Exhibition of works by Myud Mechev "Pictures from under the sofa." On the occasion of the 90th birthday of the artist Automatic translate
с 11 по 30 Июня
Российская академия художеств
The Exhibition Halls of the Russian Academy of Arts (Moscow, Prechistenka 21) will host an exhibition of paintings by one of the largest Russian graphic artists, People’s Artist of the Russian Federation, academician of the Russian Academy of Arts Myud Marievich Mechev (1929-2018) "Pictures from under the sofa" dedicated to the 90th anniversary from the birthday of the master. The exhibition will feature 44 easel works of the artist of different years, never exhibited before. For the first time, the opening of the exhibition of Myuda Mechev at the Academy of Arts will be held without the presence of its author, who passed away on September 27, 2018.
The work of Myud Mechev is widely known and loved by connoisseurs of fine art, both in Russia and in other countries. He left his mark in world culture as an outstanding master of book graphics, working on epic and monumental themes. His work is marked by high state and professional awards. M. Mechev - Laureate of the State Prize of the RSFSR im. I.E. Repina, an honorary foreign member of the Kalevala Society (Finland), holder of the Order of the White Rose of the first degree (Finland), was awarded the Government of Finland with a large silver medal and Elias Lennrot bronze medal. The master’s works are in the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Karelia, in many Russian and foreign museums, as well as in private collections in the USA, Vatican, Finland and other countries.
M. Mechev was born in 1929 in Moscow in the family of the artist K. Panteleev-Kireev. He graduated from the Moscow Higher School of Industrial Art (formerly Stroganovskoe). The artist began his career in 1949 in the All-Union competition for the best illustrations for the Karelian-Finnish epic “Kalevala”, he created more than 200 watercolors and drawings. A book with the works of a young author that came to light brought him well-deserved success, and subsequent editions of the epic in Russian and Finnish with engravings by the artist brought world fame. In 2009, Myud Mechev was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of the Republic of Karelia.
Since 1975, the artist has devoted 15 years of his creative activity to illustrating "Tales of Bygone Years." Since 1991, over the past decades, M. Mechev worked on illustrating the four books of the Gospel, creating more than 300 drawings, considering this topic the most important in his work. This outstanding ascetic work of the artist was awarded the gold medal of the Russian Academy of Arts. Later he created illustrations for the Acts of the Apostles, the Apostolic Epistles and the Apocalypse.
In 1993, His Holiness Pope John Paul II awarded Mud Mechev a Pontificate silver medal for humanism and achievements in art.
Each book volume with illustrations by Myuda Mechev is an independent work of art, which combines artistic talent, high technology and the transmission of spirituality of sources. His life was devoted to book graphics. But easel work of the artist is a very special page of his life. Despite the fact that the creation of graphic cycles of illustrations took almost all of his time, in an incomprehensible way he found opportunities for working on easel works.
The easel works presented at the exhibition, starting from the northern works of the late 50s of the XX century, executed in an ascetic restrained style, and ending with still lifes created in the last years of the artist’s life in which the ease of his writing reaches impressionistic virtuosity, speak of M. Mechev as the successor of the best traditions of domestic art. They demonstrate the highest professionalism, which allowed the artist to work in a wide range of themes, graphic techniques and techniques, perfectly mastering watercolors, gouache, pastels, mixed media, pencil, charcoal, etc.
Myud Mechev considered his profession to be the best and happiest, since the artist, as a child, is always surprised and admired by the world, while retaining the ability to see his miracles. This perception and attitude towards life formed the basis of all his easel work.
The artistic skill of Myuda Mecheva is fascinating. By the direction of the brushstroke, he could convey the roar of stove draft (“Good Traction”), the shade of gray color is the chilly frost of winter Petersburg (“Frozen Fontanka”), the line of the figure is the comic character of the characters (“Three Petersburg Crows”). However, the artist himself considered the criterion of high art not so much the skill that he valued in others and constantly improved himself, but how much commitment to a big topic. He often said that it was the “big” topic that allows us to fully concentrate on work, and then, as if the Most High himself were leading the artist’s hand…
The exposition of the anniversary exhibition at the Academy of Arts found its place all the favorite themes of Muda Mecheva. These are northern landscapes that fascinated him with their epicness. This is Baraniy Bereg - the artist’s estate in Karelia near Petrozavodsk — a place that brought together everything that filled his life and work with meaning, a place that he wrote many times: the shore of Lake Onega, a hut, a workshop, a forest, flowers, birds, things, spiritualizing life. Another topic is the theme of urban architecture, which attracted the artist with a unique perfection of creative and engineering thought. Venice, Rome, Paris, Helsinki, Vienna, London, Amstredam, Petersburg, Moscow, Russian cities… Numerous trips allowed the artist to see the famous architectural ensembles, structures, feel architectural styles, eras. He felt architecture as frozen music and wrote it like musical themes - easily and resonantly.
Still lifes - this is another “big topic”, which embodied the very lively and admiring look of the child, who sees the great for the small. All the paintings of Muda Mechev are filled with admiration for the beauty of the world, and this was a special gift of the artist - to see beauty and perfection in all its manifestations and to create small stories in short, laconic subjects that fascinate the imagination.
If the stories of early works collected at the exhibition are narrative and filled with monumental images, then in later paintings the artist is attracted to details, unexpected angles, moments filled with warmth and intimacy. At the exhibition, for example, four paintings with the image of the furnace are shown at once - “Autumn furnace”, “Good traction”, “Reflection of a freshly whitewashed stove”, “In a workshop on Lamb Coast”, in which the image of the stove becomes a symbol of warmth and the theme is added to the theme of admiration gratitude to the world for what it gives us in the simplest moments.
Talent accompanied the master in all areas of creativity. He devoted his time and literature. Of the large finished works, the novel Portrait of a Hero and Zaonezhskaya Tale were published. The family archives have preserved notebooks, drafts of manuscripts, and many years of correspondence. He always invented the names of his paintings, and this was the final chord of the work.
At the end of his life, Myud Mechev painted flowers. The “remnants of paradise on earth” became for him the quintessence of creative and vital wisdom, consisting in surprise, admiration, beauty and gratitude, concluding the chapter of the “big topic” of life.
“What a wonderful life of this world…” said the artist. His friends and relatives will not forget his voice, stories, thoughts about art, memories, jokes… Today, this voice sounds works at the exhibition "Pictures from under the sofa." Having listened carefully, we may hear it again.
The text was prepared on the basis of an article by O. Belozerskaya "The wonderful life of this world."