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Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery to showcase Vrubel, Venetsianov, Falk in 2021

However the Russian Culture Ministry temporarily banned museum visits between November 16 and January 15

MOSCOW, January 1. /TASS/. Moscow’s renowned State Tretyakov Gallery is planning an ambitious year ahead and will organize exhibitions of famous Russian artists Robert Falk, Mikhail Vrubel and Alexei Venetsianov as well as projects entitled ‘Dreams of Freedom. Romanticism in Russia and Germany’ and ‘Laboratory of Future. Kinetic Art in Russia’ and many other events in 2021, Director of the Tretyakov Gallery Zelfira Tregulova told TASS.

Just like many other museums in Moscow, the gallery is currently shut down for guests. The Russian Culture Ministry temporarily banned museum visits between November 16 and January 15, just like between mid-March and mid-July earlier this year.

"The first exhibition that we will present after the museum reopens is the exhibition of Robert Falk. It is hard to believe, but it is the first large-scale retrospective show of Falk in Moscow and the Tretyakov Gallery. The last Tretyakov Gallery exhibition was held back in 1924. Speaking about the last few decades, [St. Petersburg’s] Russian Museum hosted a Falk exposition in 1992," Tregulova noted.

On December 23, an online guided tour for curators was organized by the gallery to introduce the exhibition, it is already available on the Tretyakov online resources. It is planned that visitors will be able to attend the event in person between January 16 and May 23. The exhibition features around 200 paintings and graphic artworks from 43 museums and private collections, including the Tretyakov Gallery, Pushkin Museum, Russian Museum and National Gallery of Armenia.

Laboratory of Future

Art lovers will also be interested to see the ‘Laboratory of Future. Kinetic Art in Russia’ project which was previously showcased in St. Petersburg’s Central Exhibition Hall and came to be one of the most visited events in the past few years.

"The Tretyakov Gallery space, it seems to me, gives architects and curators more opportunities. And it turns out to be a very powerful and striking project. It shows that the idea of movement, the concept of a moving art piece and an art piece meant to outline movement is immanent in Russian art, the concept of cosmism and flight," the director emphasized.

The artworks of artists from the 1960s-1970s will compliment the Russian avant-garde pieces and works of contemporary artists. The exhibition will showcase several hundred objects from the Tretyakov Gallery, Pushkin Museum, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and others.

Benoit, Koleichuk anniversaries

In January, the museum is planning to open the ‘Alexander Benoit and the World of Art Association’ exhibition to mark 150th anniversary of his birthday celebrated in 2020. The event will bring together best works by Benoit and the World of Art Association.

"These are classic works featuring graphic techniques. They are not shown very often, so it will be a unique opportunity to see such a display," Tregulova commented.

The gallery will also celebrate anniversary of artist Vyacheslav Kolichuk who would turn 80 in December 2021. "I am terribly grieved to organize this exhibition as a posthumous one," she said. "His [Koleichuk] works will be placed next to the pieces of other artists who had similar ideas and concepts."

Dreams of Freedom

The large-scale international exhibition entitled ‘Dreams of Freedom. Romanticism in Russia and Germany’ that came to fruition in cooperation with the Dresden State Art Collections had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and was ultimately rescheduled to 2021. It was supposed to open its doors in October 2020 but will only be accessible in spring following several rescheduling announcements.

"We can possibly launch it before the May holidays or immediately after them. This is a project that compares Russian and German romanticism. It is about looking for common topics, and there are many of those, the whole exposition is built around these common topics. This is a very interesting new approach," the director added. The exhibition will feature masterpieces by Caspar David Friedrich, Philipp Otto Runge, Johann Friedrich Overbeck, Alexander Ivanov, Alexei Venetsianov, Orest Kiprensky, Karl Bryullov and other artists. A special catalogue in Russian and English accompanies the event.

Venetsianov, one of the key figures of this project, will have a separate exhibition planned for autumn 2021. "We will try to find some interesting ideas to showcase pieces by Venetsianov himself and his students," she added.

New take on Vrubel

One of the most anticipated exhibitions of 2021 is the large-scale collection of Mikhail Vrubel. "We have been working on it intensively during the pandemic. It is taking shape nicely, texts and most articles for the catalogue are ready. Now, it’s time for intensive work with Sergei Choban, exhibition architect, albeit online for now," she informed.

Unlike many other projects, this exhibition was initially scheduled for autumn 2021 and, therefore, did not have to be rescheduled. Moreover, considering that a lot of other exhibitions had to change dates, the director decided that Vrubel’s exposition just cannot be delayed. "We were very interested in the point of view of someone who specializes primarily on Western art," Tregulova said about the exhibition’s curators. "And the point of view that can see something more in Vrubel than just a very original and interesting artist from the late 19th century-early 20th century," she explained.

The exhibition will feature around 40 artworks as well as a lot of graphic pieces, with many of them showcased for the first time. The project aims to shine a spotlight on Vrubel as an artist who foreshadowed the 20th century, his creations seemed to expand the limits of art, synthesizing with other forms of it.