“If our vision were perfect, we wouldn’t be able to distinguish objects anymore, we wouldn’t see anything but harmony.”
(“Vladimir Weisberg. 20 statements”. Recorded and published by Ksenia Muratova.)
You can watch a video about how we prepared this exhibition on our YouTube channel: click here.
The In artibus Foundation and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts combine two large Russian collections of Vladimir Weisberg – museum and private – and open a monographic exhibition of one of the most outstanding Russian painters of the XX century. More than a hundred works of the artist represent all periods of his work from the 40s to the 80s.
Vladimir Veisberg (1924-1985) is an outstanding artist and theorist, a key figure of Russian art of the second half of the twentieth century. His work does not fit into the framework of official art, nor into the circle of nonconformist activities. Weisberg is an artist of tradition who worked according to the strict rules of classical painting and saw as his goal the comprehension of its laws.
The State Museum of Fine Arts has more than 140 works by Vladimir Weisberg: this is the most complete collection in Russia. It was based on a generous gift made by the artist’s widow, Galina Mikhailovna Ermina in 1997: 57 paintings, watercolors and drawings were donated. Since that time, the museum staff has been constantly working to research and popularize the creative and theoretical heritage of the artist. An important stage was the monograph “From Color to Light” published in 2018 by Anna Chudetskaya, the curator of the V. Weisberg collection in the Department of Personal Collections.
For many years, the Weisberg Hall was opened in the permanent exhibition of the Museum of Personal Collections, but currently all the works are in the museum’s funds. The purpose of this exhibition is to help ensure that Weisberg’s work remains continuously visible to specialists and a wide audience.
More than forty works – Vladimir Weisberg’s monocollection – are a special focus of Inna Bazhenova’s collection of European paintings. Working with Weisberg’s legacy – exhibitions, conferences, publishing catalogs and monographs allows Inna Bazhenova to be called an expert in the artist’s work. In 2009, with the support of Inna Bazhenova, the first monograph about the artist’s work, written by Elena Khlopina, “In love with classical art. Painting by V.G. Weisberg in the tradition of colorism”.
In 2014, the non-profit Foundation In artibus opened with the exhibition “Vladimir Weisberg. In love with Classical Art”, which featured works from private collections and works from the State Tretyakov Gallery and regional Russian museums.
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts provided more than 60 works for the exhibition. Never before have Weisberg’s works in such a significant number left the museum’s collections. Weisberg’s paintings and drawings will be exhibited in the space on the Prechistenskaya Embankment for six months. This will be Weisberg’s longest exhibition in the history of exhibiting his works. Within six months, more than 50 paintings will be exhibited, and the graphic part of the exhibition will consist of two blocks: the first is the museum, from the A.S. State Museum of Fine Arts. Pushkin (February-April), the second – from the collection of Inna Bazhenova (May-July).
The number of paintings presented at the exhibition will include works from the earliest – forties, to the last work of the master “Venus and Geometry” (1984), which remained unfinished on the easel.
The audience will again see one of the rarest landscapes of Weisberg “Bush” (1947), early still lifes – from “Mashkovskaya” “Food” to illusionistic “Bread” (1950), the famous double portrait “The Shcheglov Family” (1958); vivid female images of the turn of the 1950s-60s; iconic works of the 1960s – time the transition from color to white, as well as all the diversity of the “white on white” period (1970s-80s).