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Russian Oil Painting Art Exhibition Launched



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.

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