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Prof. Dr. S.V. Zagraevsky



Is there no opposition? There is an opposition!



Published in Russian: .. ? ! , . 4. ., 2001.



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.






The first illustration: 7 December 2000. opened the annual art fair "Art Manege", the fifth.

There was a time when Art Manege, led a group of well-known Russian critics, headed by William meylandom and Xenia Bohemia, was the main event of the year. In 1999 the construction of the exhibition was given to "farm out" conceptual Alexander Yakut, the result of which was Frank failure - half-space, not from excessive conceptualization and a lack of wish to exhibit.

In 2000, the organizing Committee of the Art Manege headed personally by the Director of the Central exhibition hall "Manege" Stanislav Karakas and apparently found some middle. But the "Golden"?

'll see. The center of "fair" has taken quite a conceptual project of Vladimir Ovcharenko, "Art at first hands". But as you know, you cannot embrace the boundless. When in one exposition side by side side by side classical "Sots art", installation in the form of covered autumn foliage machine "Victory" and a naked man, wrapped in cellophane and breathing through a straw, this leads to the idea that here, too, tried to find the "Golden mean" in order to satisfy any tastes. But in the end, the concept became eclectic.

However, at least try, and that's good. But around this, let eclectic, the concept was not Art-Manege, and the usual artistic beauty. And if in the latter case the name - salon - somehow justifies the salon and kitsch, the abundance of similar exhibitions in the Art-Arena - a phenomenon unprecedented and very worrying.

The salon tried to smooth over, giving the expositions of the appearance of uniformity, but eventually exhibition space "blinded". Plates with the names of artists and titles of paintings have been seen through a magnifying glass, and the names of galleries - a telescope. The most annoying that the uniform plate was broken heterogeneous ads and biographies of artists, so that a single exhibition style still did not work.

Fair to say that the gallery pan-Dan", "zero", Alla Bolonskoy, Karina shanshieva, "Harmony of contrasts" remained true to themselves, and certainly their "corporate identity", they broke and unique "climate" is not lost.

But we are talking about the Art-Arena in General, and he as a whole is clearly not taken place. In one perfume exposition principle, other furniture, and art third, and no one administrator multidisciplinary exhibition hall may not be a specialist in all areas simultaneously. Each case requires a focused professionals, in this case, art, and their organizing Committee of the Art-Manege 2000 there was an acute shortage.

So far, the status of the Art Arena as the main event of the year was hopelessly lost. What the audience is invited to return?




The second illustration: "Thy Name". This exhibition is called an unimaginable scale and scope, which took place in the Central house of artists on the eve of the new 2001. I mean the name of Jesus Christ, even though the "Orthodox" art occupies a relatively small part of the exhibition. In General, presented a "regional realism" - the widest coverage of Russian regions (1000 artists, 3000 works), which is not surprising - the exhibition organized by the Union of artists of Russia.

The exhibition "Grand" rooms on the second floor, which was presented the "elite" of the Union - painters and sculptors, pleased integrity. Perhaps the only "flaw" -lights are suspended / removed very good picturesque works of Zurab Tsereteli behind his sculptural portrait of Joseph Brodsky, absolutely opportunistic and far-fetched. In the end, and the painting was not visible, and sculpture in any way to the concept of the exhibition did not fit, though he occupied the place of honor at the entrance to the hall.

On the third floor in two-three rows in the good old principle of "common grave" crowded graphics, poster and... muralist. When three rows of hanging drawings and posters, it is still possible to survive. But when the same manner hang monumental work (including Nikolai Andronov, Natalia egorshina, Andrei Vasnetsov and many others), turns a sad spectacle. This seems to be on the conscience of the leaders of the relevant section of the artists Union, does not feel "exhibit measure".

But especially it is necessary to talk about the press conference. Who opened her head CX Russia Valentin Sidorov in quite soft and sleek form said about the necessity of preserving the traditions of Russian realism and chided for avant-garde art, especially in the tattooed pig, exhibited at the December Art-Manege.

