The exhibition of works by Myud Mechev "Pictures from under the sofa". To 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 works 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 since the birth 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 Muda 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 Medu Mechev is widely known and loved by connoisseurs of fine art, both in Russia and in other countries. He left his mark on world culture as an outstanding master of book graphics, who worked on epic and monumental themes. His work is marked by high state and professional awards. M. Mechev - Winner of the RSFSR State Prize. I.E. Repin, 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 Finnish Government with a large silver medal and a bronze medal of Elias Lennrot. 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, the 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 (b. Stroganov). The beginning of the artist’s creative journey was the participation in 1949 in the All-Union competition for the best illustrations for the Karelian-Finnish epic “Kalevala”, he created over 200 watercolors and drawings. The published book with the works of the young author brought him deserved success, and subsequent editions of the epic in Russian and Finnish languages with the artist’s engravings gave him world renown. In 2009, Myudu 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 The Tale of Bygone Years. Since 1991, over the past decades, M. Mechev worked on illustrating four Gospel books, creating more than 300 drawings, considering this topic as the most important in his work. This outstanding selfless 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 Medev Myud with the silver medal of the Pontificate for Humanism and Achievements in the Arts.
Each book volume with illustrations by Müd Mechev is an independent work of art, which combines artistic talent, high technology and the transmission of spirituality to sources. Book graphics was devoted to his whole life. But the easel of the artist - this 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 to work on easel works.
The easel works presented at the exhibition, starting with the northern works of the late 50s of the 20th century, performed 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 follower of the best traditions of national art. They demonstrate the highest professionalism, allowing the artist to work in a wide range of topics, graphic techniques and techniques, perfectly fluent in watercolor, gouache, pastel, mixed technique, pencil, coal, etc.
Mud Mechev considered his profession the best and happiest, because the artist, as a child, always wonders and admires the world, retaining the ability to see his miracles. This perception and attitude to life formed the basis of all his easel works.
The artistic skill of Mudu Mechev is fascinating. By the direction of the brushstroke, he could convey the hum of the furnace thrust (“Good draft”), with a shade of gray color — the chilly frost of winter Petersburg (“Frozen Fontanka”), the line of the figure — the comic character of the characters (“Three Petersburg crows”). However, the artist himself considered as a criterion of high art not so much a skill that he valued in others and constantly improved himself, as a commitment to a large theme. He often said that it was the “big” theme that allowed him to concentrate entirely on work, and then the Almighty himself led the artist’s hand...
The exposition of the jubilee exhibition at the Academy of Arts found all the favorite themes of Medev Medu. These are northern landscapes, which fascinated him with their epic character. This Mutton Shore is 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, hut, workshop, forest, flowers, birds, things, inspiring life. Another theme is the theme of urban architecture, which attracted the artist with the unique perfection of creative and engineering thought. Venice, Rome, Paris, Helsinki, Vienna, London, Amstredam, St. Petersburg, Moscow, cities of Russia... Numerous journeys allowed the artist to see the famous architectural ensembles, buildings, feel architectural styles, era. He felt architecture as frozen music and wrote it like musical themes - light and sonorous.
Still-lifes are another “big theme” in which that very lively and admiring gaze of a child is embodied, seeing beyond the small things great. All the paintings of Muda Mechev are filled with admiration for the beauty of the world, and this was a special gift from the artist - to see beauty and perfection in all its manifestations and create small stories in short, concise scenes that fascinate the imagination.
If the stories of the early works collected at the exhibition are narrative and filled with monumental images, in the later the artist’s eyes are attracted by details, unexpected angles, moments filled with warmth and intimacy. At the exhibition, for example, four paintings with the image of a furnace are shown - “Autumn firebox”, “Good traction”, “Reflection of a freshly whitewashed stove”, “In a workshop on Lamb Coast”, in which the image of the furnace becomes a symbol of warmth and a theme is added to the subject of admiration thanks to the world for what it gives us in the most simple moments.
Talent accompanied the master in all areas of creativity. He devoted his time and literature. Of the large completed works, the novel “Portrait of a Hero” and “The Zaonezhskaya Tale” were published. In the family archives preserved notebooks, sketches of manuscripts, many years of correspondence. He himself always thought out the names of his paintings, and this was the final chord of the work.
At the end of his life, Myud Mechev wrote flowers. “The remnants of paradise on earth” became for him the quintessence of creative and life wisdom, concluded in surprise, admiration, beauty and gratitude, the final chapter of the “big theme” of life.
“What a wonderful life of this world...”, said the artist. His friends, 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 the article “Beautiful life of this world” by O. Belozerskaya.