New format for second salon

Minsk’s Palace of Arts presents Autumn Salon with Belgazprombank — the major Belarusian sale of contemporary art

Minsk’s Palace of Arts presents Autumn Salon with Belgazprombank — the major Belarusian sale of contemporary art

Autumn Salon with Belgazprombank aims to be an active venue for presenting contemporary Belarusian art

This extraordinary art project, presented in Minsk for the second time, displays broad panorama of young Belarusian artists’ creativity. Compared to 2015, its scale and the standard were greatly enhanced. The Autumn Salon with Belgazprombank features around 500 works of art made in a variety of forms and techniques of fine arts: painting, graphics, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, and installation. Overall, the exhibition involves 162 artists aged 18-40 — all selected by the professional jury on the basis of electronic applications. Nine art galleries, both private and state run, have also applied; these represent different regions of the country.

Interestingly, the exhibition of Belarusian artists at the Minsk’s Palace of Arts is vividly complemented with works by contemporary French authors, winners of the famous Salon d’Automne events of recent years — regularly hosted in Paris since 1903.In order to give impetus to the professional development of young domestic authors, the winners of the project will be helped to participating in the international Salon d’Automne in Paris — held on the Champs Elysees in October 2017. Participants will be judged by internationally recognised experts in the field of contemporary art: Alexander Borovsky (an art historian and the Head of the Department of Contemporary Art at the State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg); Sylvia Koshlin (a sculptor and the President of Salon d’Automne); Konstantin Doroshenko (an art critic and curator from Kiev), Guido Fassbender (a curator of contemporary art at the Berlin Gallery), Dovilė Tomkutė (an artist and the Arka Gallery’s Director, Vilnius).

The Autumn Salon with Belgazprombank acts as an active venue to present modern Belarusian art. Its rich educational programme, including lectures, interactive tours, quests and classes for children, aims to revive a dialogue between the public and the art world. According to the Chairman of Belgazprombank’s Board, Victor Babariko, one of the key tasks of the Autumn Salon is to form the art market regulating both creative and economic issues. With this in mind, all the showcased works are offered for sale. The list of proposed works and their prices are available at the online store which provides an opportunity for price changing. Art connoisseurs are expected to also enjoy the possibility of buying their favourable pieces in instalments, via Belgazprombank’s purchase card.

The project is organised by Belgazprombank JSC, Gazprom Transgaz Belarus JSC, the Belarusian Union of Artists, the National Art Gallery (Arts Palace), the Centre for Visual and Performing Arts, the Art Corporation and the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the French Republic, all supported by the Ministry of Culture of Belarus. The first Autumn Salon with Belgazprombank was held from October 8th to November 8th, 2015 — attracting over ten thousand visitors. Around a hundred of the exhibited works (30 percent of the total) were sold. Visitors shared their impressions in the review book, on blogs and social networks. A large-scale view of young artists of Belarus was developed with the participation of 90 of the best domestic artists aged 18-40, chosen by experts from a large number of applicants.

The continuity of generations is demonstrated at the show owing to the combination of works of modern Belarusian authors and masterpieces of world art and sculpture from Belgazprombank’s corporate collection, created by our famous compatriots, representatives of the legendary Parisian School and real participants of the salons of Paris, the real actors of the French Autumn Salons of the early 20th century: Marc Chagall, Chaïm Soutine, Dmitry Stelletsky, Polina Khentova, Léon Indenbaum, Michel Kikoïne, Eugeniusz Żak and Ossip Lubitch.

As part of the first Autumn Salon, an award for young artists, ‘Art of Belarus’, was established; it was dedicated to Belgazprombank’s 25th anniversary and aimed at professional development of the most promising artists. Andrey Lenkevich won the Grand Prix (15,000 Euros). The second prize went to Alexander Boldakov (7,000 Euros) and the Audience Choice Award was won by Alesya Skorobogataya (3,000 Euros).

The first salon’s success inspired its organisers to hold such exhibition-sales annually. Works by young Belarusian artists beautifully decorate the Belarusian capital’s cultural life.

By Vladimir Mikhailov
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