But, as usual, "signal from above" was immediately accepted for execution. What the post Sidorov said academician Viktor Ivanov, smells the worst years of the Soviet power. It was really scary when, in the press center of the speech was that the new exhibition in the Tretyakov gallery (XX century) is filled with "lzheiskusstvom"that corrupts the youth vanguard, erects the cult of sex and violence... Yes, it was with these words.

Is another "home"?

Unfortunately, this was proved by the exhibition itself. "Vistavkovij" officials (mostly members of the Secretariat SH) subtly sensed the mood of the guide and do not miss the exhibition of any (!) work, directly or indirectly, reminiscent of something abstract, and the more conceptual. In the end, the exhibition filled endless pine Shishkin and weak urban landscapes. Sculpture is represented better, but it carefully "watered down".

Dear Victor Ivanovich Ivanov! And did You consider the consequences of Your fiery speech? Of course, Your own business - to consider "lzheiskusstvom" Krasnopevtseva, Zlotnikov, Plavinsky, Zvereva, Weisberg, and all the state Tretyakov gallery exhibition "the twentieth century". Yes, and You blame sin on realism - You have achieved a lot, Your work is unique and recognizable. But legally I put young artists so rigid? Look at the dominance of stamps in the works of thirty-forty years of the "realists"! Look at the dull gray tones! Look at all the efforts to write "as in life"!

Russia's power is not realism, avant-garde or any other particular style. Russia's strength is in her Art, but it holds and Repin, and Malevich, and Surikov, and Kandinsky. Yes, the art of speculation should be harmless, and unfortunate pig tattooed on the Art-Arena - the same case. But it is one thing to fight the extremes, and the other indiscriminately to declare "lzheiskusstvom" everything except that "ordered the party. We are, as the saying went. Maybe that will be enough?




The third illustration: in February, in the hall on Kuznetsky most, 11, Moscow Union of artists (USDA) held an exhibition "Moscow & Muscovites" ("and" it was written this way, American style).

We already know - if the show holds MA, expect hundreds of participants, expect thousands of works, hanged without any system. Such events are among the artists have long been called "mass graves", and nothing new to it. But...

It's an exhibition, it is good! No, in no case does not - even such a trifle as the writing on the plates of the initials instead of names, completely "blind" to the viewer. It would seem that it is to write a memorable "Alexander Sitnikov" instead of faceless-office "Sitnikov A.G.", but no! How many Union of artists for this fight, and still to no avail...

But good work, primarily painting section. "Primitive socialist realism" represented only one or two works - hundreds! And in the vast majority - strong paintings, written in a completely modern style - and abstract and the figurative, and expressionist, and realistic... the graphics Section presents weaker, but this criticism is not artists, and "vystavkoma".

At the exhibition you can see how in recent years has increased the so-called "average" of the Moscow art. Of course, the art of the concept of "average" is hardly applicable, but the "Moscow school of painting" may serve as a model for the Russian regions. Dozens of artists European level - will agree, there's something to be!

It is a pity that the exhibition is no such emphasis was not placed. All generations, all styles, all directions hung mixed. Experienced eye could see that the "celebrities" are gathered together: Michael Konchalovsky and Mikhail Ivanov, Mikhail Matorin, Ivan Sorokin, Alexander Sitnikov, and Olga Bulgakova, Zurab Tsereteli, Tair Salakhov... But there was no overall system or the more biographies of artists. About excursions even funny to say. Directory was not and is not intended.

And, of course, horrible condition of the hall at the Kuznetsk, 11, hurt the eyes. Worn parquet - really have no money for USDA barrel of varnish? Do not burn half of fluorescent lamps - really have no money for USDA new? Damp stains on the walls - really have no money for USDA bucket of water-based paint? The list of what there is no money at the Ministry of agriculture, annually receives more than a million dollars for the leased premises (including on the same Kuznetsk, 11), you can continue for a long time, but this is a question not to the organizers of the exhibition, and by the head of the Ministry of agriculture Vasily Bubnov.

And the exhibition "Moscow and Muscovites" deserved to hang in a neat place and to have good information support. But, unfortunately, was not able...




