Belgazprombank to show Bakst in Minsk, Grodno, Riga and Vilnius

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Belgazprombank will present a large-scale international art-project «Time and creative work of Leon Bakst», dedicated to the 150th anniversary from the artist’s birth. The exhibition is to be held in the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus from 10 February till 17 April 2016.

Belgazprombank to show Bakst in Minsk, Grodno, Riga and Vilnius

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Leon Bakst the world’s famous artist, stage and dress designer, who was born in Grodno in 1886, by the decision of the General Conference of UNESCO 2016 was declared the Year of Bakst. For the first time in Belarus Belgazprombank and the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus will show the art exhibition, dedicated to the creative work of our famous compatriot. It is the first time after the exposition «Artists of the school of Paris of Belarusian origin» that the project of such a large scale is realized in our Republic. The exhibition will display exhibits from private, corporate and museum collections of Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Russia.

Like the previous art initiatives of Belgazprombank, the exhibition «Time and creative work of Leon Bakst» will be held in the framework of the national historic and cultural project «Art-Belarus», aimed at the provision of a comprehensive picture of the development of national art. The exposition, displayed in the National Art Museum, will shed light on the Art Nouveau period which is so far considered to be a «blank point» on the pages of the history of Belarusian culture. Through the creative work of artists of this period from Belarus the organizers are going to show the involvement of our territories in the world art process at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries.

At the exhibition there will be more than 200 works by Leon Bakst and his contemporaries, top artists from the prominent movement «World of Art»: A. Benois, M. Vrubel, A. Golovin, M. Dobuzhinsky, S. Zhukovsky, K. Korovin, B. Kustodiev, I. Levitan, M. Nesterov, K. Petrov-Vodkin, N. Rerikh, Z. Serebriakova, V. Serov, K. Somov, M. Čiurlionis. The creative works by Leon Bakst will include more than 40 pieces executed in various genres and techniques from paintings and graphics to scenic sketches.

In the exposition the Belarusian viewer will for the first time see seven works of the author from the corporate collection of Belgazprombank. Today the bank possesses the richest private collection of easel works by Leon Bakst in Eastern and Central Europe. One of the most valuable exhibits at the show is the canvas "Bathers on the Lido. Venice", acquired by the Bank from a private collector from England.

The National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus will present three lithographs by Leon Bakst from its collections.

Theatrical works of the outstanding scene designer will arrive from the St. Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music. Among them there are striking sketches of costumes designed for ballet performances of the famous "Russian seasons" by Sergey Dyagilev. It is no secret it was the magnificent decoration of these Parisian performances that brought Bakst the world fame and recognition. Together with the theatre photo review there will also be shown the scenic costumes of that period created according to the sketches of the author, which will allow to discover one more unknown edge of the creativity of the master and prove that after all, Bakst was rightfully recognized as the first fashion designer, who earned fame in Europe and the USA!

Two theatre bills created by the well-known French writer, artist and film director Jean Cocteau whose works have never before been exposed in Belarus, will also arrive from the city on the Neva.

Another eminent author at the exhibition is Napoleon Orda. So far it is the only printed works of this master that have ever been exposed in Belarus. And for the first time the exposition of the project "Time and Creative work of Leon Bakst" will include the invaluable originals of water-color paintings by Orda which formed the basis for the well-known albums of the author published later and devoted to historical places of our Homeland. 12 unique water-color works by the artist have kindly been provided by the National Museum in Krakow. The paintings represent the views of Grodno of the second half of the XIX century as they were caught by Leon Bakst.

No doubt that the works by contemporaries of Bakst exposed in Belarus for the first time including works by M. Voloshin, K. Petrov-Vodkin, K. Bogayevsky should arouse a great interest among visitors. The exposition will also present the most interesting works by artists from Belarus who took part in exhibitions held by the movement "World of Art". The art and creativity of G. Bobrovsky, I. Gintsburg, F. Rushchits, S. Sorin, K. Stabrovsky, D. Stelletsky should become a veritable revelation for a native viewer. The Lithuanian Art Museum will provide for the exhibition the author's works of Mikaloyus Konstantinas Chyurlyonis, whose originals were last time exposed in Minsk more than 100 years ago i.e. in 1911.

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Leon Bakst Belgazprombank and ScienceSoft Inc. company for the first time in Belarus will develop a special mobile application named Guide to the art exhibition, which will be available for users of mobile devices on three operating systems: iOS, Android and Windows Mobile.

The exhibition in Minsk will become the first stage of the international project, devoted to the creative work of Leon Bakst, which then will go to Lithuania to the Vilnius city gallery and the Museum “Riga Bourse” in Latvia. After its tour the exposition will be returned to the homeland of the artist in the New castle in Grodno.

For information:

Leon Samoylovich Bakst (Rosenberg) was born in 1866 in Grodno. After study in the Petersburg academy of Arts and Parisian art schools Leon Bakst became one of the founders of the prominent movement "World of Art" and the magazine of the same name. He was an outstanding portraitist, illustrator, decorator and dress designer of that time. The artist became world famous due to cooperation with the ballet impresario Sergey Dyagilev, for whom he brilliantly crated the design for a number of performances of the "Russian seasons" in Paris, such as "Cleopatra" (1909), "Shakherezada", "Firebird" (1910), "Narcissus" (1911), "Daphnis and Chloe" (1912). The exhibitions of works by Leon Bakst are held in the most prestigious museums of the world. The prices for his works beat the records of sales at world auctions. In 2012 at the Christie's auction in London the scenic sketch "Yellow sultaness" by Bakst was sold for more than 1 million euros.

"World of Art" is a well-known art movement, founded in St. Petersburg in 1889 by A. Benois, S. Dyagilev and L. Bakst. Leon Bakst became the head of the art unit of the magazine of the same name. The artists participating in the movement "World of Art" were united by the common desire to revive on a new creative basis the traditions of high artistry and distinguished professionalism in book and easel graphics, scene design, painting, applied arts. There are also other artists born in Belarus and Lithuania such as D. Stelletsky, F. Rushchits, G. Bobrovsky, K. Stabrovsky, S. Zhukovsky, S. Sorin, M. K. Chyurlyonis, who directly or indirectly took part in the movement "World of Art".

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