On April 14, 2016, the exhibition “Late Mashkov” opened at the In artibus Foundation — the third of the series “Moscow school”. Its organizers focused on the last twenty years — the mature period of the artist’s work. The “late” Mashkov is currently underestimated by art critics and critics, staying in the shadow of himself — “bubnovovaletovsky”. He is not very popular with the modern public either: Unfortunately, none of the permanent expositions provides an opportunity to get acquainted with the late period of Mashkov now. This situation is not new to the artist — until the 1970s, his work was viewed from the opposite angle – the era of the Jack of Diamonds it seemed to be Mashkov’s preparation for the feats of socialist realism, which, by the way, he never accomplished.
The earliest works at the exhibition are “Still Life with a fan” (1922), “Crimean Fruits and Magnolia” (1923), “Portrait of M.I. Mashkova” (1923) (all from the collection of the State Russian Museum) — were exhibited at the landmark “Exhibition of Paintings” (1923), which marked the turn of the Jack of Diamonds artists, who are at the zenith of glory, from radical modernism — to the classics. In the halls of the foundation, viewers will also see Mashkov’s famous painting “Moscow Food. Loaves” (1924), recently absent from the permanent exhibition of the Tretyakov Gallery.
Along with the textbook works, the exhibition includes little-known works of the artist. The real discovery will be the recently considered lost “Girl with Sunflowers” from the Moscow private collection — one of three program “portraits in the landscape” created in 1930, when the artist, who did not want to participate in the capital’s struggle for a place in the sun, announced that he wanted to “become 100% ready for production, that is to the easel” and retired to work in the village of Mikhailovskaya. The exhibition provides an opportunity to see all three works together for the first time in 85 years; two of them — “A collective farmer with pumpkins” and “A Girl on a tobacco plantation” — belong to the Volgograd I.I. Mashkov Art Museum.
The main part of the exhibition is classic “museum” still lifes (1920—30s) and chamber works of the latter, the “Abramtsevo period” (1930-40); in total, about forty works by Ilya Ivanovich Mashkov from private collections and state museums (among them, in addition to those mentioned: Perm and Vologda Art Galleries, Kaluga and Bryansk art galleries museums, etc.)
The virtual presence of the Mashkov painting ensemble, which is now in a kind of status of an “unknown masterpiece”, is planned at the exhibition. Six grandiose panels for the banquet hall of the Moscow Hotel (1937-1938) are currently unavailable for inspection: transferred to the State Museum of Architecture, they need restoration and suitable exhibition areas. A special part of the exhibition is eight sketches for the ensemble of the Moscow Hotel (1937) from a private collection.
The organizers of the exhibition imagine Mashkov not so much as a temperamental revolutionary and innovator, but rather a self-confident classic of European painting, the founder of the Russian coloristic tradition, an outstanding teacher and artist who devoted himself exclusively to art, and believe that Mashkov’s work is of interest in its entirety.
Since the value of different periods is not a constant value and depends on the requirements of time, In artibus Foundation suggests paying attention to what forms the basis of Mashkov’s work throughout its entire course: issues of color, composition, craftsmanship and interrelations with world art are fundamental problems of painting.