MOSCOW MUNICIPAL MUSEUM OF NAIVE ART
About art, which today has received the name of naive, in world practice for the first time has become known at the end of XIX century in connection with opening original creativity of the French customs officer Henry Rousseau, whose works today decorate Louvre, Hermitage and Pushkin's Museum of Fine Arts in Mocsow. In 60-th of XX centure all civilized world was literally blown up by opening of creativity of the georgian self-taught painter Niko Pirosmani, whose works were on display in Louvre on the line of cultural exchange USSR - France. Since then experts argue a terminology (naive, primitive or something else), capable to designate huge, really vast layer of art concerning to this direction, laying between folklore and professional creativity and containing in ingenious self-taught painters, offsprings of Latin American maya and asteks, followers of laught culture of Russian lubok, founders of wooden and ceramic works etc. Nevertheless term "naive art " is fixed, as most suitable, by the World Encyclopedia of Naive Art, issued in Yugoslavia in 1984 and announced creativity of 98 artists from Russia.
At present time the west-european culture closely has approached to thought about necessity of creation of special museums of such profile. Life, as well as arguments of the contributors, has moved to the unambiguous output: naive art is not fashionable whim, but skill to feel the deep roots and to realize national belonging in a context of development of culture and life of the folk. Just from this point of view created and successfully work galleries of a number of the Latin American countries, Smithson institute in USA, museum Pirosmani in Georgia work a State museum of naive art and outsiders in Holland, "Art en Marge" in Belgium, "Haus der Kuenstler" in Austria, "Museum Haus Eaeao" in Germany, "Adolf Wolfi's Fund" in Switzerland.
The huge number of international exhibitions, symposiums and biennialies, carried on during last ten years, has opened to the world unique shape of the foremen of naive art of Russia. Creativity such artists as Ivan Selivanov, Tatiana Elenok - painter from Moscow, formed in peasant environment of Kuban, Vasili Grigorjev - the casting-worker from town near Moscow, told about sanguineous way of life of Russian patriarchal mode, Evdokija Panova - master of woven plots from Vologda, Ivan Nikiforov, reflected in his graphics of a themes and images of the revolutionary past, and many others voted as classics of naive.
However universal recognition of the Russian naive has coincided with heavy time for organizations capable on a sort of activity to support and to give impulse to the consequent creativity (it means the state museums and structures of Union of the artists). In this connection whole area of fine art has appeared ownerless, that is why dead at itself on a native land. The separate artists which have been pulled out from obscurity during the first years of perestroyka due to mass media, work extremely on western art-market. Pictures of such Moscow artists as Katja Medvedeva, Vasili Romanenkov, Grigori Khusochkin from Kostroma, owner Grand Prix of the International exhibition of naive art "INSITA-97" took place in Bratislava, Pavel Leonov from Ivanovo area and others become for Russia, essentially, rare and find the registration in museums and private collections abroad.
The artists are separated - there is no creative dialogue, there is no link with specialized magazines, with mass media and publishers. There is no possibility of systematic display of private collections, group, personal exhibitions, and, therefore, - obtaining the qualified estimation of art critics. Is eliminated popularisation with the help of issuing of the booklets, brochures, colourful leaflets. There is no possibility of ordering and scientific work.
All this are negatively reflected in development of the given direction of fine art and makes active the process of flowing away the best samples from Russia. About desire of the artists to be exposed on a native land and to work with the domestic spectator through state museum establishments the letter of group of the artists testifies addressed to the mayor of capital Yuri Luzshkov with the list of works, transmitted by them as a gift to Moscow. Just under the initiative of the '"naive" artists at the end of June, 1998 the mayor of Moscow signed the Decision " About creation of the Municipal museum of Naive Art ".
The appearance of the first in Russia Municipal Museum of Naive Art is capable in any measure to remove the negative tendencies, to make cultural life of our capital and country more interesting, and to leave to the following generations of the people one of informative pages of cultural heritage of Russia.
Already from first steps of the activity the Museum has declared itself by an exhibition " Images of Pushkin in creativity of the naive artists of Russia", generated thanking grant of the President of Russian Federation obtained on a competitive basis. For the first time in the history of Pushkiniana poet, his life and environment, his creativity were shown in works of the artists from the folk. During the creation of exposition of the exhibition works of more than 70 authors from 22 areas and territories of Russia were assembled. The idea of creation of such exhibition has found a response at museums-reserves of Pskov, Vladimiro-Suzdal, "Tsaritsino", at Cherepovets museum association and Moscow gallery "Gift", and also at private collectors.
This exhibition was included in the schedule of metropolitan measures on celebration 200 anniversary from birthday of A. S. Pushkin, and also, on solution of Board of Ministry of culture of Russian Federation, is included in the federal schedule of anniversary year and has become a mobile exhibition, which already was seen by the inhabitants of Pskov, Cherepovets, Kotlas, Kirov, Moscow (June 3-20 the exhibition passed in the Central House of Artist). It also was on display in Cannes (France), Murmansk, Vladimir and up to the end of year will be still shown in cities Alexandrov and Ivanovo.
The second program of Museum - organization of exhibitions in Moscow under the common name "Masterpieces of naive art from provincial museums of Russia", first step it of execution has become an exhibition "Anna Dikarskaja and Vasili Plastinin - Classics of Russian naive" from funds of a State Vladimiro-Suzdal museum-reserve.
The following large project of Museum calculated for two-three years, is devoted to 2000 anniversary of christianity and beginning of the third millenium. The participants of this project will become museums of a central part of Russia, and then cities located along the trans-siberian trunk down to Vladivostok.
It is necessary to notice, that the Museum always tried to support the creative ralations with museums of Moscow and other cities. So, the long-term contracts on creative cooperation with Correspondence national university of culture and Vladimiro-Suzdal museum-reserve are on the present operating, instead of formal (it is necessary to notice an exhibition "Dark blue tom-cat on white snow" of works of I. Selivanov, above mentioned exhibition from a Vladimiro-Suzdal museum-reserve and also exhibition of works of N. Arefjeva (Volgograd province) in Suzdal organized by the Museum.
The Museum by the forces regularly carried out exhibitions releases small circulations of booklets. Among them booklets of exhibitions of Makarov, Nikiforov, Kuljabko, Medvedeva, Saritchev, Kuzmenko, Noskov, Leonov, where it is possible to gather exact information on the artists.
The addition of funds of a Museum is carried out by two paths: through purchease of pictures, and also through obtaining of works as a gift. One of such additions of a collection has become transmission to gift to Museum by daughter of the artist Saritchev of all his works participated in an exhibition, passed in Museum, and also transmission to gift to Museum of their works of artists Kuljabko and Klimov.
Director of Moscow Municipal Museum of Naive Art
GROZIN V. I.
Moscow culture committee
Municipal Museum of Naive Art
director Vladimir I. GROZIN
15-a Soyuznyi prospekt, 111396 Moscow, Russia,
Tel.: +7 (495) 301 0348
Fax: +7 (495) 303 1514