Archive for art

25 May: Searching for the original

Posted in art, Chess Tigers on Tour, football, Strange things, Tretyakov with tags , , , , , , on May 25, 2012 by Chessurfer

In an earlier post I wrote about Viktor Popkov’s painting “The team is resting” , the art symbol of the 2012 match. Today, on the restday Hans Walter Schmitt and I decided that we wanted to see the original painting and we were told that should go to the Gallery at 10, Krymsky Val for the real thing.

But first we had to do some shopping…

…and since we needed a lot of mineral water for “our boys” as we fondly call Vishy and his seconds, we decided to take the red car today.

We just had difficulties to park the car.

Since we are regular customers of “Atak” supermarket, HWS is allowed to use the ladder.

After our shopping spree and another hazardous drive through Moscow traffic, we walked from the hotel to the Gallery at Krymsky Val, a 30 minute stroll. Since the weather was fine, sunny and not too hot, we made several photo stops, so it took us about an hour to get there.

The Peter the Great Statue was designed by the Georgian designer Zurab Tsereteli to commemorate 300 years of the Russian Navy, which was started by Peter I of Russia. At 94 metres, it is the eighth tallest statue in the world. In November 2008, it was voted the tenth ugliest building in the world by Virtual Tourist. In 2010, it was included in a list of the world’s ugliest statues by Foreign Policy magazine.

And we also spotted some flying umbrellas. Moscow is a strange city sometimes.

Triumph of Caïssa

Despite the fine weather, we entered the museum, certainly one of the ugliest buildings in Moscow, but on the inside it is a different story. We bought a photo permission (entry was free with the world championship badge) and started searching for the original Popkov painting. There was an extra interesting exhibition for chess lovers in the museum, that runs through 3 June:  Triumph of Caïssa, dedication to Marcel Duchamp.

From the Tretyakov website: “The State Tretyakov Gallery’s section of contemporary art presents special exhibition project in scope of the “Museum night 2012” and the World Chess Championship. This project is is timed to the World Chess Championship Match and dedicated to Marcel Duchamp. One of the most influential artists of the XXth century, Duchamp was an able chess player.  He claimed that his ardour for chess should be taken as a part of his creative work: “While not all artists are chess players, all chess players are artists”.

So we started the tour with a 3D chess animation in a TV set…

…and a big chess board painting in the lobby.

Then we noticed this row of chairs, with chess pieces on them, and when you look carefully…

…you can see that the chairs are resting on tennis balls! It is soooooo tempting to take a ball….

The white and black king at the end of the row of chairs, on the highest pile of tennis balls.

But we had not found our painting yet, although we saw some famous pieces of chess art in the collection, when strolling through the art gallery. This is the table of constructivist Alexander Rodchenko.

And we actually did not find it. The museum staff shrugged their shoulders, when we asked where the painting was. They suggested us to go to the main building where the chess match takes place and ask there.

And HWS really got angry, after searching for hours without seeing the painting. Thank god he found a punching bag.

I did not get mad, but decided to” improve” this piece of art. What is wrong in this picture? Please comment!

After a final stroll through the museum, it was even too late to visit the friendly football match Russia-Uruguay, to see how our new friends Dick Advocaat and Bert van Lingen would do.

Ha, there he is, doing a TV interview before the game. The game ended 1-1.

And we will continue our search for the original…


23 May: Viktor Popkov and the Championship design

Posted in art, popkov, Tretyakov with tags , , on May 23, 2012 by Chessurfer

Viktor Popkov’s painting “The Team is Resting” was chosen as the art symbol of the World Chess Title Match 2012. A press conference timed for the 80th birthday of this brilliant representative of the Soviet Art School was held today, on Wednesday 23 May. Pyotr Kozorezenko, Doctor of Art Studies was the honourary guest of today’s match. Since the match is staged in one of the most prestigious art galleries in Russia, the Tretyakov Gallery (,  it is a good idea to invite art experts to the daily press conferences, rather than chess grandmasters, although we have seen great press conferences with living legends like Yuri Averbakh, Anatoli Karpov and Garry Kasparov.

Pyotr Kozorezenko, Doctor of Art Studies is really looking forward to tell something about art to ignorant chess journalists.

This is not supposed to be an art blog, and I do not pretend to have any knowledge about Russian art, therefore I would suggest that your read more about the artist here:

Watch carefully

You might have noticed when you have carefully checked pictures on various chess websites, that one of his works, “The Team is Resting” was chosen as the art symbol of the world championship match and the organizers and the Tretyakov Gallery staff brilliantly integrated this fine painting in the building, on posters, paper bags, in the VIP and press room, in the playing hall and the public viewing area as you can see in the pictures below.

Here are some pictures I took during the inspection of the playing hall, in which one could see the first impressions. This is a direction sign in the main lobby of the Engineering Building of the Tretyakov, in which the match is staged.

The pressroom, on the left you can see an excerpt of the painting.

The playing hall also has some excerpts of the painting on both sides of the stage. This picture was taken during the inspection, a few days before the opening.

In the public viewing area the design is also drawn through.

This is the fill painting and as I showed you, excerpts of the painting are all over the place. The painting is exhibited in the Tretyakov Gallery and this picture is taken from the book “Viktor Popkov“, written by the above mentioned author Pyotr Kozorezenko. 

This is a very heavy book, I can tell you! Everyone present at the press conference was offered a free copy!

The author was kind enough to personalize my copy. It was a very interesting lecture by Kozorezenko, even for philistines.