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The returned name: Pavel Golubyatnikov

25 May - 29 June 2000
Marble Palace

In 1920s Pavel Golubyatnikov(1891-1942) was a well-known figure in the cultural life of St. Petersburg. He was a member of numerous art societies, a friend and a favourite student of Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin. The impression produced on the young artist by the "Bathing of a Red Horse" (1912) by Petrov-Vodkin predetermined the artistic fate of Pavel Golubyatnikov. The personal acquaintance of the two artists revealed the similarity of their views and kinship of souls. The conceptions of "planetarism", orientation towards the traditions of Old Russian Painting, monumentalism were exactly the things Pavel Golubyatnikov sought after in art. In 1918 Pavel Golubyatnikov enters the VKhuTEMAS and studies under Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin. In mid-1920s Golubyatnikov moves to Kiev. Teaches at the Kiev Art Academy together with Vladimir Tatlin and Kazimir Malevich. In late 1920s Golubyatnikov contributes to two prestigious exhibitions - in New York and in Venice (Biennale Internazionale dell' Arte). In 1926 David Burliuk invites Golubyatnikov to contribute to the New-York exhibition of "Intimate Art". Canvasses by Pavel Golubyatnikov are purchased by Katherine Dreyer, a founding member of the Museum of Modern Art and by Christian Brinton, an art collector well known by the Russian avant-garde artists. The uplift of creative activity in the late 1920s turnes into oblivion in the late 1930s. Golubyatnikov stops contributing to exhibitions and moves to Leningrad. Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin invites him to teach at the Academy of Arts. Golubyatnikov paints numerous portraits of his relatives. His oeuvres are accused of formalism and the artist is dismissed from the Academy. Together with Vladimir Tatlin Golubyatnikov starts working on the methodological programmes on art history and theory, the major work of their investigations being the "Atlas of Colour", the three volumes of which are supposed to contain 120000 colour scales tables. In the course of time the works of Golubyatnikov acquire serious religious tinge. His last works are permeated with the ideas of purification and salvation. Golubyatnikov dies from dystrophy in the besieged Leningrad in 1942. The wife of the artist evacuates with her children to the Urals and takes all his works which she keeps folded for the following 30 years. Only in 1975 the curators of the Nizhny Tagil State Museum of Art started to investigate the artistic heritage of Pavel Golubyatnikov. It took more than 20 years to collect and restore his works, carry out researches concerning his life and creative activities. The Museum of Art at Nizhny Tagil is the only owner of the collection of works by Golubyatnikov. It comprises almost all of his surviving canvases and graphic works. The exhibition in the Marble Palace consisted of 28 canvases and 20 graphic works by Pavel Golubyatnikov from the Nizhny Tagil Museum of Art.