The fourth illustration: in the beginning of March on Prechistenka, 19, opened mnogotysyachemetrovye new halls of the Russian Academy of arts (RAA). The old rooms were Prechistenka, 21, and these are close, in the building formerly owned by the military authorities.

Let us say at once: the honor and praise to the current President of ARTS Zurab Tsereteli, it is a huge three-story building not only took away from the military, but also resulted in an ideal order. Renovation, cleanliness, security, beauty... whose money is all done - no matter (stating that the "personal savings" Zurab, but let this doubt, knowing his close relations with Moscow authorities). It is important that in Moscow there is a new huge exhibition area and not another restaurant or showroom.

But once we move from the area of common cultural area arts and education, honor and praise Zurab Tsereteli end. So far, no more warm words to an exhibition space has not yet deserve. Yes, it was the room in which randomly hung and arranged several thousand items, directly or indirectly attributable to the works of art.

Already a huge room on the first floor makes the impression that I want to leave immediately, without avoiding dozens of others. It's hard to describe, but still try.

Volume huge room (height in all three floors) architecture designed in the style of constructivism. On the walls of the middle column (in the style of Le Corbusier) hang sketches and sketches for murals of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, although under the leadership of Mr. Tsereteli, but in style, of course, Konstantin ton. And below are the projects of modern Moscow architects, already gave Moscow a number of eclectic steklobetonnyh "new Russian" mansions with turrets, and intending to bestow Muscovites hundredfold.

Now imagine what it looks like this room as a whole, when the thin drawing architects loom large, photorealistic dirty feet of the Apostle Matthew, and head over to the Evangelist glass dome crosses aluminum fittings.

Okay, let's go through the halls on. The Suite of casts from the storerooms of Pushkin, of course, could play an educational role, whether the exhibits are arranged as in the same GMII - for ages, by category, by country. But when several rooms just crammed casts - the question arises as to why so many of them. And when immediately after the last replica of a sudden opens exhibition of fashionable clothes, have little shocked at first and then becomes simply ridiculous.

And deep in the fashionable rooms and admiring the artistic revelations famous fashion designer Vyacheslav Zaitsev (the background for his dresses is it the same graphics), exclaim disaster when the boots will stitch pie pyrogenic... However, on March 7 Vyacheslav Zaitsev became corresponding member of the Academy of arts. Let's hope that's still not behind schedule, and for achievements in the field of decorative and applied art.

More or less logical that two large rooms next given theatrical artists. Levental, Kurilko-Ryumin, Messerer and Tyshler... But why such different level and style of artists chose to unite under the label of "theatricality" is unclear. That such a disadvantaged background (in terms of brightness and colour makes a brilliant sculptures Leonid Berlin - at least not clear. And what next to Berlin makes kitsch bronze "Ivan the terrible" by Andrei Kovalchuk - and does a mystery.

Second floor strongly resembles an open one and a half years ago, the Municipal Museum of modern art at Petrovka, 25. No wonder - they have one of the project, the Director and the main exposition, Zurab Tsereteli. And there and then a separate room for "foreigners", and around randomly hung Korovin, Valentin Serov, Zhukovsky, Repin, apart Konenkov, Golubkina, Gunzburg... for The same artist into one room, one painting, the other two in the third - three... Any attempt to systematize fails.

However, in the Museum on Petrovka almost no China in Prechistenka it a lot. And if a lot, so our brilliant farforistov frih-Hara, Danko and Sotnikova can put in a multi-tiered glass shelving mixed. Much the same! Let stand, as in antique Philistine "rollercoaster" - looks rich tradesmen. But at the very bottom, like a pan in the oven, tseretelievskie designers put a vase of Vrubel. Majolica - not porcelain looks rude - so down it! That, say, we Vrubel that the Academy did not even finish my studies!

However, there have Prechistenka and radical difference from the Peter and Paul. In recent bad before vanguard - Krasnopevtsev, Plavinsky, Sveshnikov, Brodsky... And at Prechistenka almost all of the rooms available to academics. And so it happened that the place of the "vanguard" took three huge halls, covered and decorated with works of the President PAX Tsereteli.

