Mastered by desire impulsive,
By a mighty inward urging,
I am ready now for singing,
Ready to begin the chanting
Of our nation’s ancient folk-song
Handed down from by-gone ages.
(Extract from the epic poem «Kalevala»)
The Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Karelia presents an exhibition dedicated to the 170th anniversary of the publication of the second revised edition of “Kalevala” by Elias Lönnrot.
«Kalevala» is truly a national treasure. The epic poem had a great influence on the development of Karelian and Finnish languages, literature, culture, national identity of two peoples. Profound and timeless themes, motifs and images of Kalevala are a source of inspiration for writers, artists, sculptors and composers from different countries.
The Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Karelia obtains a unique collection of art works dedicated to «Kalevala». It numbers to more than 600 exhibits.
This exhibition presents the «golden fund» of our museum’s collection – the «Kalevala» collection consisting of paintings, drawings, arts and crafts, art objects by Karelian, Russian and foreign authors. Much attention is paid to the new works of artists, for whom the «Kalevala» theme has become one of the main ones.
The exhibition presents the perception of artists of different generations, their works of various genres and styles immerse us into the Kalevala World.
The first section of this exhibition reveals the secrets of the universe and the world creation. Everything appears for the first time: both the celestial bodies and the earth’s surface. The ancient people become wiser along with the “growth” of the world. They cultivate fields and build a boat for the first time, find fire and create a musical instrument called kantele. The image of the ancient pristine land is revealed by the works by Sulo and Oleg Juntunen. Artists Igor Baranov, Yuri Lyukshin and Igor Gashkov illustrate the myth about the world creation and the birth of the first man.
The second and third sections devoted to the characters of the epic poem, to the interaction and confrontation between the light forces of Kalevala and the dark forces of Pohjola. The sections introduce us to beautiful virgins and courageous heroes, reveal the secrets of the Mill of Happiness “Sampo”. Myud Mechev, Georgy Stronk and Boris Akbulatov portray the images and tempers of the main “Kalevala” characters in their works. The paintings of Tamara Yufa, Osmo Borodkin, Nikolay Brukhanov and Nikolay Kochergin present the stories from Kalevala. Their art works will be complemented by the unique paintings of the Russian avant-garde artist – Mikhail Tsybasov.
The epic poem “Kalevala” is an inexhaustible source and incentive for the creative work of contemporary artists. The fourth section presents puppet sketches by Vyacheslav Polyakov for the performance of the Puppet Theatre of the Republic of Karelia “Song of Sampo”, puppets for the play “Pictures of Kalevala” made according to the sketches of Tamara Yufa, hand-made birch items by Vasily Kostylev, musical instruments created by masters Anatoly Meshko and Andrey Komulainen. A modern view of the Lemminkainen image is reflected in the sculpture by Anatoly Titov.
The themes of the ancient runes of Kalevala are still the source of inspiration for artists. It inspires them to look for new expressive means. The artists create installations, art objects, videos and photographs. The main distinguishing feature of artists of XXI century is a free interpretation of themes and images of the epic poem, including metaphysics and mythology, a visually embodied sound and archaic epic texts. For many artists “Kalevala” is just a starting point, an impetus for the development of creative ideas and the search for spatial solutions. The exhibition presents the new project “Opening the codes of Kalevala”, which united Russian photographers and the Petrozavodsk school “Academy of Photography”.
The Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Karelia expresses its gratitude to the Puppet Theater of the Republic of Karelia, the “Academy of Photography” (Petrozavodsk), artists Igor Baranov (St. Petersburg), Aleksey Grigoriev (Arkhangelsk), Olga Juntunen, Yana Permyakova, Margarita Yufa, Igor Monakhov for the exhibits provided to the exhibition, which significantly expanded and complemented the exposition of the exhibition “World of Kalevala”.
Exhibition will be opened till September 29th.