Events / Exhibitions

09.04.2024 - 05.05.2024

Modern Style in the National Gallery Of Armenia

The NGA collection, which includes works of masters of different Armenian, Russian, and European art schools, allows us to elucidate various aspects of such a multifaceted phenomenon as the "modern style". The exhibition reveals the specifics of the contribution of national masters to this art movement, known for its diversity of ideas and conceptions, and determines their respective place in it. The experience of integrating European and oriental traditions is inherent in the style, which is one of the important qualities of the Armenian school of painting. A bright evidence of this artistic manifestation is the art of famous masters G. Yakulov, V. Sureniants, H. Kojoyan, H. Gyurjian and M. Sarian – those who were greatly interested in both the new movements in Europe and the culture of Oriental countries, at the same time not losing the main core of their own cultural memory. The aforesaid clearly and visibly presents the content of the exhibition and reveals the originality of such interpenetration, the breakthrough of these tendencies within the framework of modern style. Thus, Sureniants referred to the national history and mythology, evangelical themes, he applied decorative motifs that strengthened the conventionality and symbolic sonority of characters, he acted as an excellent book illustrator, as a mural painter, which generally went into the program of the style. Universalism was characteristic to Yakulov, he was a man of extraordinary artistic thinking, a great painter, a well-known innovator in theater, author of architectural projects. Guided by the creative spirit, he would sometimes transform the language of the style, merging it with the avant-garde tendencies of the time: futurism, cubism, and other movements. Kojoyan, the magician of line – a line which is very characteristic of the style, the way of expressing and experiencing the world, would display the inexhaustible richness of national ornaments. The characteristic features of the style are noticed in the fabulous nature of Sarian's works, vividly expressed in their linear rhythmics and decorative nature. The equality of art branches, inherent in modern style, is also manifested in Gyurjian's sculpture works, they are distinguished by a mixture of different stylistic features, synthetic solutions, which sometimes connect the pictorial elements with decorative-applied art issues.

The exhibition also presents the works of artists featuring various aspects of modern style in Russia – M. Vrubel, A. Golovin, V. Borisov-Musatov, M. Nesterov, K. Somov, L. Bakst, M. Dobuzhinsky, A. Benois, V. Serov and others. This mainly embraces the leading masters of "Mir Iskusstva" art movement. In their art, the modern style is most clearly manifested in the field of scene painting, which reveals the specific qualities of the direction – the figurative nature of the expressive language, a craving for symbols, spectacular and decorative nature, richness of forms and colours. The exhibition includes masterpieces of famous artists, namely “Portrait of M. Akimova” painted by V. Serov, works of M. Vrubel, W. Kandinsky’s "Oriental Suite" and his engravings. All this is an example of synthesis of various tendencies, from symbols of modern style to expressiveness and non-materiality, accompanying the creation of a new art.

Works of L. Anquetin and T. Steinlen are also displayed here, the origins of the style are connected with the names of these artists and their works. Modern style is directly related to the unprecedented rise of graphic arts, including book illustrations, it made a real revolution in the field of applied art, imparting exceptional artistic significance to it. Brilliant exemplars of book illustrations of different schools, works of great European masters of decorative-applied art such as R. Lalique and E. Gallé are also presented here.

The fusion of pictorial and abstract principles is one of the characteristic aspects of the style. Artists combined different materials, created different forms, contributed to the development of branches of art industry, such as coloured glass in France, etc. E. Gallé’s obituary reads: "Pottery, furniture and glass reflect the magical picture of his surrounding nature".

The exhibition also includes works from Martiros Sarian House-Museum. 

Exhibition curator; Irina Baghdamyan


Pushman Hovsep

Still Life “Golden Sunset of Life

veneer/plywood, oil
67x59,5 cm