Well, let's do not respect Zurab spectators. But why he does not respect himself as an artist? Why would he let a hanging his very good paintings "carpet" - in three rows up to the ceiling, with no gaps between the paintings? Does he not understand that on this background, from which dazzled, its already perenapravlenie sculptures look bronze jungle? Model Balzac for France, a model of Columbus to America, the model of Peter to Moscow...

Fair to say that the living room "cool" of exposition is perfect. Natural Animals, overgrown and Salah-a respected, would try their work badly hang! With sculptors the same situation - the influential academics Kerbel and nut put the "how", but Alla Pologova - not a lady, will bear the balance in chessboard order with sculptures of Victor Dumanian.

However, had to "move" and Obrosova, and Salakhova and Zverkovu - in the same prestigious hall hang pictures... Edward Drobitsky. However, not the opposite of "supermetal", but rather late (and because of unrequited) Nikolai Andronov.

However, negative feelings about all these (and many not mentioned) gross exposure mistakes disappear on the third floor. No, not because there is a good hanging. Because just as eclectic hung work... Shilov and Glazunov. It should be figured out - Shilov hang interspersed with Glazunov! And that was at all funny, "dilute" several provincial artists. Perceived subtle sense of humor.

But the experts will laugh, but what the audience for which this Museum is? That they will "put" out of this exposition? What will you see?

And if anything, then why are the organizers?

It is known that in the exposition of the important not the quantity of work. It is important to their quality. More importantly, the quality of the exposition as a whole, especially if we are talking about a large-scale exhibition projects.

But we must not forget the impression produced by exposure to non-professional audience. If he went out into the street after seeing something considering something "spread out on the shelves means, labor organizers was not in vain. And it needs to "sort" was expanded exhibition itself to it in any way the inspection there was a clear logic, time, art line. In the end, it is impossible to imagine thousands of paintings and sculptural works without the characteristics of the era, against which created a particular piece!

And yet the result of exposures, such Prechistenka, 19, with disastrous mess in my head for the visitors and their grim conclusion: no, this art is not for me...




Illustration fifth: March 16, almost immediately after the opening of new halls at Prechistenka, started regular art salon "CHA-2001". These salons are held from year to year, and the word "beauty" says that his task primarily commercial. So to say, fair.

But fair is fair strife. This - CHA-2001 - "the percentage of" strong work was obviously higher than usual. That there are, for example, two halls, given the organizers Anatolia Slepysheva - it was possible to see the work and the eighties and nineties, and the most "fresh". In fact, he held a solo exhibition. Quality was hanging on a fine level - this Central house of artists, thank God, are professionals.

Did not fit in "fair" and conceptual stands several provincial galleries. They came to Moscow not to sell, and to exhibit, and for that they, as they say, a low bow.

But the main event of the interior in 2001 passed quietly, and few knew what it was - the most important thing. The fact that the salon was attended "the Creative Union of artists of Russia", headed by Edward Drobitsky. In itself, this event is difficult to call "Creative Union" exhibited two paintings Obrosova, one - Salakhova, and several works of academicians and their own functionaries.

Nothing would be special, if not a speech at the opening of the salon Edward Drobitsky, svezheprinyatogo (7 March 2001, together with Alexander Shilov and Ilya Glazunov) as an active member of the Russian Academy of arts.

And the essence of the speech was limited to what Drobitsky no longer dissident. Not the opposition. No alternative Orthodox sovereign official organ, active propagation of the Russian Academy of arts headed Tsereteli. Edward N. salon offers visitors a look at his work and the work of artists "in his circle, and try to find at least some opposition.

Well, let's not criticize academician Drobitsky, because he still thinks in categories twenty years ago, when the opposition ("anti-Soviet") could be provided in particular the work of specific artists and against them by the KGB could have taken concrete action.

The situation today turned into a very different plane, though less tragically died.




What is going on around these five pictures - the so-called "big events"? What happens where there is regular daily work - artists paint pictures, viewers look at them, gallery owners sell them? Where there is no sound solemn speeches and orchestras? Where not appear gray-haired doctor of art, and not talk excitedly about what we have wonderful artists and gallery owners progressive, and what the audience thoughtful? Where not talking about multimillion Euro-repair - on canvas would earn, and hunger would not die?

