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Matvey Basov’s pictorial exhibition at the National Art Museum encourages debate and contemplation among the audience

Artists offer spectators a wonderful opportunity to interpret their works of art

Matvey Basov’s pictorial exhibition at the National Art Museum encourages debate and contemplation among the audience.

The author admits that the idea to showcase paintings created in the last century, during the ‘Soviet period’, came to him a long time ago. There was a need to discover and reconsider the fifty-year-old artistic archives of the painter’s work and to show them to the public.

The exhibition features 70 paintings from the 1960s-early 1990s from the painter’s studio, on display in Minsk for the first time. This unique project represents several stages in the development of the artist’s career. The paintings in the exhibition don’t have any stylistic genre or formal unity — they are united by conceptual and ideological content. Thus, the artist’s works are the result of his interaction with his place in history.

Basov’s masterpieces are filled with imaginary and real  images, as well as plots which are sometimes clear only to the artist

The canvases by Basov are filled with both imaginary and real images. They are open to a variety of interpretations. Mr. Basov himself describes how he constructs his paintings. “My work is based on feelings and intuition, after starting a painting, I do not have a clear plan and I depict images which are suggested by my heart, my soul and by nature”.

An initial image, as well as its separate fragments, is very important in this respect. It is like Chagall’s painting in which real objects are combined with fantastic and fictional ones. A famous art expert called this a breathtaking journey past truths, ideas and characters. This is anticipation; it is not an event, but the feeling of it...

Mr. Basov creates his own narrative language that is simultaneously unique and universal. At the same time, it is accessible to many people. His emotional and sensual nature becomes the core of an imaginative structure in the paintings. But at the same time, a viewer has the opportunity to use their own set of ‘keys’ for interpreting a canvas and to form his own ideas about the mythological worlds that the artist has portrayed.

The painter’s art includes both multifaceted and deep content. It is a way of reflection. This is the world where figures of people, dialogue between saints, landscapes and almost abstract images appear like memories of the past. It belongs to the lost era of hearts torn with grief, unrealised hopes and dreams, memories and loss. It is like a reminder of a world which will never be the same again.

By Veniamin Mikheev

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