An exhibition dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Nikolai Shumakov opened at the Museum of Modern Art

An exhibition dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Nikolai Shumakov opened at the Museum of Modern Art


Nikolay Shumakov – President of the Union of Architects of Russia, the Union of Moscow Architects, member of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Arts, creator of the Zhivopisny Bridge and more than 40 metro stations (“Sretensky Boulevard”, “Fonvizinskaya”, “Business Center”, “Lefortovo”, “Shelepikha”, new entrance “ Mayakovskaya”, etc.) – lucky to be born on April 1st. Perhaps that is why, despite his status and merits, he maintains a lightness, an ironic attitude towards the world around him and does not stop experimenting. All this can be felt at the exhibition “Singularity” at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art on Gogolevsky Boulevard, where the author showed his works over the past half century. This is how Shumakov celebrated his 70th birthday.

Nikolai Shumakov, who is jokingly called the “master of the dungeon,” greets everyone who enters his creative world. Here he is – against the backdrop of the project name and his own name – smiling in a black suit, spreading his arms as if he would hug you in the next second. This is a cardboard “copy” of the author – an epigraph to an equally ironic, yet thoughtful exposition. In the main hall there are several art objects in the shape of an egg, which the master considers the ideal shape. One metal one hangs in space, reflecting everything around in a modified form. The other – matte white, the size of a dinosaur egg – does not reach the floor by about 10 centimeters. The next one – with an avant-garde relief – seems to be flying above us.

Around the installation there is a rhetorical question – what came first: the chicken or the egg? — portraits of Nikolai Ivanovich’s friends are hung. Here are Yuri Norshtein (next to the sad Wolf from “The Tale of Tales”), and Elizaveta Likhacheva (in her signature hat), and Zurab Tsereteli (in the red apron in which he loves to create), and Pyotr Nalich (of course, with a guitar) , and sculptor Alexander Rukavishnikov (the only one in a gold frame). There is also a self-portrait – unobtrusively reminiscent of Rembrandt’s self-portrait, also with a somewhat surprised and malicious look. It was written, like the others, with close attention to character, without embellishment. The painter Shumakov sculpts his characters like a sculptor; he is interested in facial architecture. There are so many portraits that they stretch over several halls. One of them also has a very unusual one – in the form of eyes made of eggs and with a bare jaw. This is also a reflection of the author, who says that the egg “holds his soul,” and the eyes, as we know, are the mirror of the soul.

Not without architectural projects, of which Shumakov has a great many behind him. The path to them passes through a small hall dedicated to Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin. On the wall is the familiar “Bathing of the Red Horse”, only instead of a boy, a woman is sitting on the horse. In front of the picture is a trough with a bearded baby holding a pencil. The theme of religion, Christian forgiveness, creation as a divine act is another through line of Nikolai Shumakov’s works. It is no coincidence that he often turns to the image of a fish – one of the oldest symbols of Jesus Christ. There is, for example, “Five Green Fishes” in the exhibition, where they lie on a red-dark background, which recalls the duality of the world. Without evil there would be no good, without resentment there is no forgiveness, love and everything with a “plus” sign can be truly felt only by feeling something no less acute with a “minus” sign. This duality can be read in still lifes, where the artist paints a glass, like a grail, on a simple Soviet stool, and always in an avant-garde form, exactly according to the “oblique” Petrov-Vodkin system, and also in expressive colors – yellow, green, red, brown.

Architectural projects are presented more modestly than painting and sculpture. One of the most popular architects of our day simply states them as fact. There are also projects that have not been implemented or have been partially implemented. The same cable-stayed Zhivopisny Bridge, for which Nikolai Shumakov was awarded the prestigious Auguste Perret architectural prize, has not been completed. Under the red arch of the bridge there is an almost egg-shaped structure (more precisely, an ellipsoid); it is now inaccessible to the public. An observation deck with a restaurant was planned there, but the premises are still not equipped. They say they are planning to create an “air registry office,” but so far everything is at the level of an idea.

At the opening of the exhibition of the hero of the day, many guests gathered, among whom were the heroes of his works, including Yuri Norshtein and Alexander Rukavishnikov. The master himself received everyone graciously, and then disappeared from sight. We found it in the most secret room of the exhibition – marked 18+. Here is presented a nude, painted with Shumakov’s usual sincerity, irony and expression. His models are not perfect, but all with character, nudity is not the main thing, it’s more about nature, a person without a mask and a case, which is clothing. In the center of the red hall is perhaps the most ironic and avant-garde work, called “M and F”: a tube protrudes from one steel panel at a level below the waist, from the other there are two, at a level above the navel.

— Why is the exhibition called “Singularity”? – I ask the master.

– This is an absolutely mysterious word! (Winks slyly.) Why the exhibition is called that – I have no idea! I think there is a mystery in this! And sooner or later, perhaps by the end of the exhibition, I will solve it!

— Do you feel the singularity in yourself?

“That’s all I feel!” And nothing more! (Significant pause.) Especially when I drink 50 grams!.. I didn’t feel it before, but now I’m in a complete singularity!

— What project would you like to wish yourself on your birthday?

— Unexpectedly, two years ago I moved to another design institute, and he is working on the metro. Now I am simultaneously designing 30 stations. I wish myself to realize at least some of them!

— And they will all be avant-garde?

“As always, everything is as we like it,” the architect smiled and looked significantly at the work of “M and F.” Singularity flowed in his gaze.


Source link