Exhibition "A Place in the Sun. Benkov / Feshin" Automatic translate
с 5 Июня
по 24 Сентября
Музей русского импрессионизма
Ленинградский проспект, д. 15, стр. 11
June 5, 2019 at the Museum of Russian Impressionism opens the exhibition “A Place in the Sun. Benkov / Feshin. " After more than 90 years, the work of talented artists and friends, whose life was divided into emigration by “before” and “after”, will be presented together again.
After the civil war, experienced shocks, illnesses, hunger and total disorder, Pavel Benkov and Nikolai Feshin were looking for their place in the sun, where they could freely create. Feshin emigrated to the United States, and Benkov, who remained at home, settled in Uzbekistan. The new exhibition will tell you about the fate of artists after a difficult choice: to leave or stay. Whose decision was correct - the viewer will have to determine for himself.
At a new exhibition at the Museum of Russian Impressionism, the East will meet with the West. Spring acacia of Samarkand will be next to the noisy waves of the California coast. Oriental bazaars and minarets of old Bukhara - next to juicy still lifes and genre scenes in New York apartments. The traditional way of Uzbeks against the background of houses with drinking water and urban canal canals - next to the contrasting, colorful life of the Indians of America.
The project is attended by the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan, the State Museum of Oriental Art, the Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts (NIMRAKH), and the Kozmodemyanskoye cultural and historical museum complex. As well as 10 private collectors. The catalog “Place in the sun. Benkov / Feshin "with an overview of the works of artists, scientific articles by art historians and historians. And the project itself will open a few months before the anniversary of Pavel Benkov - the 140th anniversary of his birth.
The path in art Pavel Benkov (1879–1949) and Nikolai Feshin (1881–1955) begin side by side. Two talented students meet in 1901 at the Kazan Art School. Become friends and go to enter the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Nikolai Feshin gets into the crowded and incredibly popular workshop of Ilya Repin. And Pavel Benkov - to the workshop of Dmitry Kardovsky, a student of Repin. For increased attention to color, Benkov receives the nickname "Titian" from students. When the opportunity arises, he goes on vacation to Europe, studies in Paris at the Academy of Julien.
Nikolai Feshin, who graduated from the academy with a medal, also visits France, Germany, Italy and Austria. His works are exhibited in Munich, Rome, Amsterdam, Venice, New York and San Francisco. At the 1910 exhibition in Pittsburgh, Fechin’s works hang next to the paintings of Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley. But even in this company, the skill of the Russian artist is noted by both the public, and critics, and American collectors.
After studying at the Academy of Arts, Benkov and Feshin return to Kazan and are taught in the school, which they graduated from. An unusually contrasting pair: a noble, reserved Feshin and the soul of any company - Benkov. They are constantly compared, challenged to compete. Even students who adore their teachers are divided into “Benkovites” and “Feschintsy”.
Revolution and civil war overturn a familiar life. The school shuts off heating. Feshin and his students work in coats, boots and mittens. It is almost impossible to get paint and canvas in a hungry epidemic-ridden Kazan. Meanwhile, Pavel Benkov is traveling to Irkutsk with the retreating white troops. He also finds a terrible hunger, devastation, lack of money. Works in Irkutsk and Omsk as a theater artist. After the Reds came to power, he joined the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia, traveled around the country a lot and returned to Kazan again, wrote revolutionary stories. The artists, as well as the entire Russian intelligentsia, face the global question: “To leave or to stay?”. The paths of Pavel Benkov and Nikolai Feshin diverge.
In 1923, the Feshin family arrived in the States. Here they are waiting for him. One after another in Chicago and New York solo exhibitions open. Patron collectors buy paintings directly from the easel, place orders, present Feshin to famous art dealers and museum directors. He falls into the epicenter of the emigrant artistic life of New York. It would seem that after the deprivation of war comes a long-awaited prosperous life. But Feshin has tuberculosis…
Repression of his wife’s relatives, the death of his son from his first marriage and dissatisfaction with creativity pursue Pavel Benkov in his homeland. In 1928 he visited Bukhara for the first time, and a year later he moved to Uzbekistan forever. The South Asian sun and local color give strength and inspiration.
Due to illness, Nikolai Feshin is forced to leave New York in search of a more suitable climate. The new home is the small, lost in the mountains, Taos town in New Mexico. Against the backdrop of the grandiose nature, everything is mixed up here: the traditions of the Indians, Spaniards, Mexicans, Americans and European immigrants, the provincial moderation and the turbulent life of a motley art colony. An unusually fruitful period in Feshin’s life again turns into a tragedy: his beloved wife files for divorce.
In Samarkand, Pavel Benkov finds the Great Patriotic War. Sergey Gerasimov, Igor Grabar, Robert Falk, Vladimir Favorsky come to evacuate with students of art universities. Benkov works next to them. He does not write battle paintings, but takes an active part in the creation of campaign posters.
Nikolai Feshin is again looking for a place in the sun - with his daughter he moves to California, to Los Angeles. Cooperation begins with the Stendhal Gallery, he goes on a trip to Mexico, Japan, returns to work with students in his own studio in Santa Monica.
For 20 years, Pavel Benkov has turned into a local legend in Samarkand: a heavy "master" with a cane, traveling around the city in tarantass. He buys canvases with his own money for students, because of a sore heart he is already having difficulty reaching the open air - they take him out to write quiet Samarkand courtyards in his chair. On January 16, 1949, in his 70th year of life, after a long illness, Benkov dies. His contribution to the art of Uzbekistan and Central Asia was appreciated: the name of Pavel Benkov for a long time was the Samarkand art school and the street on which the master lived.
Nikolai Feshin passed away in a dream on October 5, 1955, just a month before his 75th birthday, in Santa Monica. After 21 years, his ashes will be reburied in his homeland, in Kazan. In the town of Taos, to this day there is a museum of Nikolai Feshin, in the house that the artist built himself during one of the happiest and most fruitful periods in his life.
The difficult, dramatic fate of Pavel Benkov and Nikolai Feshin were full of tragic twists and creative upsurge. The search for a place in the sun, which ended for Feshin with emigration, and for Benkov as a move, gave the artists new themes and a new picturesque flavor. But this search, however, became the reason for the long and long journey of Nikolai Feshin and Pavel Benkov to the Russian audience. And if Feshin’s return took place back in the 70s, then Benkova - only in our days.