Alexander Labas (1900 - 1983) is often called the most romantic painter of Soviet times. Last year his 110th anniversary was celebrated, and the State Tretyakov Gallery has opened a retrospective exhibition dedicated to this talented master. His tutors were Ilya Mashkov, Peter Konchalovsky and David Shterenberg, and through these different schools Labas became a master of lyrical abstraction. He eventually developed his unique blurred style of drawing which is clearly demonstrated in his fantastic pictures of trains, airplanes and dirigibles,
his socalled “cosmic fantasies”. The 1920s and the 1930s were still full of joyful anticipation for Alexander Labas and that is clearly seen in his works, full of light and euphoria. The planes are silvery, the Metro is so multi-coloured, the people are all so fashionable and happy. The works for the current exhibition have been provided by the State Tretyakov gallery, the State Russian museum, The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and from the collection of Olga Beskina-Labas.
Till May 18
State Tretyakov Gallery
10, Krymsky Val
Open: 10.00 - 19.00
Arte Povera is an important landmark for European contemporary art and is one of the best-known 20th century Italian art movements. The term itself appeared through the book Arte Povera, written by the art critic Germano Celant (1968). The group was made up of young, talented art students in Turin, as well as young artists from other Italian cities in the early 1960s who, to a certain extent, followed traditional techniques. But the late 1960s not being a quiet period socially, the artists preferred a revolutionary path, questioning the values of the established institutions.
Nowadays, ironically, many of the initiators of this “revolutionary art”, among whom are Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier-Paolo Calzolari, Jannis Kounellis or Mario Merz are considered established artists, and their works are presented for retrospectives in European museums of modern art or in America. The Castle of Rivoli
May 16-July 17
Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow
10.00-20.00, except Monday
(former Residence of the Royal House of Savoy in Rivoli) housed the museum of contemporary art of Turin and nowadays, it is the biggest collection of Arte Povera. 2011 is the year of the cultural interchange between Russia and Italy. Multimedia Art Museum is the youngest institution for modern art in Russia and presents this exhibition to a Moscow audience.
American Jazz Jamboree
The concert by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterwork Orchestra and King’s Singers coming up in May is an unprecedented event in Moscow. This is the first time that American jazz musicians have come to Russia thanks to US government support, proving that jazz is still one of the most important American cultural symbols. The orchestra’s repertoire includes both classics and modern compositions. Critics have written that when the orchestra performs Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, it is not so difficult to close your eyes and remember the old masters themselves. For the 20 years of the band’s existence, they have toured many American states, visited European countries, and participated in many festivals. David Baker, its artistic director is a wellknown composer and conductor, has worked with many jazz stars
from 1975, and recorded more than 60 albums.
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
and the King’s Singers
International House of Music,
The King’s Singers is a celebrated vocal band. Their motto is “to
sing everything that is possible and impossible to sing”. The band started 40 years ago. Perfect intonation and ensemble of voices has gained them an international reputation. Their repertoire is enormous: from Renaissance madrigals to Rossini’s overtures; from early religious music to Beatles’ songs. Almost every year the band records a disc. The latest has won a Grammy award.
Classical Music Extravaganza for Russia Day
The Moscow music season traditionally closes with the Symphony Orchestras Festival. For six years, June 12th (Russia Day) has been celebrated in Moscow to the sounds of classical music. Valery Gergiev, Myung-Wun Chung, Riccardo Muti, Vladimir Spivakov have all conducted during these festivals over the years.
Famous symphony orchestras are invited to participate in the Festival; traditionally held in the Hall of Columns of the House of Unions on Bolshaya Dmitrovka street.
The festival has particular themes every year, but on the whole the concept is simple:
the best orchestras, conductors and music fill the white marble hall at the beginning of summer.
This year’s programme,
for example, is related to Eastern Europe. The George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra (Romania), Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (Prague), Sinfonia Varsovia (Warsaw) will perform compositions by Dvořák, Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov and Rachmaninov.