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18 March 2013

Alexey Shmarinov. Watercolours.

Exhibition of Alexey Shmarinov’s watercolours from the collection of the Institute of Russian Realist Art will open on April 4th, the artist’s birthday, in the museum and exhibition complex on Derbenevskaya Naberezhnaya. “Alexey Shmarinov. Watercolours” will be the first presentation among a series of exhibitions celebrating the 80th birthday of this remarkable painter and graphic artist.

“This will be a jubilee project in every respect. The exhibition at the Institute of Russian Realist Art will be my 60th one. I see the opportunity to show my works at this wonderful gallery as a priceless gift. Furthermore, it will be the first time that visitors will be able to see the largest private collection of my watercolours,” Alexey Shmarinov told us about the forthcoming show.

Here is how Alexey Shmarinov describes his creative method: “I believe that the ultimate goal for any artist is to begin, within the natural human perception of the world, to understand and express the sublime simplicity, wisdom and beauty of creation. As for my understanding of contemporary art, I think that it is the art that is created today by today’s artists, and realism, with its thousand-year history that forms the core of contemporary art, is alive and well, and will always be here. In my opinion – and I have had many exhibitions in Europe - this view finds support there as well. The fact that I have received such prestigious European awards as the “Golden Laurel” and the Peter Ludwig prize (named after a famous German collector) is a testament to that.”

The main motifs of Alexey Shmarinov’s watercolours are the beauty of Abramtsevo, the village outside of Moscow that has been the artist’s inspiration for years, and the landscapes of Karelia. All in all, there are going to be forty works presented at the exhibition, both from the collection of the Institute of Russian Realist Art and owned by the artist himself.

Attention television reporters and journalists writing for the society pages: accreditation to the opening reception on April 4th will be limited. Please apply to before 3 PM on April 3rd. We will confirm the reception time via e-mail in response to your accreditation request.

Foreign press on Alexey Shmarinov’s exhibitions
“The artist’s watercolours show him as a fine lyricist, capable of avoiding falsehoods and affectations when revealing the beauty of nature.” Süddeutsche Zeitung, August 16, 1984. Germany.

“It is as if the pre-revolutionary, patriarchal, harmonious Russia turned over and spilled into today, in a flood of watercolours. And in them - such love, such quiet dignity, such soulful light.” Novoye Russkoye Slovo, September 5, 1995. USA.

“His art may be described as post-impressionist – certainly, with a Russian soul, sometime with a touch of academism.” UNESCO Press, April 7, 1997. France.

Alexey Shmarinov

A People’s Artist of Russia, member of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts, recipient of the State Prize of the Russian Federation and prestigious international awards.

Alexey Shmarinov was born on April 4 1933 in Moscow. His father Dementy Shmarinov was a celebrated graphic artist, whose drawings for Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” and Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” are recognized as classic examples of book illustrations.

In 1958 Alexey Shmarinov graduated magna cum laude from the Surikov State Institute of Fine Art in Moscow. His works were exhibited with great success in Germany, Austria, France, the Czech Republic, USA, and other countries. Shmarinov is the recipient of the Peter Ludwig Prize. In 2004 he received the prestigious international award “Golden Laurel” in recognition of his contribution to art.

Alexei Shmarinov created the famous series of prints “Heroes of the Russian People. 13th – 15th centuries”, depicting Sergius of Radonezh, Dmitry Donskoy, Alexander Nevsky, Andrey Rublev, and others. Shmarinov’s masterpieces of book illustration include etchings for the literary works of Shota Rustaveli and Mikhail Prishvin.

The artist’s works are housed at the Tretyakov Gallery, Russian Museum, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Russian Realist Art, as well as in major private collections in Russia and abroad.

The upcoming show of Alexey Shmarinov’s watercolours at the Institute of Russian Realist Art will be the sixtieth exhibition in the artist’s career.

Institute of Russian Realist Art (IRRA)
The Institute of Russian Realist Art (IRRA) is a private institution which brings back the social traditions of Russian artistic patronage. The IRRA museum and exhibition centre was opened in December 2011. The IRRA art collection is widely regarded as one of the best collections of the Russian realist school of painting of the 20th century. Three floors of exhibition space totaling over 4,500 square meters offer approximately 500 works of Russian and Soviet art. The halls of the third floor display one of the most important sections of the museum collection, Soviet art from the first half of the 20th century, including works by outstanding figures such as Arkady Plastov, Sergey Gerasimov, Alexander Deineka, Yury Pimenov, Georgy Nissky, Isaak Brodsky and other painters. The second floor of the Institute of Russian Realist Art displays the Soviet art collection of the second half of the 20th century. At its centre are works by the major painters of the 1960s including “National Artists”, and full members of the Russian Academy of Arts Gely Korzhev, the brothers Sergey and Alexey Tkachev, Viktor Ivanov, Petr Ossovsky, Dmitry Zhilinsky and Tair Salakhov. The painters of this generation have continued the traditions of Russian artistic culture, and many of them, like Viktor Popkov, have dedicated their works to dramatic events in the contemporary life of Russia, with all of its difficulties and contradictions. The halls of the first floor familiarise viewers with the present-day life in Russia, including works by such famous members of the Moscow school of painting as Viktor Kalinin, Alexey Sukhovetsky, Vladimir Telin, Nikolay Zaitsev, Vyacheslav Stekolschikov, Nikolay Solomin; the works of outstanding Leningrad painters Andrey Mylnikov, Yevsey Moiseenko, Boris Ugarov, Vyacheslav Zagonek; and artists from Vladimir, including Kim Britov, Vladimir Yukin, and Mikhail Izotov. Works by artists from Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Vologda, Vyatka, Sergiev Posad, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhny Novgorod and other Russian towns are also on display. The IRRA museum and exhibition facilities occupy one of the old buildings of the former cotton-printing factory located in the Zamoskvorechye district of Moscow near the Novospassky Monastery. After a renovation of the walls and remodelling of the industrial premises built at the close of the 19th century, the museum’s rooms are now supplied with cutting-edge utilities and a special climate control system needed for preservation of works of art. Presently the technological infrastructure at the IRRA building conforms to the most advanced standards accepted at the largest museums of the world. Address: 7 Derbenevskaya Embankment, bldg. 31(Paveletskaya or Proletarskaya metro). Entrance from Derbenevskaya Street .Open: 11.00 - 20.00 (closed: Monday). Tel: +7 (495) 276-12-12. For further inquiries and requests for comments, illustrations, video-interviews, and tours for journalists, please contact the IRRA marketing and PR department (, +7 (495) 276-12-12 (1804), 8 (903) 768-61-69 Nadezhda Stepanova;+7 (495) 276-12-12 (1805), Ksenia Yakovleva).