Four Views on Porcelain
The exhibition presents the work of four female designers from the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory - Tatyana Afanasyeva, Elvira Yeropkina, Nelli Petrova and Galina Shuliak.
The themes of landscape and still-life already established themselves in the work of Tatyana Afanasyeva - a virtuoso painter and master of forms - during her first years at the factory. In the exhibition one can see both the artist's early lyrical northern landscapes - the "Earth" and "Mansard" services, and her latest works in which images of deserted tower-cities and rocky shorelines dominate - the "Hyperbole" and "Pieces of a Broken Mirror" services, the triptych "End of the Century", "End", "Source".
Elvira Yeropkina's works display a wide variety of themes: the ballet
and circus, little genre scenes and biblical subjects. From her designs
the factory has produced dozens of prototypes for the painting of services
and sculptural pieces. Yeropkina's characters with their St Petersburg
spirit - Petrushka, the Ballerina and the Moor from Stravinsky's ballet
Petrushka, a regal Anna Akhmatova, the genre sketches "Wind" and "White
Nights" are tinged with a distinct sense of nostalgia such as characterized
the World of Art movement.
Nelli Petrova is the chief designer of the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory, an artist and sculptor. Over twenty-five years dozens of her designs have gone into production and she has developed a unique style and range of imagery. Her work is recognizable for its unswerving loyalty to the theme of the old Russia that is passing away. In her cycle of works "Sources", "Sleeping Russia" the impressions of childhood combined with reflections on the fate of the contemporary village and on our roots.
She draws inspiration from the upbeat colourful decorativeness of folk art and traditional Russian dress. A favourite genre with Nelli Petrova is the portrait. The artist detects stylistic associations in the appearance of her models and depicts contemporaries in the guise of handsome Russian peasant women, beauties from the age of Pushkin and the Renaissance, or even more remote mythological prototypes.
The work of Galina Shuliak, a porcelain artist and sculptor, has many facets. Some of her works are attractive for their vivid immediacy, the unpremeditated styled quality of the lubok (old Russian popular print); others for their painterly temperament, bold generalization and elaborate noble colour scheme. The best products of the early years - the painted and sculptural series "Bukhara", "The Attraction of Greece" and "Outing to See the Salute" reflect the artist's many-sided talent. In recent years Shuliak has turned to ornamental graphic designs, creating a series of works with cobalt underglaze painting. The attraction of her new services, "Serpentine", "Cell", "Cocoon" and "Death Spiral", lies in the striking terse expressiveness of cobalt patterns enhanced with gold.
The exhibition is a prologue to further collaboration between the State Hermitage and the creative staff of the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory. The works displayed come from the Hermitage collection and the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory.