The Sun at the Zenith: Solo Show of the People’s Artist of the USSR, the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan Tair Salakhov at the State Tretyakov Gallery

January 22 – March 20, 2016
The Tretyakov Gallery,
12 Lavrushinsky Pereulok, Moscow

The Tretyakov Gallery presents a major solo show of Tair Salakhov, the world renowned  and outstanding master of painting, the People’s Artist of the USSR, the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan, Professor, Vice President and Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts, Member of the Presidium of the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts who has gone down in art history as a key figure of the “severe style”.

Tair Salakhov is an author of portraits, landscapes, still lifes, monumental multi-figure canvases and a theatrical artist. His works are in collections of the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), Moscow Museum of Modern Art, State Museum of Oriental Art (Moscow), State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), Azerbaijan State Museum of Arts (Baku), as well as in many other museums in Russia, CIS countries, the United States, Europe and Asia. Works by Tair Salakhov have been on display in the Kremlin, in the House of Government of the Russian Federation, in the exhibition halls of the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, Sotheby’s Gallery in London, Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington and in other cities of the world.

The solo show at the Tretyakov Gallery presents Tair Salakhov’s works of the 1950s-2000s. The principle idea of the curator is to avoid the stereotypes, to show the multi-sided art of the master and the evolution of his creative work. As a young artist he has already outlined in his works the current art trends, his paintings became a manifest of the art of the 1960s, these are “The Morning Echelon” (1958), “The Portrait of the Composer Kara Karaev” (1960), “At the Caspian Sea” (1966), “Aidan” (1967), “Women of Absheron” (1967). Among his philosophical and metaphorical canvases of the 1970s-1980s of major importance are portraits of the artist’s mother. Some of them are shown together for the first time. The social and political breaks at the end of the 1980-s – early 1990s brought to Salakhov’s painting disturbing notes and tragic tones. The master entered the 21st century with readiness to react to its challenges: his canvases have obtained an unprecedented color saturation, textured glamour and freedom.  

Tair Salakhov has become a key figure in the cultural space of the 20th century. In various years he was a Secretary of the Board of the USSR Union of Artists, Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Arts, Head of the Chair for Painting and Composition at V. Surikov Moscow State Academy Art Institute.
For his outstanding achievements in art Tair Salakhov has been honored with orders and awards of many countries: the USSR – the Hero of Socialist Labor, the Order of Lenin, Order of the October Revolution, Order of the Red Banner of Labor, Order of Friendship of Peoples; the Russian Federation – Order for Services to Motherland III and II Rank, the Russian Orthodox Church Order of Glory and Honor, winner of the State Prize of the USSR and the State Prize of the Russian Federation; Azerbaijan – the Order of Geidar Aliev and Istiglal; France – Officer of the Order of Arts and Literature, Officer of the Order of the Legion of Honor; Poland – Order fro Contribution to Culture  and others.    

Welcoming address by the President of the Russian Academy of Arts Zurab Tsereteli:

“Dear Tair!

I would like to extend to you my most cordial congratulations on the opening of your solo exhibition “The Sun at the Zenith” at the State Tretyakov Gallery.

I think, that this exhibition is your self-portrait. You, as the Sun, are endowed with enormous energy, brilliant erudition, charisma and wit, you are a knight and the career of kindness, honesty, justice, openness, hospitality, friendliness. So, you are certainly at the Zenith.

I would be sincerely happy to attend the vernissage and to have an opportunity to see your masterpieces once again, but I am still in Arecibo where the installation of my 126-tall monument “The Birth of the New World” is being completed. That is why I am sending you my congratulations from the shores of the faraway Puerto Rico. The assembly is about to end and I hope to see you soon.

From all my heart I wish you, dear Tair, Varya, Aidan, Gulya and all your loved ones constant inspiration, creative success, good health, wellbeing, happiness, peace and prosperity.

With love
                                                                       Zurab Tsereteli
                                                   President of the Russian Academy of Arts    

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