Belarusian painters and sculptors at Art Capital in Paris

First time for Belarusian pavilion at Grand Palais des Champs-Elysees

First time for Belarusian pavilion at Grand Palais des Champs-Elysees

Paris’ Grand Palace of Fine Arts, built in 1897 for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, annually hosts major international exhibitions, under the patronage of the president of France and its culture minister.

The current Art Capital exhibition, inside the historical Grand Palais, featured over 2,000 painters and sculptors, from over 40 countries, among them Spain, Canada, China, Sweden, Japan and Belarus, with South Korea as the guest of honour.

Eleven Belarusian masters demonstrated their works to French spectators and specialists, as well as art dealers: contemporary Belarusian painters and sculptors Victor Alshevsky, Yuri Anushko, Anna Belousova, Yelena Ventriyon-Makarevich, Larisa Zhuravovich, Maxim Petrulya, Sergey Portenkov, Pavel Semchenko, Alexander Slepov, Ales Falei, and Valentina Shoba.

The Belarusian pavilion was organised by the Belarusian Embassy to France, with assistance from the National Art Museum of Belarus, the Cultural Centre of Belarus in France and Priorbank JSC, as well as Belarus-born Arkady Volodos, who permanently resides in France.

As part of the opening ceremony for the Belarusian pavilion, the Ambassador of Belarus to France, Pavel Latushko, addressed those attending, noting that the Belarusian delegation of painters and sculptors represented every region of Belarus, as well as the capital of Minsk. Mr. Latushko underlined the importance of presenting the Belarusian school of pictorial and monumental art at one of the most prestigious exhibition venues worldwide.

Sergey Portenkov and Valentina Shoba

The Belarusian Ambassador also said that Belarusian painting and sculpture have deep historical roots and traditions. In particular, Belarusian culture is proud of such outstanding painters and sculptors as Ivan Khrutsky, Walenty Wankowicz, Marc Chagall, Leon Bakst, Mikhail Savitsky, Zair Azgur and Andrey Bembel.

Mr. Latushko emphasised that the participation of Belarusian representatives at the exhibition gives French audiences the chance to learn about our rich culture. In fact, more than 40,000 spectators annually visit the Art Capital exhibition. On the opening day alone, the Belarusian pavilion received around 500 guests.

As part of this event, two Belarusians — a painter and a sculptor — were awarded the Taylor Award.

As a result of this year’s voting, painter Valentina Shoba from Grodno and sculptor Sergey Portenkov from Gomel have become laureates of the Taylor Award: the first time such an award has been granted to a Belarusian artist.

Sergey Portenkov’s work

Sergey Portenkov’s work was delivered to Paris on the last day before the exhibition opening at the Grand Palais, by Belavia, and with the support of the dispatch service of the Belarusian Ministry of Communications and Informatisation

The Belarusian Ambassador hopes Belarus will continue to take part in future years. He negotiated with the President of the Salon of Drawing and Pictorial Art on Water, Catherine Jeagues and the Vice President of one of the most prestigious exhibition projects in France, the Paris Autumn Show (Salon d’Automne de Paris) — Jean Deville. Together, they discussed the future of joint projects in the sphere of pictorial and monumental art.


The Brian Taylor Association was registered on December 7th, 1855, by Baron Taylor, under the official title of the Taylor Association of Painters, Sculptors, Architects, Engravers and Designers. Its major goals are to provide assistance to painters, and to develop and stimulate arts in all  manifestations. The Taylor Award is annually bestowed in two artistic directions: painting and sculpture. The decision to award this prize is made by a commission comprising 12 people selected by the Association’s members through voting.

By Vladimir Mishin
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