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Moscow Museum of Modern Art Presents Tatiana Selvinskaya "Playing Classics"
In her art, Tatiana Selvinskaya takes inspiration from various sources brought from the depths of visual memory.

MOSCOW.- The personal exhibition of Tatiana Selvinskaya at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art marks a significant date in the author’s biography – her 81st birthday. The display presents works created during the last ten years of the artist’s career, such as pieces from “Dedication” (1997), “Playing Classics” (2005) and “Artist and Sitter” (2007) series united by the theme of creative dialogue with the great masters of the past.

In her art, Tatiana Selvinskaya takes inspiration from various sources brought from the depths of visual memory. Among her works, there are paintings dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Velázquez, and Vermeer – they portray the symbolical space similar with such differing masters. As a theatre artist, Tatiana Selvinskaya has a keen and sensitive vision, she is not afraid of experiments with colour and form.

Paintings by Tatiana Selvinskaya symbolically reflect her worldview, her interest towards history, philosophy, art of ancient Greece and Renaissance, music, and poetry. The exhibition within the “Personalities” program presents 75 works, including 20 brand new.

Tatiana Selvinskaya comments on the “Playing Classics” project: Recently I read an aphorism: “You are 18 once in a lifetime, and 81 – even more seldom”. This is exactly about me. And, having reached a certain age, I allowed myself an exhibition that is almost retro (among 75 works, 20 are new). Having passed a certain line, I risked for a dialogue with my great predecessors, hoping to learn something more from them, for it is never late. So, in 1997, the “Dedication” series appeared. I am a theatrical person – not only in profession, but in essence as well. The play as it is always comes to my mind. And so I translated into my own language the imagery of geniuses, such as Leonardo and Botticelli. The show presents 9 paintings from this cycle.

The next series, “Playing Classics”, arrived in 2005. Here I wanted to demonstrate that people who surround me are no less important than those portrayed by the great masters.

And, at last, the “Artist and Sitter” cycle – the subject of my numerous predecessors and contemporaries. And there is play again: sitters take it out on their painters. While creating this series, I felt incredible warmth – it seemed that they thanked me for remembering them.

Among new works, I can name the “Polihymnia, Muse of Hymns” poliptych: six muses unite writers, composers, and artists. All the arts are linked by an unbreakable bond.

Tatiana Selvinskaya was born in 1927 to the family of poet Ilya Selvinsky. In 1953, she graduated from the Surikov Moscow Art Institute (studio of Mikhail Kurilko), where she learned from great masters – Robert Falk and Alexander Tyshler. As a theatre artist, she decorated about 200 plays in Moscow, Saratov, Kazan, Chelyabinsk, Kostroma, Magadan, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Ufa, Tashkent, Taganrog, and other cities.

Selvinskaya took part in numerous exhibitions – personal (above 15) and group (she prefers to exhibit together with her disciples), including the show at Maly Manege (Moscow) in 1998. In 1989, her solo exhibition took place in New York.

Selvinskaya’s works are conserved in the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), Bakhrushin State Theatre Museum (Moscow), theatre museums of St. Petersburg and Kiev, picture galleries of Chelyabinsk, Simferopol, and Bryansk. Since the early 1970s, the artist composes poems; she is the author of “Dedication” (1989), “Opposition” (1993) and “Facing Love” (1994) poetry books.

Tatiana Selvinskaya was awarded the title of Honoured Arts Agent of Russia (1990) and the State Prize of the Russian Federation (1994).

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