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Watercolor on paper
The Appian Way
Watercolor on paper
Watercolor on paper
Snowden’s Dreams
Watercolor on paper
Watercolor on paper
Date: 15 October — 15 December, 2017
Venue: The State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Amir Temur Avenue, 16.

Curators: Vasila Faizieva (SMAU), Andrey Egorov (MMOMA), Anna Arutyunyan (MMOMA)

The State Museum of Art of Uzbekistan in partnership with the Moscow Museum of Modern Art present the solo exhibition of Andrey Esionov — a well-known painter, draughtsman and master of striking large-scale watercolors.

Esionov was born and grew up in Tashkent. Here he received his fundamental artistic education, graduating from the painting department of the A.N. Ostrovsky Tashkent State Institute of Theater and Art in 1990. During the difficult years of the Perestroika, he was compelled, like many others, to leave not only his native city (and move to Moscow), but also his profession. As it turned out, however, this was not meant to be permanent. After twenty years, in 2010, Esionov once again took a steep turn and returned to art — but in a new capacity secured by his invaluable life experience.

This personal, biographical aspect, and in a wider sense — the life journey of a human being who at every step needs to take fateful decisions and make ethical choices — are the leitmotifs of Andrey Esionov’s exhibition at the State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan. Its title references the famous maxim of Heraclitus. «Ever-newer waters flow on those who step into the same rivers,» — said the Ancient Greek philosopher who dialectically contemplated wisdom and the limits of knowledge, predestination and free will, the changeability and unity of the world.

Several watercolor series of Andrey Esionov form the basis of the exhibition. The landscape sheets depicting urban locations of Moscow, Jerusalem, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Dresden, Rome and Venice, which have traced the geography of the artist’s travels, as well as portraits of his family members and friends — intimate, as if preserving the freshness and immediacy of true companionship — belong to the more traditional line of his work. They are shown alongside original scenes of narrative and allegorical nature that the artist has been lately preoccupied with. Likened to fables or parables, they all elaborate in various ways on the notion of earthly pilgrimage. This long sequence of vivid, dynamic and instantly memorable compositions has recently been enriched by colorful mise-en-scènes taking place in Tashkent.

The exhibition is supplemented by pencil drawings executed from life and special objects that provide the viewer with an insight into Esionov’s private space — his artistic instruments, photographs, selected personal items. A separate zone features a film about the artist, which may be regarded as a master-class documenting the meticulous process of producing a watercolor from start to finish. A distinct showpiece in the exhibition at the State Museum of Arts is the painting «The Tragedy of Aral», executed in oil on canvas, — the author’s new version of an eponymous picture created during his studies in Tashkent in 1988.

To this date, Esionov has carried out personal shows in large museums and exhibition halls in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Kazan and Paris. His retrospective exhibition at the State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan, comprised of a sizeable corpus of works in different genres, logically continues this series — but it also holds symbolic significance for the artist, and therefore imposes special responsibility. The circle has finally been closed: returning to the city of his childhood and youth as a formed artist, honored with an opportunity to show his works among the signature pieces from the museum’s collection, Esionov is not only demonstrating his creative achievements, but also addressing the sources of the Tashkent school of painting. In a certain sense, the exhibition is an homage to his teachers and more broadly, the rich, polyphonic and in many ways unique cultural environment that nurtured him.

The exhibition is accompanied by a profusely illustrated catalogue in three languages (Russian, English and Uzbek), which includes specially written essays on the artist’s oeuvre.

About the artist:

Andrey Esionov was born in 1963, in Tashkent. In 1990, he graduated from the Painting Department, the Tashkent State Theatrical and Art Institute named after A.N. Ostrovsky. His first independent works attracted the attention of senior colleagues and art critics. But during the Perestroika period, the artist was forced to devote himself to business activities. 20 years later, Andrey Esionov made himself known, but as a mature artist. He is a member of the Union of Artists of Russia, a member of the Creative Union of Artists of Russia, and holds awards of the Russian Academy of Arts and the Creative Union of Artists of Russia. Andrey Esionov is a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Arts, as well as the winner of several prestigious international festivals of art. The artist’s works are held in the collections of the State Russian Museum (Saint Petersburg), the State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan (Kazan), the Samara Regional Museum of Art and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.

The State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan was founded in 1918. The basis of original collection included 100 works of sculpture, painting, graphics, porcelain by Russian and Western European masters from the collections of Prince Romanov and other private collections of that time nationalized after the revolution. Today, the museum's extensive collection includes valuable exhibits of arts and crafts and fine arts of Uzbekistan, the countries of the Far East and Western Europe. A rich collection of Russian art is represented not only by icon painting and works by F.S. Rokotova, V.L. Borovikovsky, K.P. Bryullov, but also by works of artists of the turn of the XIX-XX century: K.A. Korovin, A.N. Benois, M.V. Dobuzhinsky, N.K. Roerich, M.V. Nesterova, B.M. Kustodieva, R.R. Falk, A.V. Lentulov and others. From the second half of the 1930s, the museum's collection was expanded with fund of the fine arts of Uzbekistan of modern times. The period of the so-called "Turkestan avant-garde" is represented by the works of A.Volkov, V.Ufimtseva, N.Karakhan, M.Kurzin and other major masters.

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