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I have a special attitude to the artists of the Brest region. For more than 35 years I've been connected with many of them through creative and friendly ties. I am pleased to recollect for example, that it was me who made the catalogue of the first jubilee exhibition of Ivan Fetisov, devoted to his 50-th anniversary. And it happened at the end of the 60s! And in the middle of the 90s my album was published, devoted to the creative work of another remarkable Brest region dweller, a brilliant landscape painter Piotr Daneliya. Afterwards I wrote a lot about the Brest region artists both in mass media, encyclopedias and in other thick and thin printed matter.
And today I am on friendly terms with some of them, maintaining good relations with many of them, keeping track of the evolution of their creative work; occasionally being upset by their failures, but more often I am pleased by their successes on Belarusian-wide field of our art. Among my fellow artists with whom I keep close contact for years, I can, with great satisfaction, mention the names of Piotr Daneliya and Vladimir Romeiko, Mikhail Konkov and Lev Alimov, Evgeny Shatokhin and Tamara Pavlyuchuk, Gennady Surma and Nikolai Kuzmich. Sergey Kazak and Leonty Dovbush. And I always warmly recollect my meetings and conversations with the artists that already passed away Eduard Kufko, Vasily Shikin, Vasily Sobolevsky, Nikolai Churabo...
Five years back, taking part in compiling the album Artists of the Brest Region, devoted to the 50-th anniversary of the Brest regional branch of Belarusian Artists' Union, and of Mastatstva complex centre, I could not imagine that shortly after I would take part in the preparation of the second edition of the album, updated and enlarged, which now lies before you. And it is done despite of all well-known financial difficulties, being experienced by our fine art culture nowadays. But Brest region dwellers were lucky again! To my mind, artists and authorities problem does not exist here as such. Local executive authorities and everyone responsible for the development of art understand the fundamental role of spiritual culture in the life of the society and therefore assist those who create beauty. This understanding is manifested in practical help to the Union in carrying out regional and international exhibitions and open-airs, in establishing picture galleries and museums, in realization of big art projects related to aesthetic shaping of urban and rural environment, and, in particular, in the issue of fine art publications.
Certainly, significant changes in the life of the Belarusian Artists' Union took place for the last years: regional branch of Belarusian Union of Artists increased in number and improved in quality, the artists got wider access to the cultural life of both the capital of the state (Minsk) and foreign countries, and the sphere of professional tasks became more diverse and connected to philosophical conceptual comprehension of the world.
One can see at exhibitions: it is the lines humanly concerning the modern problems that are the most precious in the story of life that the artists tell. And also those, that from the most remote past can suddenly bring our history to the fervor of this day. Is it not for the reason, that the artists, due to amazing work of imagination and emotional sensitiveness, do feel an inseparable link between times and generations.
Creative work of the Brest region artists is varied and many-sided in its job of strengthening those main aspirations that make today's life of Belarusian art in general. Its essence lies in search of new forms of expression for imaginative concepts adequate to our uneasy time, in combination of tradition and novelty. Of the tradition that comes from the depth of centuries-old artistic experience, and of the novelty that is sustained by keen interest of the authors in those ideals of spiritual purity, harmony and perfection, without which creative work is impossible.
The time has come of dialogue of the artist not only with the audience, but and it is no less important with himself. The dialogue based on contains a profound maxim: what am I, actually, in this world, whence and where I go. In other words, a kind of pictorial publicism gives way to a more intimate intonation, wide expressiveness to more profound and refined confessing style, invocatory calls and moralizing to philosophical meditations. In this respect creative work of V. Kufko, and of M. Konkov, and of V. Romeiko, and of S. Horashavtsev, and of 0. Gaidukovich, and of L. Rotko, and of N. Chernogolovova, and of N. Mayevsky, and of A. Hvisevich, and of A. Falei, and of M. klimov, and of I. Krupsky, and of S. Cherenovich, is very typical. As you can see, the artists are very diverse. And it is natural. Everything changes, the way of life and way of thinking also change. It is a justifiable desire to see oneself in a broader context than that of one's own life. Is it not the point where one should look for the key to understanding the psychology of the creative work of the Brest region artists as a whole?
What would I like to wish my dear colleagues? Creative longevity, of course. And belief that their work is indispensable to the society as air, as light, as the divine nectar that cures human souls.
Boris KREPAK, Honoured Worker of Art of the Republic of Belarus, Double-winner of For Spiritual Revival State Prize, Chairman of section of critics and of art criticism of the Belarusian Artists' Union








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