Organized by Shanghai Cultural Development Foundation and Shanghai Oriental
Culture and Arts Foundation, on the afternoon of June 19, 2009, the Opening
Ceremony of "Russian Oil Painting Art Exhibition" was held at 55 Xinle Road with
nearly 50 oil paintings of Russian academic style collected by Liu Haisu Art
Museum and Shanghai St. Peter Culture Exchange Co., Ltd.
With various art genres and well-known masters, Russian oil painting occupies
a unique position in the art history of the world. Due to the political and
geographic factors, several generations of Chinese people have borne a deep
emotion of Russia, thus Russian oil painting has an enormous impact and identity
on the art field of China.
The exhibition also shows the characteristics¡ª" Art with no Boundary " of
Russian oil painting. Art has played an irreplaceable role of leverage and
bridge for the heritage of human civilization, the exchange of national
sentiment as well as the tolerance of regional culture. The classic works of
Russian realism has influenced the art field and art lovers in China for nearly
one hundred year.
In its long history, Russia was once the natural economy of the feudal
farming society under the rule of imperial power just like China. As Russia is
located between Europe and Asia bordering with China, which contributes to many
artistic features of both the West and the East. Its oil painting art is not
only full of very unique Russian style but also some oriental culture,
especially the significant mark of Chinese culture. During the international
cultural exchanges between China and the Soviet Union in the middle of the last
century, exchanges on literature, music, movies and art were intensive. And
Chinese people borne a special emotion towards the massive and plain, extensive
and profound Russian oil painting, particularly the classic works of realism, at
the bottom of their hearts.
Russian Oil Painting Exhibition not only displays art¡¯s contribution to human
civilization, but also shows the abundant generosity of Shanghai ¨CBe all-bracing
like all rivers run into sea. Most works of the exhibition were private
collections created by artists from the Russian Royal Academy of Arts (today¡¯s
the Repin Academy of Arts), which was founded by Queen Catherine II of Russia in
1757. It is worth mentioning that the Repin Academy of Arts is located in the
sister city of Shanghai¡ªSt. Petersburg, an art institution with the longest
history and the most abundant teaching strength in Russia.
The exhibited works include the classics of Russia's most representative and
authoritative artist Melnicov, portrait master Olegshnikov, landscape master
Faming, the excellent works of new artists, as well as the works of some
outstanding young artists, which systematically reflect the tradition and
development of academic style of realism during different periods and with
different techniques in Russia.
As a leader of the Repin Academy of Fine Arts, Melnicov boosted a great deal
of major classic works of oil painting, which have not only been recorded in the
history of Russian art, but also pushed realistic painting art of the heyday of
Soviet Union in the second half of the 20th century into a new height.
Melnicov is now 90 years, keeping an intimate tie with China. Such famous
Chinese painters as Quan Shanshi, Xiao Feng, Lin Gang have learned art in his
studio during the 1950s in the Soviet Union. His painting style at that time had
a tremendous and far-reaching impact on the Chinese art.
In the Chinese arts circle and the minds of vast art lovers, the works of
Melnicov have always enjoyed great reputation. With the increase of age, his
excellent works has become even more scarce and valuable in China in recent
years. The first works of his painting album The portrait of Chinese Chongqing
painter was the sketch practice on the scene in class of "professional oil
painting workshop", which was held by Melnicov in 1956 when he first came to
China. The works was on display in 2004 when ¡°the man in the painting¡±¡ªProfessor
Cai Zhenhui, the former vice president and the director of painting Department
of Sichuan Academy of Arts, was found out with the efforts of Shanghai Art Fair
and several media. Once attracting wide attention in the Sino-Russian arts
circle, the mutual correspondence and exchange of works between the instructor
and the student in half a century was a much-told moving story embodied with the
Sino-Russian friendship in history.
Over 50 exhibited pieces of works show not only the unique national
characteristics, but the different art styles as well. From the exhibited works,
we can sense a variety of new atmosphere of Russian contemporary oil paintings.
Generation after generation, Russian artists still inherit the fine traditions
of realism in Russia while carrying out a series of innovations constantly. Now,
their works are attracting more and more attention.
The exhibition will also provide huge benefit for Chinese artists and art
lovers to better overcome geographical barriers, to understand and know more
in-depth the humanistic background and history development of the mainstream of
contemporary Russian art, to promote the development of cultural exchanges
between China and Russia.