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The Ideal World of Vassily Minyaev

Architectural projects and Suprematist compositions, classical artworks of the 1950s, Expressionist tempera paintings of the 1970-1980s by Vassily Minyaev (1907-1993)

12.12.2014 — 08.02.2015

Vassily Aleksandrovich Minyaev is an architect and artist, whose creative development connected with a term “internal emigration”. The unique manner of his easel painting can be qualified as a form of Russian post-impressionism. He studied at the Leningrad Academy of Arts under the tutelage of K. Rudakov and N. Tyrsa In 1930s he worked with the famous futurist architect Yakov Chernikhov and in 1940s-1950s with the academician of architecture Ivan Zholtovsky.

Vassily Minyaev (1907-1993)

Throughout his entire life Vassily Minyaev searched for an ideal world. He dreamed of building the city of the future, filled with palaces, parks and gardens; as far as he could he turned his ideas into reality designing Soviet factory warehouses and stadiums. The artist hoped to create a flawless textbook on the history of the arts for his stepdaughter and her friends. He composed art history texts and painted copies of the most important works of established masters on calligraphically small icons.

At a time when only few were allowed to leave the country Minyaev created his own Italy, his own ancient and Renaissance compositions. The artist had the ability to elevate a standard sketch into an elegy. Minyaev's city scenes painted in the vicinity of Peschanye Streets in Moscow are hardly different from any other European city scenes. His Russian fairytale scenes contain traits of the Old Testament. The vacationers lounging by the lake and the girls carelessly undressing before taking a swim emit calmness and graciousness. The paintings give the impression that the artist always perceived and reflected the world as a unified, complete whole.

Vassily Minyaev's stepdaughter Anna Udaltsova has kept and saved the works of the "Grandpa" as Vassily Minyaev was known in the family due to his long beard, encyclopedic knowledge, endless kindness and constant care towards his family. Anna spent hours going through the collection with us, deciding which pieces to include in the exhibition and keeping only the most valuable within the family. She has kept the collection nearly intact over many years, parting with her stepfather's works only in exceptional cases. In this book we have worked to reflect the ideal world of an artist and architect who managed to stay true to his Renaissance vision and to his own identity regardless of the time and context in his life.

Natalia Bykova

December 12 - February 8


Architectural projects and Suprematist compositions, classical artworks of 1950s and big expressionist tempera works from 1970-1980s

NB Gallery wishes you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Gallery will be closed for winter holidays from December 29, 2014 till January 12, 2015. The last day of work - Sunday, December 28 from 12-6pm. The first day of work in 2015 is Tuesday, January 13.