Благинина) - Марина Успенская, 1960
Original Illustrations by Marina Uspenskaya to the children's book from 1960 "Трудные стихи" (Difficult Verses) by Elena Blaginina. Publishing house: Detgiz. Printed in 70.000 copies. Price was 1.60 Roubles.

Enjoy the shows !

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