The August 1998 crisis had almost forgotten, but the wounds they still bleed. However, claims for full membership of Russia in "the Big eight" collapsed and the art market. This was not right and seemingly unnoticed, but remember: another three or four years ago, artists and galleries selling work at prices that ensure tolerable existence, and even prosperity. Anyway, known and "promoted" artists of the highest rating categories can afford a standard of living comparable with Western colleagues.

And what now? Sale of paintings or sculptures more hundred to two hundred dollars - the event, and thousands more - something staggering. Even "celebrities" hard, but what "ordinary" artists?

With the crisis collapsed, and hope to the Western level of art materials. Expensive... From imported acrylic paints and canvases smooth artists turned again to the "native" Podolsk oil lumps and canvas with protruding wires. And what would you do?

To rent an apartment, and most live in the Studio? That is what many of the lucky ones who have a garage - coveted "gift" of the Moscow Union of artists, or rather, inherited from the Soviet power. Only a few shops, and many artists, and at the helm MA grouping Bubnov-Glukhov-Kazan knows who "give", and who does not. Almost the same situation in most of the regional offices of the Union of artists of Russia.

The state order in the Soviet time was the hope for many artists. But today he is (at least at the level of Moscow) is actually in the hands of the Almighty Zurab Tsereteli, who personally decides - to whom and how much. Naturally, first of all "trusted", "our", and the rest... well, that's their problem.

Cruelly, but ugly "concepts" of Russian business era Millennium - just.

By the same "concepts" art is reduced to the level of a huge supermarket: sold - well, not sold poorly. That took the "free market" cheap painting scenery, portraits and Nudes, made for the needs of solvent to the public.

However, low cost in terms of art does not necessarily mean low cost in terms of value. And example of this is the highest achievement of the "market", national artist of the USSR Alexander Shilov. Neither of which works as a speech can not go, it's simple: if you like it - buy it! And if you ask tradesmen: "Make us beautiful" - will do!

The beauty in the concept of the Shilov mean total black-and lovingly traced the folds on the front clothes. The art, of course, nothing that has not, and about any "phenomenon Shilov" we are not talking. The word "phenomenon" implies something unique, but in an interview with the magazine "Ogonek" art Maria chegodaeva reasonably noticed that in every era has its own arts.

But by the same "merchant" standards on the background of this luxury real art looks modest. So to say, "no commercial". How to get money for a carved gilded frame?

The question arises: do we need a genuine work of art gilt frame? Shilov and Tsereteli respond "Yes", and on the background of their mighty bass lost weak tehnorock critics, trying to talk about the true artistic value of works of art, the authors of which for one reason or another cannot afford gilded frames.

And when a handsome Duo Tsereteli and Shilov pour jingoist arias Glazunov, a layman it seems that we have on the art market, everything is fine. Everything seems to be there, everything is balanced!

Yes, everyone knows that we have and the poor artists. And who pretends to be fighting for their rights? Whoever talks about this more all - Chairman of the Moscow Union of artists Vasily Bubnov. Renting tens of thousands of meters of property inherited by the Ministry of agriculture "inherited" from Soviet times and receiving (by conservative estimates) more than 1,000,000 (one million) us dollars a year, he is on social assistance to artists spends 150 thousand... rubles, or about $ 5,000.

Surely, if the Russian economy is destined to impoverished third world, our art by the efforts of masters Tsereteli, Glazunov, Bubnova, Shilov and the like would face a similar fate?




This must be fought. Every decent person knows that the great Russian art should not be in the role of public servant-Orthodox officialdom. But to understand a little, we must act.

And what former dissident Eduard Drobitsky refused the role of the opposition and began to cooperate with the "powers that be" serious error on his part. Use more harsh words will not. Artists in fact, thank God, not crucified and did not castigate. Yes and assigned Drobitsky rank of the full member of the Russian Academy of arts is so lost its luster, and that his thirty pieces of silver and you will not name. Even harder to call "the price of blood" (Matt. 27,6) the two thousand rubles (approximately $ 70) per month, which receive tseretelievskie academics from "generous" state. Just tired Drobitsky play in the opposition, and he stopped.

