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New Year Fantasies. Golden Khokhloma in the Hermitage Kazan Center
December 26, 2017 14:20

December 20 saw the opening of the exhibition "New Year's Fantasies: Golden Khokhloma" of Nikolai Gushchin (Nizhny Novgorod) in the Hermitage Center of Kazan.
The fairy firebird, scarlet berries and golden herbs make the fabulous triad of gold Khokhloma. Khokhloma painting is an original folk craft, a unique phenomenon of world scale.
How did this amazing Khokhloma art come to be?
People say that three hundred years ago a jolly fellow settled in the woods on the bank of the Volga River. He built a wooden hut with a table and a bench, and carved wooden utensils. He used to cook millet porridge and shared it with forest birds. Once upon a time a Firebird arrived at his doorstep and he treated it. The Firebird touched the porridge bowl with its golden wing, and the bowl turned golden. Hence are the golden dishes in Russia, they say, and that is how the Firebird became the symbol of the Khokhloma painting.
Since time immemorial, Khokhloma craftsmen have been engaged in painting wooden dishes and turning plain bowls into "golden" ones without using any precious metals.
Khokhloma painting attracts with the ornament beauty, colorfulness and brightness. Boasting durable varnish coating, these handcrafted utensils are widely used in everyday life.
The exhibition presents eighty works of Khokhloma painting. The central place in the exposition is occupied with a festive table served with Khokhloma dishes. Come and see! Ah, those painted wooden spoons, ladles, supplies, and bowls will be the pride of any hostess and joy to all guests. We will be happy to introduce you to the fantasies of golden Khokhloma.
At all times of this craft existence its masters knew multiple tricks of creating these "magic utensils". In modern times the Khokhloma painting remains attractive to numerous experts of decorative and applied art.
More than sixty items at the exhibition "New Year Fantasies. Golden Khokhloma” present the creativity of Nikolai Gushchin, the People's Artist of Russia and a member of the Artists Union of Russia.
The handcrafter’s career is connected with the Semin factory "Khokhloma Artist", where he has worked for nearly 20 years, dedicated to the study and development of the famous painting technique. His works combine folk traditions and modern views on the art of Khokhloma. Nikolay Gushchin carefully preserves the technology of making objects, delicately introducing new ornaments and shapes. He is the author of 66 new types of Khokhloma items approved for massive production. The artist is fond of contour drawing and widely uses various motifs of meadow grass, garden flowers, forest berries, golden curl patterns, and ancient herbal painting with sprawling black and scarlet stems.
In one work, the artist brings together the beauty of nature’s spring blossoming and its autumn generosity. In his picturesque images, the dream of wealth and abundance is embodied; therefore the objects painted by him become original amulets of well-being, prosperity and happiness.
The exhibition has turned out to be colourful, ingenious, and bright. Every visitor will find something interesting here. The Russians of the senior generation will remember that they have Khokhloma bowls somewhere on the mezzanines. Young people will get acquainted with a bright, original art. As for children, they will find themselves in a wonderful fairy tale.
The exhibition is running in the Kazan Kremlin, Republic of Tatarstan, from 20 December 2017 to 25 January 2018. 


Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Khokhloma Painting Art Exhibitions Kazan Hermitage Museum  

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