The exhibition will feature 1940 – early 1950s works of Belarusian artists Leu Zevin, Vital Tsvirka, Ivan Akhremchyk, Mikalai Duchyts, Mai Dantsig, Valiantsin Volkau and others.
The works of the Belarusian art of the 1940s combined an authentic, documentary quality with personal experiences, sensations and memories, feelings and emotions. The portraits of artists taking part in front-line concerts, studies, wartime sketches and life drawings – these priceless documents of the era are of particular artistic value, since they present the evolution of creativity of many Belarusian artists who went to the front or joined partisan detachments from the very first days of the war.
The changes in living conditions brought about by the war were reflected in the very nature of fine arts. Operational art forms turned out to be a priority – small graphic forms first of all – as a kind of a descriptive report from the places of military events. A special role is played by the “front-line portrait sketch” – the images of soldiers created not in the aftermath of a battle, but directly on the front line between fights: at partisan bases, medical battalions, etc.
The city theme is key to the art of the war years. Those few works depicting the atmosphere of wartime Minsk which have come down to us are artistic documents of great power. Mikalai Duchyts’s works are crucial for the history of urban landscape art during that time. The artist was one of the first to capture the city during occupation and first post-war years with its deserted streets and an uncharacteristic feeling of numbness, the city where life almost stopped.
In addition to 1940s works, a separate part of the exhibition will include works from the early post-war period, telling of the days of the liberation of Minsk and the country’s rebirth after the Great Patriotic War.