Community of personalities impress with artistic diversity
Minsk’s Palace of Arts successfully hosts jubilee creative exhibition for Belarusian Union of Artists’ Verasen Creative Association
Verasen was set up as part of the Belarusian Union of Artists in 1989, focusing upon outstanding illustrators of books and those creating easel graphics, protecting artists’ freedom to explore their own path and promoting diversity within art.
Many members hold Republican and international awards. Among them is People’s Artist of Belarus G. Poplavsky, who is a true friend of the National Academy of Sciences, and such honoured figures of arts as S. Volkov, N. Poplavskaya, Y. Zaitsev, Y. Zhilin, L. Marchenko, M. Ryzhikov, M. Kozlov, V. Klimenko, B. Tsitovich and M. Mironov. Others rich in language, themes and skills include U. Shnarevich, N. Sustava, I. Loban, M. Senkin, R. Siplevich, K. Poplavskaya, Z. Erenburg, T. Chernysheva and T. Tsareva.
Their styles are diverse, from realism to impressionism, using symbolism and abstraction, each with their own view on reality, artistic form, classical aesthetical approaches and links with national folklore. Verasen has attracted artists inspired by romanticism in all forms, including realistic pathos and the emotionality common between the 1960s and 1980s. Lyrical plots and figurative images have been joined by literary and cultural motifs, in pen, feather and watercolour paintings. Many have worked with mixed genres and forms while revering traditional painting methods in their search for modern pictorial language, using form and pattern transformations and decorative elements.
The works of N. Marchenko, I. Kasabuka, V. Belousova-Kirienko, U. Shvaiba, T. Dementieva and M. Erenburg stand out for their extreme stylistic individuality. Meanwhile, S. Volkov, N. Poplavskaya, U. Pashchestiev, N. Sustava, T. Tsareva and M. Senkin are much loved for their illustrations of books for children and young adults. Several generations of Belarusians have grown up with their imaginative pictures, which have much influenced Belarusian book art.
Although graphics are the priority for most Verasen masters, most members have several ‘strings to their bow’ and often lecture at our Belarusian universities. Honoured Teacher of Belarus Y. Sakovich is one such, alongside M. Senkin, I. Loban, N. Sustava, U. Shvaiba, L. Likhoded and U. Shnarevich. Passing their knowledge to young Belarusian painters and designers, they are helping nurture the creativity of our future.
In its 25 years of activity, Verasen has created its own image. The organisation is truly a union of unique personalities who have been steadily developing the traditions of the domestic graphic school. Exhibitions by permanent members enjoy popularity, always arousing interest. Held once every two years, they are unique in content and quality. The jubilee show features previously unexhibited pictures, in addition to those well-known and loved: each demonstrates vividly the imaginative and stylistic flavour of their author. Among those on show are works in oil and watercolour, easel graphics and book illustrations, exploring diverse themes and technical approaches.
The majority of the works are from 2014-2015, by Y. Zhilin, U. Pashchasteev, M. Senkin, R. Siplevich, M. Erenburg and V. Belousova-Kirineko, each displayed individually, within mini-exhibitions.
By Victor Mikhailov
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