Masters in tandem are single-minded romantics in love with their native land

National Art Museum of Belarus presents most large-scale show by famous masters: Lev and Sergey Gumilevski: Sculpture
National Art Museum of Belarus presents most large-scale show by famous masters: Lev and Sergey Gumilevski: Sculpture

Exhibition by Lev and Sergey Gumilevski at National Art Museum

The exhibition features over 100 sculptures by Lev and Sergey Gumilevski, created from the 1960s through to our modern times. It is the first such major exhibition by Sergey and Lev Gumilevski and comprises works on loan not only from the authors’ collections but from the National Art Museum, the National History Museum, and the Museum of Modern Fine Arts (of Belarus’ National Centre of Modern Arts), from Nesvizh Historical Museum of Local History, and the Yanka Kupala State Literary Museum, and from the Belarusian Union of Artists.

Sculpture is among the most ancient and affordable of the fine arts. Existing in three-dimensions, sculptures tend to quickly engage an audience. The school of 20th century Belarusian sculpture was both expressive and diverse, being born in the 1930-1940s, and boasting several bright names, including Lev and Sergey Gumilevski.

Lev Gumilevski works in diverse sculptural genres and first made his name in 1958. Working for over fifty years, with easel and monumental sculpture, he has long demonstrated himself as a talented and thoughtful sculptor. He understands the medium’s requirements and is outspoken in his social opinions. By the 1970s, he had become known for his outspoken personality, which showed through such works as Partisan Family, and The Winged, and Soldier’s Still-life. Even today, they command attention.

Exhibition brings admiration

Since the 1980s, his sculpture has chronicled Belarusian history and culture, portraying such giants as Maxim Bogdanovich, Nikolay Gusovsky, Kastus Kalinovsky, Yanka Kupala, Adam Mickiewicz, Michal Oginski, Konstantin Ostrozhsky, Alexander Pushkin, the Radziwills dukes, Sergey Rakhmaninov, Frantsisk Skorina and Vladislav Syrokomlya. He has also sculpted his own contemporaries: Antonina Bendova, Alexandra Klimova, Vladimir Korotkevich, Mikhail Savitsky, Anatoly Sys and Maxim Tank.

For over 25 years, Lev Gumilevsky has worked as a teacher and, alongside People’s Artiste of Belarus Mikhail Savitsky (a painter) and People’s Artiste of Belarus Georgy Poplavsky (graphical artist), has headed the Artistic Academic Workshops of Pictorial Art, Graphics and Sculpture.

Much to examine

Sergey Gumilevski made his debut in 1983 as a poetic and romantic master. His artistry features sculptural images of lofty human souls and inspirational images. Among his numerous works are those inspired by the poetry of Maxim Bogdanovich. His sculptures also often have symbolic themes: Annunciation, Inspiration, Eternal, Horseman, Pigeon, Motherhood, Melody, Tenderness, Awakening and Reflection.

Mr. Gumilevski works not only in stone but in various types of wood, moulding their character. His monumental compositions, The Revival of the Slutsk Sash and The Weaver, were installed in Slutsk three years ago.

The artistic tandem of father and son, Lev and Sergey Gumilevski, was established in the early 1990s and has proven unique. They share views on many issues, with Sergey learning much from his father while developing his own artistic individuality. Although the masters differ, they both are true romantics who ardently love their land, their nation and their family.

Their joint monumental and easel works glorify figures of culture and history in Belarus and abroad, with some standing on Radziwill’s Avenue of Busts. Their depictions of cultural figures can be found in Nesvizh, while that of Maxim Bogdanovich is on show in Yalta, of Kirill Turovsky is found in Gomel, of Yanka Kupala is in Moscow, of Wincenty Dunin-Marcinkiewicz is in Bobruisk, of Frantishek Bogushevich is in Smorgon, and of Vatslav Lastovsky is in Glubokoe.

Father and son created the Ballet composition near the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre in Minsk and created easel works of Adam Mickiewicz, Yevfrosiniya Polotskaya, Radziwill Sierotka, Vladimir Korotkevich and Maxim Tank, as well as The Tale of Nesvizh triptych.

Lev Gumilevski tells us, “If you love something, then the question of ‘what to do’ never emerges, only the question of ‘how’.” 

By Veniamin Mikheev
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