Marat Guelman on the role of spiritual opposition rejected a year ago, going to work closely with the failed Moscow mayor Sergey Kiriyenko and even the head of his campaign headquarters. Kirienko can hardly be called by the opposition, the more spiritual. And indeed, as is known, politics is a dirty business.

It is a pity that Marat Aleksandrovich, being near the "trough" Kiriyenko, instantly forgot that his back was allowed only because of his past activities in the art world. In the end, the artistic world actually lost his extraordinary personality, able to deal with officialdom, not only in words but in deeds. The last year or two, we see only a shadow Gelman, and it really hurt. However, everyone chooses his own way.

In civilized countries an alternative to the official art and kitsch independent art critic. But Russian art critics, most of the media space on their pages, and the more air time does not. Many critics of the highest level acts as the "critics", only when they are asked to form a display, write laudatory introductory article to the directory or to speak at the opening day. All this for art criticism has only an indirect relationship.

It may seem that spiritual opposition to the state officialdom Tsereteli, Orthodox black hundred Glazunov and candy salon Shilov today in Russia.




But in fact, the opposition is.

The first confirmation of this is the activity of Union of artists. The fact that today, artists are protected by the Law of the Russian Federation dated 10-FZ of 12.01.96 "On trade unions, their rights and guarantees of activity", has already helped to defend the violated rights of many artists. And with workshops, and copyright, and pensions...

Naturally, the presence of a truly independent art organization raises many "power and money" considerable irritation. But all possible impact in this area is clearly shown in Art. 5 of the Law on trade unions, and in articles 29 and 30 marked the responsibility guilty of impeding the lawful activities of a trade Union. Until the criminal. Therefore, the Union will fight for the rights of artists, no matter what "spokes in the wheel" to him or staged.

The second confirmation - the activity of the Rating Centre of the Union of artists. About the Rating has already been said and written a lot, and should not be repeated. The main thing that lay audience got a clear and intuitive tool for art criticism. A history of art cannot be purchased. Art critic, unfortunately, you (and not one), but the art - science - no power, no state.

Created a spiritual alternative tseretelievskie arts Academy - the Academy of art critics, led by Anatoly Kantor, honoured art worker of Russia, one of the largest Russian art. Goals and tasks of the Academy are detailed in the Charter, which is a document that is open to the public, and in this article, it makes sense to select the main strategic goal: to fight for itself the right of criticism to exist.

Yes, exactly: the struggle for existence. Recently I heard one phrase, doubly terrible because it was uttered by the administrator of the Moscow center of arts" on Neglinnaya galleries, until recently, renowned for competent work exposure and the high level of exhibitions. To the question, why art is not a free pass to the exhibition, the answer was: "We are free only to let those who write for us!"

That's how many commercial galleries currently estimated art! Write not for Art, but for "us" - and save (and from the point of view of the merchant money saved is money earned) 25 rubles!

Of course, not in the "Moscow center of arts" (artists, by the way, Neglinka have even worse - do not let them free under any circumstances). Much sadder is that most people now accept the Russian art criticism about the same: someone sold for 25 rubles, someone is "worth" more expensive...

But now, critics, professional ethics which does not allow write "for someone"together in a truly independent Academy of art criticism. This is especially true for those who live not in Moscow or St. Petersburg, and then turned after the collapse of the Soviet Union outside Russia.

And if the Academy will be able to prove the artistic world that genuine art is not dead and not sell - then the art will be heard and the audience. While the authorities somehow, but still have to take into account the opinion of the potential electorate.

And only then the merchant "make us beautiful" will give way to genuine art. Only then will it be easier for real artists.

And it is worth fighting for. And we will fight.

It is a pity that the situation today was such that we have to fight for such a seemingly obvious things. It is doubly unfortunate that the struggle for such obvious things puts us in a position of opposition. But what to do if the "power and money" forget that the future of Russia - for the Spirit, not the speculators?


Moscow, 2001.


  Sergey Zagraevsky


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