10 february – 19 april

The joint project by East Meets West Gallery and the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum "Fish - sign, totem. Mythology and Modernity" will be open at the museum from February 9 to April 19, 2023. It was envisioned about two years ago and from the beginning was intended for the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum of. It has been particularly interesting to see what authors, objects and works of art have been collected in the museum's holdings on this theme in recent decades.

The project is based on the idea of a broad presentation of the image of a FISH in the archaic, folk, primitive, naive and other sections of modern art, as well as the embodiment of this theme in terms of totemism, mythology and beliefs in the Indo-European tradition, in the traditions of China and Japan.

About a place of a fish in culture of Russian people its mythology, our Russian language gives representation. The fish is an ancient symbol of Christ, dating back to the tradition of the first Christians. And this theme is deeply embodied in the works of Irina Starzhenetskaya, Tatiana Yan, Albina Voronkova and Sergey Gavin.

The mythological symbolism of fish was widely represented in Soviet and Russian art. It became especially popular in the 80-90s of the XX century in monumental art, easel painting, graphics and in decorative-applied art, brightly manifested in such directions as primitivism, contemporary naive art, decorative and applied art.

The fullest disclosure of this subject matter would have been impossible without the participation of the departments of the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum , which gathered significant collections of author's art of the 70s-90s of the XX century. These are the department of textiles, glass and ceramics, the department of printed sources and fine arts, the department of wood. The exhibition includes works of applied art made of glass, metal, stone, china, ceramics, clay, wood, tapestries, carpets, modern textile panels with embroidery, sewing, prints and paintings on fabric, in assemblage and patchwork techniques, with embroidery and applications by the most prominent and respected masters of our time. The works of some participants of the project have already been exhibited in the museum or are on display in its collections, for example: Albina Voronkova, Valery Maloletkov, Natalia Muradova, Timur Sazhin and Lidia Fomina, Natalia Khlebtsevich, Andrey Avdeev, Vladimir Chibisov, Viktor Reshetnikov, Olga Khan, Maxim Aksenov, Maxim Protsenko.

Easel painting and graphic art is represented both by outstanding representatives of Russian art of older generation of our contemporaries and by already well-known artists of 1990s - beginning of the XXI century, such as Tatiana Nazarenko, Anna Birshtein, Irina Starzhenetskaya, Ivan Lubennikov, Anatoly Purlik, Tatiana Yan, Mikhail Molochnikov, Evgeny Tsipulin, Olga Osnach, Vera Zanegina, Elena Belyakova.

All we have been able to tell about the image of a fish in Soviet and Russian art of recent times is just an allegorical thin thread, stretched into the present from the very recent past, but it shows the unbreakable connection... "uniting past and present in the work of the artist, civilization and culture, beliefs and religion, history and modernity, and thus their symbols, one of which is a fish" (Elena Romanova).

Project curator: Tatiana Paleyeva.