Leon Steinmetz. The Spell of Antiquity

28.07.2016 – 18.09.2016

Main Building

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to present the exhibition, “Leon Steinmetz. The Spell of Antiquity.”

The exhibition includes more than forty large format works on paper that exhibit a variety of techniques. There are several series, the largest of which is “Vase Variations.” Here the painter essentially retains the silhouettes of Classical Antique vases, but within this harmonious space plays with shapes, colors, textures, and even styles. Other works in the exhibition include paintings from the series “The Judgement of Paris,” “Pygmalion,” “The End of Pompeii,” and “The Hades.”

Steinmetz’s works are complemented by selected ceramics from the Pushkin State Museum’s Antiquity collection. Amphorae and pelikai from the Attic, Cypriot, and Apulian schools of the 5th to the 3rd centuries BC engage in a dialogue with the works of the 21st century artist, one in which both sides appear to be speaking the same language. Thus, through the works of a contemporary master we are able to interact in a new way not only with specific Classical masterpieces, but with the art of the Classical world, grand and timeless.

The works in the exhibition intertwine characters from dramas by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, with lines from Plato’s philosophical dialogues along with direct references to ancient Greek ceramics from collections all over the world.

Leon Steinmetz, a contemporary American artist of Russian origin, is known for his free, unrestrained drawing style and his elegant, refined colors. His works, ranging from abstract to figurative, are at the same time witty and deeply thoughtful.

Steinmetz’s first international recognition came when, as a very young artist, he was awarded first prize at the biennale in Latina, Italy for a series of paintings inspired by Ovid’s “Metamorphosis.” This success was followed by multiple exhibitions. Steinmetz's work is represented in the permanent collections of the world’s major museums: the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Museum in London, the Dresden Gallery, the Museum

of Fine Arts in Boston, the Albertina in Vienna, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art among them, as well as in private collections around the world. In addition, works by Leon Steinmetz are widely represented in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts collection.

Steinmetz is also a published author of fiction and non-fiction. He has taught and conducted seminars on creative writing in the departments of English language and literature at Harvard University, as well as at Radcliffe, Wellesley, and Williams colleges. Currently the artist resides, and continues creating his art, in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.  

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