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Prof. Dr. S.V. Zagraevsky



What to consider as masterpieces?

(Again about Art of XX century)



Published in Russian: .. ? ( ). , 25 (7233), 6-12 2000 . 



The following text was translated from the Russian original by the computer program

and has not yet been edited.

So it can be used only for general introduction.




It's hard to be a bystander, when around the exhibition "Art of XX century" in the Tretyakov gallery ignite so serious passions. And analysis of the artistic direction of these passions is no less curious than the analysis of the most exposure. Perhaps the most passionate is article Mary chegodaevoy in the 22nd issue of the newspaper "Culture", beginning with the words: "I like art resign. It turns out that art, the art world that I knew where she was, - WAS NOT.

What did she do not like?

First there was the work of many of those that she would like to see. But is it possible in this case, something to blame the Tretyakov gallery? If, for example, in the reserves is not a huge series of "the last supper" by Natalia Nesterova, then buy it, given the unpredictability of prices for works of this artist, not artistic, and commercial feat. The same applies to Igor Obrosova, and Dmitry Zhilinsky, and to any other artist, in the absence of specific activities that Mary complained chegodaeva.

Moreover, the choice of specific works for the exhibition is always a compromise. On this question it is impossible to require unanimity, even from the staff Tretyakov, and that their choice is completely coincided with the taste of Mary chegodaevoy is not a utopia. Thank God that at least the artists are practically no differences. Actually, and Nesterov, and Nazarenko, and overgrown, and Zhilinsky, and Berlin presents so that any of them to be offended just a sin.

In the light of the above phrase Mary chegodaevoy: "Where did in so many underground 60 - 80-ies - the unknown" - seems a question that the author simply does not want to answer. Maria Andreevna do not know what the exposition work: how many artists (or their successors) must find, telephone calls, meet, negotiate,... Honour, and praise the staff Tretyakov that they could "get" so much underground.

The following claim: "the Principle of the new exhibition is a political confrontation, but not one that I knew - other". More extensively cited exposure draft, which, as explained in the Tretyakov gallery, was one of the many concepts, no relation to the total exposure was not, moreover, was issued in the form of memoranda for internal use.

We will not spend time on the investigation, that the project has fallen into the hands of Maria Andreevna. The projects are projects, but the reality?

Neither "fact" or "other" political confrontation in the Tretyakov gallery, fortunately, no. Confrontations between realism, abstract art, conceptualism, and numerous other "isms" - Yes, you want, but in our time, in politics it has virtually no relationship.

Maria Andreevna! Don't you understand that gone are the days when one wing of the society took advantage of socialist realism, the other - "underground", and these areas were tools sharp political struggle which ended with the Soviets?

Yes, in our time is not a measure of the activity "patriots" are trying to "raise the shield" Glazunov. Influential new Russians die from delight, looking at portraits Shilov. Slightly less powerful and more young happy Nikas Safronov.

But to compare these very civilized manifestation of the struggle for money and the electorate with the arbitrariness of the Soviet ideological officials 60 - 80th years-means unnecessarily dramatize the situation.

Indeed, what would happen if you make the exposition at the Tretyakov gallery on this principle? Then, on one wall hung would work Weisberg, but on the contrary - the image of Khrushchev among pigs and Brezhnev on Malaya Zemlya. Several rooms on adjoined would, for example, a huge mural Glazunov and fine art slepysheva. Further - the black-eyed girl Shilov and transparent silhouettes Starzhenetskaya.

Needless to say that the implementation of this principle would be completely ruined the art for the sake of the very policy that does not like Maria chegodaeva.

In exhibition work can and should focus primarily on what is good or bad this work from the point of view of its artistic qualities, and how the work of different artists will look at a single exhibition.

And once in STG all falls into place. Justified and the choice of artists, and a way of placing their works.

Therefore, when Mary chegodaeva writes: "And since, as already clarified, the red banner of socialist realism in our history was not, the role of "official" in the exhibition forcibly imposed on that "other"that there cluster in the right part of the exposition: the Zhilinsky, Popkov Morozov", - it can be answered as follows: if you miss a "red banner of socialism" - go through the whole exhibition "Art of XX century", not just "viewdraw" the second half. You can not escape the room with a huge picture of Stalin by Alexander Gerasimov.

I think that it is wrong to equate "officialdom" and realism.

Simply, if a realistic picture of Nikolai Andronov hang next to abstraktsionistskih paintings by Yuri Zlotnikov, nor those of any other in the exhibition will not. But if you allocate a special room for true creators of the realistic - Zhylinski, Popkov, Andronov, Zverkova (which is done in the Tretyakov gallery), in this room they will look harmonious.

And what else is necessary for the viewer's perception? If in the building of the Tretyakov gallery in Krymsky Val will establish such excursions service, as in Lavrushinsky, then the audience learns about all the vicissitudes of political struggle in the art of those years. Until then, let's just look at the masterpieces.

By the way, the masterpieces. Maria chegodaeva writes: "Review of masterpieces is a justifiable approach, which was a good result in the Museum of modern art at Petrovka.

In fact, the exposure to Petrovka in comparison with TG is not. Can be drawn into an argument on the topic, where more masterpieces, but first we must agree that the masterpieces of thought. Unlikely to do it, so we only state the fact: the scale of the Museum on Petrovka so far, up to the Tretyakov gallery does not hold. But in any case, competition will only benefit and the Tretyakov gallery, and the Museum on Petrovka, and any other gallery of modern art.

And ultimately, all this together with article Mary chegodaevoy working on creating that "stress vector" in modern art, which sooner or later will be able to interest the public and to bring it in now vacant exhibition halls.


Moscow, 2000.

  Sergey Zagraevsky


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