Sculptor A.P. Kibalnikov got nationwide recognition in 1953, when the monument to N.G. Chernyshevskiy was opened in Saratov. The author of the monuments to V. Mayakovskiy in Moscow (1958), S. Yesenin in Ryazan’ (1975), A. Radishchev in Saratov (1974), the author of the central sculptures and the team leader for the group that created the Memorial Ensemble «To the Defenders of Brest Fortress» (1970), the sculptor who in 1980 erected the monument to P.M. Tretyakov in front of the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, was also wonderfully subtle lyricist, a master of small-scale sculptural portrait.
Grand monumental works of the sculptor were facing the visitors of Moscow Academy Art Lyceum from the walls: unusual angles of the Monument in Brest Fortress, photos of less known works created in his early years during the Great Patriotic War, works of the 1940s practically new to the public, generally known monuments in Moscow, Geneva, Ryazan’, Saratov and Volgograd. In «PHOTO-PRO» photolaboratory, they had printed large-size photo images directly to foamboard using unique Swiss equipment.
Here were sincere psychological sculptural portraits from collection of Valentina Alexandrovna Kibalnikova, the daughter and the heiress of the People’s Artist of the country, from collections of the N.G. Chernyshevskiy Museum in Saratov, from the Saratov Oblast Local History, Geography and Culture Museum, from the Memorial Museum of A.P. Kibalnikov in Orekhovo.
Rare archival documents, government telegrams, photos, honorary diplomas and awards of the sculptor were displayed in showcases of RAA MSASL MEC.
The N.G. Chernyshevskiy Museum in Saratov kindly displayed at the exposition the works of the painter Vasiliy Fomichiov, A.P. Kibalnikov’s close friend, from Saratov picture gallery collection of V.O. Fomichiov. From V.A. Kibalnikova’s collection, the following works were presented at the exhibition: portrait of A.P. Kibalnikov by this remarkable Saratov painter, landscapes by E. Ivanov, a portrait by V.P. Tsvetkova, friendly caricatures by known masters, such as Boris Efimov.
At the exhibition, leading contemporary artists and sculptors of Russia displayed their sculptural, pictorial and graphic works dedicated to the memory of the great master.
The exposition has been thought out and composed in compliance with the layout of Moscow Academy Art Lyceum exhibition halls: in the central two-tier hall, there were sculptural works by A.P. Kibalnikov and a number of works by his contemporaries and their students who personally knew the distinguished master.
The central wall of the second tier was dedicated to the memory of those perished in the Great Patriotic War in the form of large-scale panorama of the Memorial «To the Defenders of Brest Fortress» created in the 1969-1970 on Belorussia soil. It was here on the second tier which made a ‘Heavens’ level within the exhibition space, next to the unique sculpture «Unsubdued» by Alexandr Kibalnikov from the collection of the sculptor’s daughter, a portrait of the woman pilot, Hero of the Soviet Union M.M. Raskova was exhibited – the work little known to the public from Saratov Oblast Local History, Geography and Culture Museum. On the ‘Heavens’ level beside A. Kibalnikov’s works, we have considered it more than appropriate to exhibit the works of People’s Artist of Russia, academician Lev Nikolayevich Matiushin – a wonderful sculpture study for the monument to Tvardovskiy.
It was L.I. Matiushin who preserved in a storeroom of his studio and then presented at the exposition displayed in the RAA MSASL MEC the sculpture portrait of A.P. Kibalnikov by M.I. Lastochkin while Alexandr Kibalnikov had been sitting for the statue himself. The sculpture portrait took its place by right in the Holy corner of the central hall ground tier. In one of the showcases of the central hall, there was a sculpture study of the monument by M.F. Babourin, a friend and contemporary of A.P. Kibalnikov. Babourin’s student, now Honoured Artist of Russia, academician, one of the leading contemporary sculptors Dmitriy Tougarinov had kept the work carefully and then handed it over for the exhibition ‘In Memory of the Great Artist’; his works also were exhibited the halls of RAA MSASL.
Creative ‘offerings’ of contemporary artists in memory of the great master made the display of the six gallery-type halls cascading into each other. Clockwise, following the stages of Alexandr Pavlovich Kibalnikov’s creative development, panorama of contemporary art unrolls.
Two halls on the left had been allocated from the start for the artists from Volgograd, fellow-townsmen of the outstanding sculptor; they had been among those first to participate actively in the exhibition project.
A series of watercolours by Honoured Worker in the Culture of Russia V.D. Kroutskevich, dedicated to A.P. Kibalnikov’s smaller motherland; sincere and delicate graphic works by Yuriy Shchetinin, paintings by Pavel Zlobin, the author of A.P. Kibalnikov’s portrait organically fit into the exhibitions halls settings, sounded in tune with photo panels depicting the River Medveditsa, on the banks of which Sasha Kibalnikov had been born one hundred years ago.
In the four halls on the right, Moscow artists displayed their ‘offerings’ to the master. Lyubov’ Vasilievna Shirshova presented at the exhibition a wonderful collection of 12 paintings by Peoples’ Artist of Russia, academician Yefrem Ivanovich Zver’kov. In the next hall, paintings by Tatiana Gorelova logically continued semantic and colouristic line of moving works by Yefrem Ivanovich: immense spaces of Russia so clear and transparently wistful with Zver’kov, became more dense and saturated as if before thunderstorm. Leading sculptors of Moscow have also presented their works at the exhibition, among them Honoured Artist of Russia, corresponding member of the RAA A. Smolenkov, corresponding member of the RAA V. Kolesnikov, A. Popandopulo. Vyacheslav Semionivich Piliper, the author of the tombstone to A.P. Kibalnikov at Novodevichy Cemetery displayed at the exhibition a collection of sculptures by his father, S.M. Piliper who had been a friend and assistant of Alexandr Kibalnikov, and a number of his own works, among others a new sculptural portrait of A.P. Kibalnikov in redwood specially carved for this exhibition.
The third hall accommodating works of Moscow artists and called «red hall» predicts the thunderstorm by delicate hints: paintings by two Honoured artists of Russia Gennadiy Zhivotov and Piotr Stronsky make spectators stop involuntary and think. Presence of a sculptural portrait of Vladimir Mayakovskiy by A.P. Kibalnikov here is absolutely natural: thunderstorm, Mayakovskiy and revolution are always connected inseparably. Optimistic chord in the hall are the works of Volgograd artists – A. Pokatilo and G. Gumichiov displayed next to the paintings of Elena Stroyeva, Moscow artist.
Through the archway of the ‘red hall’, the final ‘blue’ hall opens.
The works displayed here: polyphonic batiks by Aliona Kosul’nikova and polyptych of nine panels ‘On the Land’s End’ by Margarita Siourina next to a wonderful photo portrait of Alexandr Kibalnikov who typically for an artist fixes his glance upon a new and unexplored object while the last wall of the hall is left empty – turn the final hall of the exhibition space into a start of a new oncoming project…
Wish you a good new exhibition.
Wish you a good new book.
Wish you a good new museum.