It could almost be London, with the lake surrounded by trees with the slowly-rotating wheel in the background. The buildings are different though. This is not St James’s Park in London, but Gorky Park in Moscow.
Scenes of interiors, classical-style country houses and palaces could also be in England or in other European countries, but others are definitely Russian with their minarets and domes while Ervira Pyrkova’s painting of Ladies day at Ascot also reinforces the connection between Russia and Britain.
Following on from the exhibitions at the Royal Academy on art in Russia after the 1917 revolution and at the Design Museum on Moscow as it was imagined in the 1920’s and early 1930’s, this is Russian Art Week in London with auctions at the three main auction houses, and other auction houses here and in Copenhagen, plus a number of other exhibitions across London, including contemporary Ukranian art at GRAD Gallery.
The works include traditional icons, heroic and classical bronzes, views of cities and the countryside including Konstantin Fedorovich Yuon’s view of the Kremlin on the evening before the coronation of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich and Abraham Manievich’s impressionist “Townscape with Trees”, in addition to fine jewellery, Faberge, fine clocks and the like.
Reminding us how innovative Russian art can be are works from the School of Pavel Filonov and Javad Mirjavadov and constructivist drawings from Luibov Sergeevna Popova, with Alexander Kosolapov’s pop-art “Caviar Red, while the cultural importance of theatre, opera and ballet is reflected in costume and stage designs including Igor Vaselevich Uzhinsky’s futuristic set for Kasymovshchina and Konstantin Alexeevich Korovin’s costume design for Anna Pavlova in “Autumn Leaves”. There is humour too, with Irina Zatulovskaya’s painting of a young couple holding a large fish, ”It’s a boy.
The Russian theme for 2017 continues in the autumn with further exhibitions at Tate Modern “Red Star Over Russia” and Ilya and Emelia Kabakov with “Not Everyone Will Be Taken Into The Future”.