THE DUALITY: EXHIBITION OF WORKS BY EVGENY MAXIMOV AND YULIA SMIRNOVA AT THE RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF ARTS
Dates: December 13, 2023- January 7, 2024
Venue: Exhibition Halls of the Russian Academy of Arts (21 Prechistenka street, Moscow)
The Russian Academy of Arts presents an exhibition of works by the Academicians of the Russian Academy of Arts Evgeny N. Maximov and Yulia A. Smirnova timed to the artists’ jubilees. The exhibition continues a series of the Academy’s projects featuring the art of creative dynasties. In twelve halls of the Academy visitors will see sketches and preparatory drawings for the artists’ monumental works, embroidery for church utensils, frescoes and icons, photographs of the completed wall paintings, as well as portraits, landscapes, still lives and genre pictures totaling more than 100 exhibits.
The work of these renowned artists is a significant contribution to the history of Russian art. For several decades of his heading the Department of Monumental Painting of V. Surikov Moscow State Art Institute and the Creative Workshop for Monumental Art of the Russian Academy of Arts Evgeny Maximov has trained hundreds of professional artists, whose art demonstrates superb craftsmanship and ambiguity. Working a lot in iconography and religious monumental art, the artist has profoundly comprehended the great principle which is naturally significant for religious subjects and essential for any art: the Big is seen in the Small, the General – in the Concrete and implemented in his artworks. The images created by Evgeny Maximov both in the style close to the virtuosity of the mature Middle Ages and in the classical academic tradition have inner strength and expressiveness, internal drama and tension, veneration of human beauty.
Despite some external dissimilarity Yulia Smirnova in her work expresses the same vision of art. The eye and hand of the master trained to solve large scale tasks in such huge buildings as the Bolshoi Theater and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, the Patriarch’s Cathedral of St. Nicholas in New York (the wall paintings have been executed by the artist under the supervision of Evgeny Maximov) are accurate in the implementation of the main concept. The deep colors give her works some decorativeness, that does not result fr om the coloristic arbitrariness or aspiration for self-sufficient flashness, but comes from the compositional meaning and feelings of the artist.
The exhibition name “Duality” not only states the duet of these two artists, but also leads us to insight into the dialogical nature of their art involving the viewer in a joint understanding of the versatility of existence. Preserving the basic principles of the academic school Evgeny Maximov and Yulia Smirnova strive to develop the existing traditions in accordance with the requirements of the rapidly changing time.
Evgeny N. Maximov was born in the town of Kashira ( the Moscow Region) in 1953. He graduated from V. Surikov Moscow State Art Institute wh ere he majored in monumental art in 1973 and later upgraded his skills under the eminent artist-teacher of monumental art Klavdia Tutevol. In 1975-1977 he worked for Monumental Workshop of the Art Works Factory.
Since 1982 Maximov has been teaching at V. Surikov Moscow State Art Institute, since 2000 – the head of its Chair for Painting and Composition. Since 1997 he has been heading the Chair for Monumental Painting of the Department for Religious Art of St. Tikhon Orthodox Academy for the Humanities. Since 2001 - the head of the Creative Workshop for Monumental Art of the Russian Academy of Arts.
In 2005 Evgeny Maximov was awarded the title of the People’s Artist of Russia.
He was involved in the interior decoration of the main and small domes, the interior of the Lower Church, hall of the Church Assemblies and vaults of the Kuvuklia of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow; the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in New York. He created the interior wall painting for the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Kaliningrad and the Holy Trinity farmstead in Brussels (Belgium), for the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity in Novogolutvinsky Monastery (in Kolomna, Russia), the Church of Modest of Jerusalem in the monastery on the Mount Athos and other monumental projects.
Yulia A. Smirnova was born in 1973, graduated from V. Surikov Moscow State Art Institute. Later she continued her education at the Creative Workshop for Monumental Art of the Russian Academy of Arts. She worked as part of the creative teams at the murals of the Holy-Vvedenskaya Optina Pustyn, the vault of the main dome and the hall of the Church Assemblies of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, as well as the murals of the ceiling of the main hall of the Bolshoi Theater, the Patriarch’s Cathedral of St. Nicholas in New York, the Home Church of the Patriarch Alexis in Peredelkino, the Cathedral of St. Sava in Belgrade; participated in many other monumental projects. Most of the work has been carried out by the artist under the supervision of her teacher and husband Evgeny Maximov. At different periods Yulia Smirnova worked as a teacher at Sergey Andriyaka Academy of Watercolor and Fine Arts, S.Stroganov Russian State University for Arts and Industry, the Institute of Theater, Cinema and TV. Since 2019 she has been the Associate Professor of the Chair for Painting and Composition and since 2020 – the Deputy Dean of the Painting Department of V. Surikov Moscow State Art Institute.