The State Museum of Oriental Art (Moscow)
Heritage Foundation of Artist A.D. Tikhomirov
5 April – 9 May 2012

Opening of an exhibition «Alexander Tikhomirov. Oriental motives» took place at the State Museum of Oriental Art in April, 4, 2012. Exposition consists of more than 80 paintings and graphic works, which are one way or another connected to the artist’s memories of life in his hometown Baku. These are the paintings devoted to themes of theatre and circus, the Beginning, oriental medieval city, the themes of vagabonding and cast away. Exhibition also includes some of the early works, including the ones of impressionistic and post-impressionistic art periods. Some of the works are exhibited for the first time. In one of the halls we can see reproduction of interiors of the artist’s apartment in Moscow, and in the other hall – documentary film «With eyes turned deep into the soul…» (directed by Y.S. Nazarov), devoted to life and art of A.D. Tikhomirov.

Opening of the exhibition was broadcasted by «Cultura» TV channel, Intergovernmental TV and Radio Company «Mir», print and internet media. The opening has been attended by over 200 guests, including art experts, painters, art collectors and mass media representatives.


А.Седов. А.Д.Тихомиров. Выставка. Музей Востока. М.2012
From the speech of Alexander Vsevolodovich Sedov, Director of the State Museum of Oriental Art:

«Good evening, ladies and gentleman! You can see what kind of unique and interesting works are presented here. Tikhomirov himself is a Russian from Baku, born there and having received his initial education at the college of Baku, and that’s where he started his creative life, in the city which belonged to Russia in those times and where lives of people of many nationalities have crossed. In the middle of his life Tikhomirov has moved to Moscow and continued his education and artistic development here. But, as we can see from his paintings, he has remained a person burned by the East, one of those Russian painters who had spent much time in various Eastern places, in different corners of the large country – in Central Asia, Caucasus, Transcaucasus – and throughout their entire lives strived to reflect in their works the East which they have seen and which brought them up.

We are grateful to the Foundation of heritage of Alexander Tikhomirov and to his friends who suggested to hold this exhibition. It seemed very interesting to us, we are not the first Russian museum holding a personal exhibition of Alexander Tikhomirov. There have been exhibitions in the museums of Moscow, and last year there has been one in the Russian museum. And I hope that a piece of warm and flavoured East captured on these paintings, will reach you as well, when you get acquainted with works of this wonderful artist».

Г.Жигарев. А.Д.Тихомиров. Выставка. Музей Востока. М.2012
From the speech by Gennady Anatolyevich Zhigarev, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation of heritage of the artist A.D. Tikhomirov:

«Dear friends! I’m very happy to see you all here. I’m glad that you’ve responded to our invitation to this exhibition.

First of all, I’d like to say words of gratutude to Baumans University as if it was not for this wonderful technical education institution, we could have never seen these paintings. Because when Alexander Tikhomirov died followed by his daughter Anelya in a little while, these wonderful paintings have practically been thrown out in the street and could disappear. And only thanks to Valery Alexandrovich Matveev and the leadership of the university who hosted the artist’s works for two years, we can see them here today. That is why great thanks to my favourite institute for this.

And I would also like to give special thanks to my mother-in-law, who was the first one to introduce me to granddaughter of Alexander Dmitrievich, with whom she was friends with, being also a friend to his daughter, and that’s how I got to do something new for me, a technical person – established the Foundation of the atrist’s heritage. And now we have an opportunity to attend this exhibition of paintings of Alexander Dmitrievich, which is the third one over three recent years. Great thanks to everyone».

Е.Гоголева. А.Д.Тихомиров. Выставка. Музей Востока. М.2012
From speech of Ekaterina Gogoleva, journalist, the artist’s biographer, staff member of the Foundation of heritage of the artist A.D. Tikhomirov:

«Good evening, ladies and gentleman! It’s a pleasure to greet you – both those ones who have made themselves acquainted with works of Alexander Dmitrievich for the first time and those ones who have already been at our exhibitions before. His art is very diverse, and today we address one of the topics playing an important role in his life – the theme of the East, the theme of Baku, the artist’s hometown where his parents moved together with three daughters from the village in Kaluzhskaya vicegerency in 1912. Before that father of Alexander Dmitrievich enrolled as head foreman at the Bakinsky-Shollarsky water supply system construction, carried out in the city since 1911, and then returned back home together with the family.

Baku has become the second motherland for Tikhomirovs, their favourite city where they have finally got long-awaited and the only son Alexander and two of his younger sisters. Tikhomirovs lived in a small apartment, but eventually the father has equipped a workshop for his son, because Alexander has been painting since his very early child years and parents have encouraged this in all possible ways. The whole family was fond of literature and art. The father collected a library, his sisters frequented the theatre, concerts, and took little Shura with them. That’s how his interest in theatre, circus and music have developed, later on finding its reflection in his paintings throughout his entire life.

When he was already working in Moscow, Alexander Dmitriyevich would often remember Baku, telling his family members and friends about traditions and culture of this wonderful city, and always kept its precious image in his heart. And today’s exhibition tells us, first of all, of the artist’s love to his motherland and the East itself. Thank you.»

В.Матвеев. А.Д.Тихомиров. Выставка. Музей Востока. М.2012
From the speech of Valery Alexandrovich Matveev, friend of the artist, art expert, art collector, doctor of technical sciences, professor of Moscow State Technical University named after N.E. Bauman, winner of the State Prizes of the USSR and the Russian Federation:

«Today we attend an outstanding event – seventh personal exhibition of the Russian artist of the Soviet period Alexander Dmitrievich Tikhomirov. It is clear why it was given such a title – “Oriental motives”: memories of his childhood years and adolescence of the artist were amazing. I remember a number of episodes related to his life in Baku which he would always tell us about.

