Art Russe today in Abu Dhabi opens the exposition Art Russe Collection of 20th Century Russian and Soviet Art: War and Peace.

This unique exhibition is being held under the Patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al-Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development and will be open until 10 December 2015. It will include over 120 works, created in different genres and reflecting several distinctive styles of Russian art that have developed over the past century.

The exhibition was launched yesterday with a private view at the Emirates Palace, which previously displayed artists such as Pablo Picasso. Over 300 guests have gathered to see the show. His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al-Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development has cut the ribbon, launching the exhibition in the presence of Alexander Efimov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the United Arab Emirates, and members of other diplomatic missions.

As His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al-Nahayan said at the opening of the exhibition, the Russians in the United Arab Emirates, both tourists and residents, help the UAE's multicultural society to experience the Russian culture. "We in the UAE consistently strive to deepen our understanding of Russia and the Russians," he said. According to the minister, this unusual exhibition demonstrates the intellectual, emotional, and artistic reality little known to the audience in the UAE, which means that it will draw a lot of interest. "The exhibition organised by Art Russe conveys the genius of the Russian soul in a variety of ways," he noted.

Andrey Filatov, the founder of Art Russe, said: “The Emirates are quickly developing into a global cultural centre and Russia, which has a rich cultural heritage, should definitely be present in this country, along with the European states that strive to open the branches of their museums in the UAE and promote their art here. By hosting the exhibitions like that, we want to make the great Russian art more accessible and familiar to the multicultural audience of this leading country in the region.”

Among the guests of honour was also renowned architect Jean Nouvel, the designer of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The exhibition is divided into four sections – the Legacy of War, Nature and Beauty, Contemplation, and Endeavour – that will unite the artworks from different generations. Many artworks became iconic for Russians, but until recently were not displayed outside of Russia. In particular, the audience will see the legendary sculptures by Evgeni Vuchetich and Vera Mukhina, the celebrated paintings such as Fedor Reshetnikov’s “Low Marks Again”, “Chess Problem”, and Nikolai Reorich’s “And We are Not Afraid”. On display are the works by artists that represent the best of Russia’s art school, such as Alexander Gerasimov, Alexei Gritsai, Nickolai Andronov, Semeon Chuykov, Nickolai Baskakov, Arkady Plastov, Tahir Salahov, Vladimir Stozharov, the Tkachev brothers, and many others.

The exhibition is organised by Art Russe, which aims to popularise Russian art and bring it back to the global cultural context. Art Russe previously participated in the organisation of and provided support to exhibitions of the Russian-American artist Nicolai Feshin in Frye Art Museum in Seattle and the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow; an exhibition of Mikhail Nesterov in the Tretyakov Gallery (timed to the 150th anniversary of the artist); a major international retrospective of works of the outstanding Soviet artist of the sixties Victor Popkov in Moscow, Venice, and London.

Rena Lavery, Director of Art Russe, noted that the interest in Russian art is growing. “We can judge that by the audience of our exhibitions around the world. Our goal is to further popularise Russia’s artistic culture and increase the number of its connoisseurs by organising and supporting the exhibitions, publishing books, and building museum collections abroad.”

The audience in Abu Dhabi will be able to explore entirely unknown elements of Russian art history. With a wide range of styles, showing outstanding mastery, intense degree of expression, and enormous energy and individuality, Russian and Soviet artists have created a unique, multifaceted phenomenon – the Russian artistic language of the XXth century. The artworks from Art Russe’s new exhibition will illustrate different aspects of life in XXth century Russia: from the legacy of war and revolution to themes such as peace, family and work. Because of the universal significance of the chosen themes, the exhibition is accessible to the widest audience, including those who have not previously seen Russian art.

To commemorate the first exhibition of XXth century Russian Art in the United Arab Emirates, Art Russe has produced a bespoke stamp sheet. The sheet is independently produced and published by London-based Unicorn Press Ltd. The customised stamp sheet is an individual landscape sheet of paintings from Art Russe’s exhibition in Abu Dhabi: Art Russe Collection of 20th Century Russian and Soviet Art: War and Peace, alongside 20 First Class UK stamps. The paintings include some of the most recognised images of the XXth century Russian art. The total limited issue will consist of 300 individually numbered sheets.


Dates: October 7th to December 10th

Admission: 10am to 10pm

Address: Emirates Palace, Gallery 1, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi