in fine arts of Yakutia
One of the first painters of Yakutia, ethnographer, and specialist of a local lore Mikhail Mikhailovich Nosov in his graphics series “Yakutia in National Epos” (1945) leads into fantastical world and recreates overall folklore poetic atmosphere interpreting the epos as a fairy tale full of everyday observations.
Olonkho makes the backbone of the artistic tools of Timofey Andreyevich Stepanov. His epic works are noted for irrepressible richness of folk fantasy, colourful and expressive language, coexistence of the figments of fantastic imagination with the reality. Olonkho becomes the subject of his creative thinking. The author perceives the narratives as the source of historical information. He reproduces and artistically reconstructs not only the world of epic subjects, but also the epic time. Stepanov transfers all the richness of the heroic epos’s content to the language of painting, interpreting its plots and images as mythologemes and philosophemes of versatile order.
Thirty large-scale pieces of the series “The Yakut heroic epos Olonkho” (1977-1997) depict the cosmic structure of the universe. The artist chooses the key scenes from Olonkho - description of the Three Worlds, the World Tree, main characters - warriors and beautiful women - keepers of the fireplace, for whose sake the warriors fight… Creating his isofolklore, the author takes just the main nucleus of narrations and creates a finished composition around it, using all the necessary historical, ethnographical, geographical, and common attributes. The psychology of certain characters is replaced by the portrayal of the life of more complicated organisms: the mankind, tribe, earth, universe; intense, certain events are replaced by pictures from life in its most typical cases, for example, “The Middle World” (1980), “The Upper World” (1981) and others.
It was brightly embodied in the works of the graphic artists E.S. Sivtsev, V.S. Karamzin, V.R.Vasiliev, and A.P. Munkhalov. It is the Olonkho that has been the primarily form of aesthetic perception, reflecting integral world outlook of the people in its centuries-old development. The professional mastering of the epic images is parallel to the recognition of the people as creator and the keeper of cultural traditions.
Alexey Ivanov, High Achiever in Culture of Sakha Republic (Yakutia), curator and coordinator of the project on inclusion of regional museums of Yakutia into the project "Google Cultural Institute" (e-mail: email@example.com)
Also took part in the exhibition organization:
Asya Gabysheva, general director of the National Art Museum of Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)
Galina Neustroeva, deputy general director of research of the National Art Museum of Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)
Claudia Kozlova, museum curator
Vyacheslav Semyonov, photographer
Irina Yakovleva, Russian-English translation