Private Affairs of the Architect
Nikolay Shumakov. The Clown Frisch. Profile-Profile Part of a polyptych. Oil on canvas
Nikolay Shumakov. Lusya. 2012. Oil on canvas. 120x100 cm
Nikolay Shumakov.Tenches. 2012. Oil on canvas. 80x100 cm
Nikolay Shumakov. Self-Portrait .2010. Oil on canvas. 80x70 cm
Nikolay Shumakov. Zhivopisny Bridge (Picturesque Bridge) over the Moskva River. Co-authors: N.Shurygina, N. Trusilova, V.Molchanov
Nikolay Shumakov. Vestibule of the “SretenskyBulvar” Metro Station. Co-authors: G. Mun, N. Shurygina
Date: February 28 – April 6, 2014
Venue: 25 Petrovka
Curators: Andrey Egorov, Anna Arutyunyan
Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents an exhibition of a well-known Russian architect Nikolay Shumakov, whose name is closely associated with the recent period of construction of the Moscow subway system. However, Shumakov’s architectural work won’t be the main focus of the exhibition – rather, careful attention will be given to his “private affairs”, and that’s more than 60 paintings created over the last several years.
An architect is a business-minded, vigorous person of sanguine temperament, surrounded by clients, developers and investors. He’s diplomatic in administering large groups of employees and construction workers. Ratio defines his nature. Meanwhile, a painter is usually seen in a different light: as an independent artist, a visionary of solitary disposition, an introvert and a dreamer, born under the sign of the melancholy Saturn. Despite the fact that in our popular imagination these creative modes often seem to present irreconcilable opposites, the protagonist of the exhibition at the MMOMA fuses them with no apparent contradictions.
Nikolay Shumakov is the Chief Architect of the “Metrogiprotrans” planning and surveying institute, as well as the President of the Union of Moscow Architects. Since the mid-1980s and up to now, he has designed more than twenty underground stations in Moscow, the Butovo light-rail line, and the monorail transportation system in the north of the city. His other important public buildings are also well-known to many residents of the Russian capital: the Zhivopisny most (Picturesque Bridge) in the Serebryany Bor forest-park, the traffic control center at the intersection of the Alabyan street and Volokolamsky roadway (a witty treatment of the archetypal figure of the egg), and the new terminal of the Vnukovo airport.
Importantly, though, the MMOMA exhibition introduces Nikolay Shumakov not so much as a successful architect or a public person, but as a private individual, mainly by means of painted portraits of other people – his family members, friends and colleagues. Shumakov produces these works in his intimate, hideaway studio, while no one really knows how he manages to find the time for this activity. Spread over the nine rooms of the main museum building at Petrovka, and supplemented by still-lives and nudes – the architect-painter’s other favorite genres, – these works constitute the key feature of the exhibition, a personal show in the very literal sense of the word.
Of course, one wouldn’t want to leave such a display without any traces of architecture, as Shumakov’s primary occupation inevitably set the contours of his private life. The exhibition will be expanded by photographs of the architect’s main buildings, created and sent by ordinary Muscovites in the course of a special online competition. Shumakov’s landmarks in the capital will appear in their everyday, “existential” state, that is to say, in that psychologically-determined dimension of architecture that unfolds within the perception of the people who pass, live and feel it on a daily basis.
The exhibition of Nikolay Shumakov – a figure shifting different creative guises (quite in the vein of the universal masters of the past) – is a rare opportunity to see his distinctive, expressive and intense paintings, and consequently to unveil the inner world of a person that mostly remains unseen, but is known by many Moscow dwellers.
At the same time, this exhibition is a pertinent occasion to ask oneself questions relevant not only with regard to creative and charismatic individuals, but to all of us – dealing with the relationship between the rational and the emotional in a human being, the mechanisms of the creative impulse, and finally, the search for personal identity and self-definition.
Nikolay Ivanovich Shumakov (b. 1 April, 1954 in the town of Korkino, Chelyabinsk Oblast) is an Honored Architect of the Russian Federation, an Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts, an Academician of the International Academy of Architecture, and the President of the Moscow Union of Architects. Since 1977, he’s been engaged in designing transportation structures and other buildings of civil and industrial purpose. He is the Chief Architect of the “Metrogiprotrans” planning and surveying institute.
Shumakov is the principal designer of numerous subway stations – in Moscow and other cities. Among his most significant structures in the Moscow metro network are such stations as Krasnogvardeyskaya, Konkovo, Tyoply Stan, Yasenevo, Bitsevsky Park, Savyolovskaya, Krylatskoye, Krestyanskaya Zastava, Borisovo, Zyablikovo, Sretensky Bulvar, Park Pobedy, Vorobyovy Gory, the Butovo metro line, the Moscow monorail transportation system (Timiryazevskaya, Teletsentr, Ulitsa Akademnika Korolyova, Vystavochny Tsentr, Ulitsa Sergeya Eisensteina stations), the mini-metro track from the Kiyevskaya station to the Moscow-City station, the Solntsevo line of the Moscow metro. Apart from these projects in Moscow, Shumakov designed the first lines of the metro systems in Omsk, Chelyabinsk and Myanmar (all on the building stage).
The architectural oeuvre of Nikolay Shumakov is not limited to subway structures. He is also the author of the project of the Vsevolod Meyerhold Museum and Theatre complex in Penza, the project of individual residential houses for the rural area, automobile cable-stayed bridges over the Moskva River, a combination bridge over the Dnieper River in Kiev, the project of the Museum of Tolerance in Moscow, the synagogue in Barvikha, the project of the Museum of Modern Art on Vorobyevy Gory, and the West River Port in Moscow.
The last decade has seen unique structures designed and built under Shumakov’s supervision, including the first monorail transportation system, light-rail and mini-metro lines in Russia, the first cable-stayed bridge with a built-in restaurant in Moscow, as well as the largest airport terminal complex in Europe – Vnukovo-1.
Many of Nikolay Shumakov’s projects have been honored with awards of Russian and international competitions, festivals and exhibitions, including “Zodchestvo” and “Zolotoye Secheniye.” Several projects were honored with medals and diplomas of the Brussels, Strasbourg and Paris international exhibitions of innovations and new technologies. Nikolay Shumakov has been awarded with the Order of Friendship (Russia) and the Order of the Crown, Officer and Commander Grades (Belgium). He is the Laureate of the Moscow Prize. Over the last several years, Shumakov has organized five solo exhibitions of his paintings in Russia and abroad. Married, has two daughters and three grandsons.
About the Curators
Andrey Egorov is an art historian and Head of Research Department of the MMOMA. He graduated from the Lomonosov Moscow State University (Faculty of History, Department of the History and Theory of Art).
Anna Arutyunyan is an art historian and Senior Research Fellow at the MMOMA. She graduated from the Lomonosov Moscow State University (Faculty of History, Department of the History and Theory of Art). Curator of the 1st thematic display of the MMOMA, “Etude to Art Object” (2009, Petrovka, 25).
Among their joint curatorial projects are the 5th thematic display of the MMOMA, “Dreams for Those Who Are Awake” (2013, Petrovka, 25), and the exhibition “TECHNE: Contemporary Art in Dialogue with Science” (2012, Expocenter Exhibition Complex, Moscow).