NASHVILLE, July 17, 2001 – The Leu Gallery at Belmont University announces a new exhibit, Russian Impressionism, opening at the Leu Sept. 4 for a one-month exhibition. The exhibition will feature 50 paintings from The Museum of Russian Art in Bloomington, Minnesota, the only museum of its kind in the United States devoted to Russian art from the 20th Century. The collection is filled with scenes of everyday life in Russia painted by various painters during the Soviet era – including a variety of still-lifes, landscapes, and portraits.
The exhibition, one of the largest of 20th Century Russian Impressionism paintings in the southeast in the last five years, will run through October 2. It is sponsored by the Belmont University Alumni Association and Stanford Fine Art, a gallery in Nashville, Tenn.
Russian Impressionist painting has recently begun receiving international attention and scholarship, spearheaded by the Museum of Russian Art in Bloomington and its founder, noted art collector Raymond E. Johnson. The Museum’s permanent collection focuses on the evolution of Russian painting between 1922 and 1991 under the influence of the Soviet government. Art historians now recognize several artistic trends that characterized paintings during the 74 years of control of the Communist Party in Russia, including “Working Class”Impressionism, particularly during the post-World War II period of 1945-1975.
State-funded artists painted scenes under the sponsorship of the Soviet government. The paintings were intended to promote the ideals of the communist state in a style now called “Soviet Realism.” Russian Impressionism is a term applied to paintings done by many of these same Russian artists in their spare time. Russian Impressionism “is what the Soviet Realists painted on their days off,” says Stan Mabry, owner of Stanford Fine Art.
Some paintings will be made available for sale at the end of the month-long exhibit. The Leu Gallery is part of Belmont University, a private coeducational, comprehensive university with nearly 3,500 students from 42 states and 28 countries.
Nikolai Nikolaevich Baskokov
Oil on canvas
Nina Pavlovna Volkova
Oil on canvas