Art Russe announces that the Art Russe Collection of 20th Century Russian and Soviet Art: War and Peace, which was the first major exhibition of 20th century Russian art in the United Arab Emirates, has come to an end today, after a successful extended run. Art Russe’s exhibition displayed over 120 art works that reflected the key developments of the Russian art school over the past century.

The exposition took place at the prestigious Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi and generated significant interest among the international audience, prompting the decision to extend the show, which was due to end on 10 December 2015, until the beginning of March 2016. Over five months, more than 31,000 people from the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and North America have visited the show. The exhibition was held under the Patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al-Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.

Jean Nouvel, the renowned French architect who visited the opening ceremony, said: “The exhibition was simply amazing in its execution and the power of its influence, and has perfectly conveyed the spirit and atmosphere of that grand era. That page of the history is still mostly unknown to us. This exhibition transports the visitor to that truly unique, and critically important, era and tells the story of Russia’s artistic bravery.” 

Art Russe’s managing director Rena Lavery commented: “Exhibitions like this are very important for increasing awareness of Russian art among wider audiences. In the West, artists from the Soviet period are usually only known to a small circle of art experts, but the public has been very receptive to our recent exhibitions. The project in Abu Dhabi was a major milestone for us as it was our first exhibition in the region.”

The exhibition in Abu Dhabi introduced visitors to artists who, while famous in the USSR, were mostly unknown in the rest of the world. In four themed sections (The Legacy of War, Nature and Beauty, Contemplation, and Endeavour) the visitors saw works by masters of different generations: Vera Mukhina’s Worker and Kolkhoz Woman, Yevgeny Vuchetich’s sculptures The Motherland Calls and Soldier With A Little Girl, the painting The Letter from The Front by Alexander Laktionov, Mai Dantsig’s And the World Remembers its Saviours, Nicolas Roerich’s And We Are Not Afraid, Fedor Reshetnikov’s Low Marks Again, as well as masterpieces by Nicolai Fechin, the Tkachev brothers, and other artists. Many of these iconic works had never previously been exhibited outside Russia.

Art Russe Collection of 20th Century Russian and Soviet Art: War and Peace continued the series of Art Russe’s exhibition projects around the world. In 2013-2014, Art Russe initiated and supported Viktor Popkov’s exhibitions in Moscow, Venice, and London. In 2015, Art Russe organised The Legacy of WWII in Russian Art in the Saatchi Gallery in London.