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National Art Museum presents Yegor Batalyonok: Pictorial Art exposition

Author favours pictures depicting the Cosmos

National Art Museum presents Yegor Batalyonok: Pictorial Art exposition

The artist’s works have been exhibited at over a hundred collective and about ten personal shows. The present exhibition is a celebration dedicated to the master’s 70th birthday.

During the opening of the exhibition

Yegor Batalyonok is a chamber artist who isn’t inspired by realism. He sketches from life but prefers to generate his ideas for more serious pictures. In his artistry, Yegor uses exclusively small-sized works: feeling no integrity in monumental pictures. His largest picture (1.20m) is the only of the kind at the show of 37 works. All those pieces on display are recent representations of the post-Soviet period of painting. It’s now difficult to see his earlier works as almost all of them have been bought by private collectors.

At the beginning of his creativity, Mr. Batalyonok attempted to draw portraits but felt more freedom in painting natural landscapes. Born in the village, he mastered the art of drawing independently as he had no teacher and no drawing lessons at school. From childhood he practised on household objects, book illustrations and local landscapes.

Yegor Batalyonok’s creative output is characterised by the continuous search, improvement of his professional skills and industriousness. Viewers can appreciate the artist’s achievements during numerous solo-exhibitions and collective exposures of Belarusian art, held both in Belarus and in abroad.

On a first viewing, his pictures are simple, understandable and laconic, but their internal content has a deep meaning, energy and intention to appeal to the onlooker’s spiritual mind. The artist’s works show a great deal of a professional skill and individual artistic style. The personal experiences and view of life of the artist are an essential part of his creative activity. In his paintings the artist uses his personal perception to comprehend universal human values and phenomena that have evolved over centuries in the worldview of Belarusian people. Landscape and still-life paintings are Mr. Batalyonok’s favourite genres. These are full-sized, composite pictures — rather than studies or spontaneous works; they reflect feelings and states of nature. Mr. Batalyonok appreciates the picture where the Cosmos of accumulated experiences and notions is depicted in plots and subjects. Here, the intensive assimilation of space and time takes place and — through international painting — there is a figurative speech on the understanding of the subject’s soul.

Apple Tree of Paradise

A Belarusian literary man — Yanka Sipakov — once described Mr. Batalyonok’s artistry saying, “Wisdom is concentrated in his paintings.” Yegor’s artistry is notable for the harmony of each canvas. As a result, traditionally small-sized works acquire a monumental greatness and importance.

It is also worth mentioning the colour choices that the author uses in his works. It is based on the artist’s spiritual experience, where through the play of light and shade he conveys the dynamism of his compositions and the sensual world of images. Each example of the artist’s work is marked by divine content and the meaning of human existence on earth. This is reflected not only in Christian symbols and signs, but through a Christian view and understanding of life, glowing in the master’s touch on the canvas.

Mr. Batalyonok’s creative path is characterised by an understanding of life, its values and priorities. This is seen in the great spiritual work made by the painter in ‘separation of the wheat from the chaff’. This is a work of mind, consciousness and heart. The painter’s Apple Tree of Paradise has become a true pearl of the exhibition. It features a tree with small apples, close to a barn and a villager — indicating that the scene is Belarusian rather than foreign. Mr. Batalyonok’s romantic landscapes and still life-paintings are kept not only in national collections: they can also be found in a Polish museum, two Russian museums and three American museums, as well as in the homes of private collectors around the world.

Meanwhile, although the artist’s pictures are kept by almost all Belarusian museums, the National Art Museum has only one of his works. As planned, a part of the profits from the present exhibition will go to the museum’s funds.

By Veniamin Mikheev
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