He remembered how he met his bride at his friend’s wedding, fell in love with her and took her away with him the same evening. They got married. It was his first wife, Nika. Unfortunately, she died during the war.

Alexander Dmitrievich used to tell us about processions during religious celebrations. He would always flourish his arms in excitement and say: “And now imagine – a crowd of half-naked men with chains, they slap their own backs with special metal devices, walking all covered in blood, and one common groan goes around”. He would also tell us about the 1920s, when he was a child, he has once seen a person on the market who, having caught a thief stabbed him with a knife and calmly walked away. This episode has made a strong impression on Tikhomirov.

During his student years Tikhomirov worked part-time at the circus, and in those days Baku circus was one of the best in the world, with people coming to perform there from all over the country and from abroad. He has seen them performing – clowns, equilibrists, ballet dancers, and that impressed the young man so much and became a basic, starting point for his works on theatrical theme. And, of course, you will see that in his paintings.

And second direction of his art reflects Tikhomirov’s state of being in love. He was a man of temper, worshiped his wife Natasha and always expressed his passion in paintings. Pay attention to his works of the 60s, full of passion and performed in fauvistic style, – they are all full of love to Natasha.

In the course of time he develops his neo-classic style, melting in his new style with classics. What is extremely important is that this trend in his art correlates with trends in the Russian art of the XX century, starting with the early century avant-garde and until present days.

During his last years he approached his work with a broader and more philosophic perspective. There are tragic figures in his paintings of this period. I think that a real artist feels the drama of the society. Pay attention to Tikhomirov’s prisoners, their images are psychological, they convey deep spiritual conditions, as the artist has always been very interested in a person’s inner world”.

Г.Б.Гордон. А.Д.Тихомиров. Выставка. Музей Востока. М.2012
From speech of Grigory Borisovich Gordon, friend of the artist, pianist, professor of the Russian Music Academy named after Gnesins:

It happened so that we have been close friends, it’s a bit awkward to speak about this, but he would call me every day over many years and we would speak on various topics. Now it surprises me how we managed to find time for all of this, but we would often walk around Moscow, he invited me to look up the premises for possible exhibition together with him. None of them has ever taken place. It turned out that something is not ready, not finished, and until he is done with this painting there will be no exhibition. I remember it very well that there supposed to be an exhibition at the House of Architects in Vorovsky street, nowadays called Povarskaya, a personal exhibition, and then all of a sudden my friend tells me – no, I refuse to hold it, as one of the pictures is not finished yet.

Still, we kept looking for premises and once, I don’t remember how it happened, but we passed by this building – the Museum of Oriental Art. And he could not have imagined that his exhibition will take place here, in this glamourous mansion, one of the best in Moscow. And this is a very touching point. So, great thanks to everyone for the exhibition».

Opening ceremony was concluded by a concert, devoted to the artist.

“Ute-quartet” – Ute Khamann (flute), Julian Alexeev (violin), Ekaterina Kurepina (alto), Natalya Bulatova (cello), – performed the following musical pieces by favourite composers of A.D. Tikhomirov: Arabic dance from “Nutcracker” ballet by P.I. Chaikovsky and Quartet in-C for flute, violin, alto and cello by W.A. Mozart.


Annamukhamed ZaripovAnnamukhamed Zaripov, distinguished artist of the Russian Federation, honorary academician of the Russian Art Academy, member of the Moscow Union of Artists, the Artists’ Union of Russia, Russian Federation Filmmaking Union, art collector:

«For me this exhibition is a revelation. Being an art collector myself, I’ve been for a long time following all developments in the art world, but I did not expect to meet such an artist today. It’s like a bomb explosion. It’s even a sin for an art collector not to know an artist of such scale. And though the works of A.D. Tikhomirov have not been exhibited that often, how could we not know about them?

Amazing artist, true artist in everything – very dramatic, very deep. And what is most striking – he is like no other, absolutely unlike everybody else.

And the colour is – I’m just speechless.

The fact that he lived in Baku gave him some very significant advantages. And his ability to consolidate is just astonishing. I believe that Tikhomirov’s works should be published and exhibited, and have music on at his exhibitions, because he is a very musical artist.

They made a very good exposition at the Museum of Oriental Art – very decent, very spacious. His works need freedom and power to come along with them. He is one of those artists, who are called “timeless”. Take Kandinsky, Filonov – I put Tikhomirov next to them: that is a scale of this artist. Today is a happy day for me – a day when I discovered an artist. And I speak absolutely sincerely».

Ekaterina Gogoleva

Heirs of the artist would like to thank the following people for their support during the preparation and carrying out of the exhibition:

General Director of the State Museum of Oriental Art A.V. Sedov

First Deputy of the General Director of the State Museum of Oriental Art, honoured worker of culture of the Russian Federation T.K. Metaxa

Exhibition supervisor M. Filatova

Consultants I.F. Uritskaya, E.N. Gogoleva

Chairman of the board of the Foundation of heritage of the artist A.D. Tikhomirov G.A. Zhigarev

Heirs of the artist would like to give their special thanks to V.A. Matveev and G.B. Gordon, as well as the musicians of «Ute-quartet». Publications and video reportages about the exhibition can be found under «Mass media».

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