Dmitry Nalbandyan. Impossibleisimpossible
about the exhebition
The Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents a large-scale exhibition IMPOSSIBLEISIMPOSSIBLE that will feature works by the People’s Artist of the USSR Dmitry Nalbandyan and is timed to the 30th anniversary of the Nalbandyan Workshop Museum, which since 2018 is part of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. The project will showcase the genre and thematic diversity of Nalbandyan’s artistic heritage as well as the significance of his work for the history of Russian art. The exhibition at 25 Petrovka Street will be a key stage in the museum’s rethinking, updating, and repositioning the collection of the Nalbandyan Workshop Museum.
The biography of Dmitry Nalbandyan is a story of a man who witnessed many historical events of his time. His career began in the early 1930s, and he quickly became famous as a master of the Soviet ceremonial portrait. Nalbandyan painted the leaders of the Soviet state, rulers of other countries, politicians, military leaders, scientists, and cosmonauts. The core of the artist’s official heritage is an extensive cycle dedicated to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. The so-called Leniniana includes hundreds of works in various types and genres: multi-figure compositions showing key episodes of the revolutionary events of the early XX century, ceremonial portraits, works of a more intimate character and numerous portrait sketches. Besides historical paintings, Dmitry Nalbandyan is known for his landscapes and numerous still lifes, which stand in stark contrast to his works on historical events and the revolution.
A study of Dmitry Nalbandyan’s personality, his environment, and his methods of working on historical paintings allows one to track the evolution of Soviet official art. The exhibition includes Dmitry Nalbandyan’s key works from the 1930s to 1993, it comprehensively presents the evolution of the master’s work and features archival materials: personal contradictions in the artist’s biography, legends that emerged around him, memoirs of his contemporaries, photographs. The visitors will have a rare opportunity to see so much documentary evidence of the past, as well as sketches, drawings, and paintings by Nalbandyan.
The exhibition shows works from the collections of MMOMA, the Manege Central Exhibition Hall, the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Historical Museum, the Dal State Museum of the History of Russian Literature, the private collections of Vladimir Nekrasov, Irina Kondratova, as well as other regional archives, public and private collections. The exhibition will continue the multidisciplinary inclusive project New Opportunities, supported by the Presidential Grants Fund and aimed at engaging people with disabilities in the cultural and educational context. The programme will include mediation tours with audio description and tactile models, facilitated tours and master classes for visitors with mental disabilities. Description audio guides and video guides for sign language speakers will be offered too. The inclusive programme will offer a training for mediators in the basics of interacting with blind, visually impaired, and deaf visitors, as well as a training for the native speakers of the Russian sign language who will work as tour guides.
The exhibition will be accompanied with a public programme with lectures and talks by invited speakers.
about the artist
Dmitry Arkadyevich Nalbandyan (September 15, 1906, Tiflis — June 30, 1993, Moscow) was a Soviet Armenian painter, People’s Artist of the USSR and Hero of Socialist Labour, winner of the Lenin and two Stalin Prizes, winner of the Jawaharlal Nehru Prize. Dmitry is one of the most famous official portraitists of the Soviet era. During the artist’s lifetime, his solo exhibitions were repeatedly held not only in the USSR, but also in Hungary, the GDR, Finland, Japan, India, and France. Dmitry Nalbandyan’s works are in the collections of the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), the State Historical Museum (Moscow), the State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Moscow), the State Art Gallery of Armenia (Yerevan), the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and many other museums and private collections.
About the Nalbandyan Museum Workshop
The Nalbandyan Museum Workshop was founded in 1993 on the ninth floor of the residential building No. 8 on Tverskaya Street. The workshop was not only the artist’s workplace, but also a meeting place for art professionals, public and political figures, military leaders, and celebrities of the time. Today, the collection of the museum, which is part of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, holds more than 1,500 works: paintings, graphics, materials from the artist’s private archive, photographs, books, furniture, and decorative and applied art.