David Burliuk is the father of Russian futurism, the artist of the Russian avant-garde. At the beginning of the century, they, together with their friend Mayakovsky, slapped the public taste: they walked around with painted faces, with a spoon in their buttonhole, and they shocked the public. There is evidence that it was Burliuk who persuaded the shy Mayakovsky not to hide his poems and concentrate on poetry. Then fate dispersed them. Burliuk emigrated from Russia and settled in America.
Artist of the Lianozovo group. Participant of the historical exhibition in the “Beekeeping” pavilion in 1975. A distinctive master, whom colleagues called “a preacher of the good”. The famous collector and enthusiastTalochkin pointed out that Kharitonov's paintings are “a small gem, iridescent in hundreds of colorful and semantic shades”. And his technique resembles “a shimmering mosaic of fine smalt”.
Vladimir Nemukhin deeply understood and appreciated the Russian avant-garde. And often entered into an extramural dialogue with its masters. In particular, in this composition, experts see Nemukhin's conversation with El Lissitzky and polemic in the territory of Suprematism. At the same time, the original symbols of Nemukhin's card theme are harmoniously woven into the composition: a part of a deck, a card table, a candlestick.
It is believed that Sokolniki is the cradle and “domain” of Zverev. There he once went to classes at the local art studio. There he was noticed by the sister of actor and choreographer Alexander Rumnev, who became Zverev's mentor and patron for several years. It was at the painting of the pavilions in Sokolniki that Zverev's virtuoso brushwork was noticed by knowledgeable people. From there, his way to fame began.
Several major nonconformist artists have interpretations of the plot with a cat seizing a bird. Yakovlev has a cat with a bird in its teeth. Nemukhin has a cat with a card. Zverev has a similar subject. And here we have “Cat that ate a bird” by the main member of the Lianozovo group and the organizer of the Bulldozer exhibition, Oscar Rabin.
The inventor of the sfumato technique is considered to be the great Leonardo da Vinci. He figured out how to give an image a subtle blur, and learned how to reach a state “on the edge” — when the texture just begins to dissolve in the air and a haze appears. It is this technique that partly explains the mystery of Mona Lisa's smile. Sfumato sets the mood for many of the works of the 1960s artist Yuri Kuper. Even the word itself is associated with his name today. And the very old technique in his hands has received a new development.
Shulzhenko's paintings have a phenomenal effect in practice — they completely capture the attention of any viewer, even those who are not his fans. A visitor can enter a room where ten masterpieces are hanging, but in a minute the main argument will be about Shulzhenko's work. And so it is this time. In front of us is “Three Napoleons”. A picture-parable. Three ages of a man. Three stages of destiny of the tyrant.
Little Burliuk of incredible beauty! Roses against the background of the sea. This is from the American period, most likely the late 1940s. Burliuk is successful, enjoying a measured life, building a house on Long Island with his own gallery. He is praised by American critics. His works are bought. All is well, and the picture conveys that mood.
This tough psychological and mystical cycle by Mikhail Chemiakine is called “Angels of Death”. A series of watercolors of the same name was exhibited at the Hermitage in 1995. A powerful expressionist cycle: overcoming nightmares, desacralization of the world of shadows, photo-reportage from the depths the subconscious.
Before us is a great rarity. An example of a large, nervous painting by Vladimir Yakovlev. And one of his most important themes is the cat. There is a beautiful legend that Yakovlev once saw from the window of a psychiatric hospital how a cat caught a pigeon. He was shocked, imagining himself in the place of the unfortunate bird. But knowledgeable people say otherwise. The cat in Yakovlev's work was inspired by Picasso's “Cat Catching a Bird”. Dramatic philosophical subject: a metaphor of human destinies, a conversation about the predator and the victim, about the defenselessness of man in the face of circumstances.