News and events
27 April
"The Art of Pure Soul": Katya Medvedeva’s set-out
The aristocratic Petrovsky Passage hosts the display of one of the most famous representatives of naive art in Russia, artist Katya Medvedeva. It runs from April 26th to May 31st within the Open Arts Festival Chereshnevy Les. Marina Loshak, Tatyana Metaxa, Andrei Kolesnikov, Margarita Koroleva, Mark Tishman, Igor Vernik and others were among the first to appreciate the display and have a talk with Katya.
The evening was started by a charity auction. The artist has provided several of her works for it. A real struggle has unfolded for some lots, the proceeds from the sale of which will be transferred to the young wards of "Galchonok" (Young Jackdaw) charitable foundation. Andrei Kolesnikov, who received "The Ballerina" painting, has become the first winner. The painting "Giselle" has become the most expensive lot, which was purchased by Dmitry Pushkar  for 195 thousand rubles.
In her welcoming speech, the organizer of the festival Edith Kusnirovich stressed that "Katya Medvedeva. The art of pure soul" retrospective is timed to coincide with two anniversaries: the artist turned 80 just recently, 40 of which she devoted to painting. "Katya's work touches the soul of everyone, it founds respond in us. The idea of the project was proposed by the friend of the festival, collector Vladimir Tsurko, and the exposition is formed from the works of private collectors – loyal friends of Chereshnevy Les," she said. - This project is the continuation of our tradition to arrange expositions in the elegant building of the Passage in Petrovka, an architectural monument of the XIX century."
Western collectors often call Katya Medvedeva's work "painting of a naked soul": "People felt something real in my work. I want to give an advice: never give up. This exhibition in Petrovsky Passage is a lesson to you: look for your place in the world at any age. I am still alive, because I draw for you!"- Katya confessed.
An orphan & self-taught, Katya Medvedeva started painting when she was almost 40 years old having been working as a cleaner in an art school. But three months later her first exhibition was held, and 20 years later, in the 90s, her paintings were in Paris in the hall together with the works of Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse. "Purely Russian talent," - admiring Chagall wrote about her. "Russian original!" - critics exclaimed and collectors lined up to get her paintings.
The director of the Pushkin State Museum Marina Loshak stressed the significance of Katya Medvedeva’s creativity, by putting her in a row with outstanding artists of the twentieth century: "All the exhibitions that take place within Chereshnevy Les, an old partner of the Pushkin Museum, are remarkable. But I have a special attitude to Katya: her paintings were exhibited in our museum in 2004. As you know, we are very serious about the selection of artists we show. I have two works by Katya Medvedeva at home. The better the artist, the more delicate soul he has, the more internally free he is - the more he wants to be similar to the talent that Katya shows. Kandinsky, Larionov, Goncharova and Malevich dreamed of getting closer to a wonderful, naive and sincere art. But a few could become closer to it: Pirosmani, Henri Rousseau and Katya Medvedeva, who is similar to children, with their open-mindedness, generosity, free, joyful and happy view of the world. Therefore, the things that we see here cannot leave you indifferent: they change something in us, they make us smile, think, and sometimes even feel sad. But this is a true art that gives something we lack in life: sincerity and joy."
The exhibition in Petrovsky Passage, supported by BOSCO DI CILIEGI, shows the works of Katya Medvedeva from ten private collections created over the past few decades. This is oil, acrylic, tempera & watercolors painting as well as works on velvet and silk.
Her themes are always a response to positive and dramatic processes in the surrounding world, the concentration of personal impressions and inner experiences. Exciting landscapes, portraits, biblical subjects and ballet are the favorite Medvedeva’s subjects displayed at the second level of the Passage.
A catalog with reproductions of 150 works from private collections, made from 1984 to the present days, has been published to the exhibition.
Currently, Katya Medvedeva's works are stored in the Moscow Museum-Estate "Tsaritsyno", the House of Folk Art in Moscow, the Municipal Museum of Naive Art in Moscow, the Charlotte Zander Museum in Germany and other museums and private collections in Russia and abroad. Visitors of Petrovsky Passage can also purchase some of the recent works by Medvedeva to their collections.
The immediate joy and sincere sadness of Katya Medvedeva is known all over the world today. To live up to 80 years, continuing to look at the world with an open, pure view of a child, is the path of Katya Medvedeva. "The Art of Pure Soul" exhibition dedicated to her creativity will try to trace this way.
XVII Open Arts Festival has prepared many other interesting events this year. Click here to see the full list.
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