President of the Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery Viatcheslav Kantor elected Honorary Member of the Russian Academy of Arts

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On 17 January 2018, President of the Russian Academy of Arts and People’s Artist of the URSS Zurab Tsereteli officially awarded the robes and diplomas of Honorary Members of the Russian Academy of Arts (RAA) to President of the Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery (MAGMA)   Viatcheslav Kantor and Director of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Marina Loshak.
The election of Viatcheslav Kantor as an Honorary Member of the Academy marks his achievements in creating a unique art collection that includes paintings by well-known Russian artists of Jewish descent, photographs, masterpieces of drawing and sculpture. As part of his public activity, Kantor promotes Russian art abroad and supports national artists and cultural events.
The election of Marina Loshak as an Honorary Member of the Academy marks her decades-long artistic and museum work.
“I am very pleased to receive the title of Honorary Member of RAA in such marvelous company. It all goes beyond my imagination. The past twenty-five years, during which my colleagues from the Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery and I have been collecting pieces of art, have become a very important stage of my life,” Mr. Kantor said at the official ceremony.  “All the time that we have been shaping the collection, it has been shaping us as well. It turned out that we found the right way, although we had many arguments and disputes about which one to follow. Chaim Soutine, many of whose works are now represented in the collection, is a kind of a pioneer in fine arts, because he was the first to introduce a notion of “deformation” in arts. The master has shown that objective reality can be deformed so that it becomes visible completely and unmistakably. This was the reason I chose him to be one of the key figures in the collection. Today, I am very proud to own the most remarkable private collection of Soutine worldwide”.
“There has been a great deal of discussion on what Russia has given to the world. Many people think of the atomic bomb, gas and oil, but that is a truncated version of reality. The fact of the matter is that Russia, and, in a broad sense, the Russian Empire, has produced a vast number of pioneers in the fine arts. Naturally, Marc Chagall stands side by side with his prominent compatriot, Chaim Soutine. This is why we felt it was very important to answer the request of Marina Loshak and lend the paintings from our collection. We hope that our cooperation will grow stronger in future, as we believe that a fundamental synergy exists between our collection and the museum’s area of focus”, Viatcheslav Kantor added.
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts is hosting an exhibition of works by French artist of Russian descent Chaim Soutine (1893–1943) entitled Chaim Soutine. Retrospective, which presents eight of his works from the Museum of Avant-Garde mastery collection.
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The Russian Academy of Arts (RAA) is the successor to the USSR Academy of Arts and a counterpart of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the field of fine arts and crafts, architecture, design and art education. The RAA was founded by the Government of the Russian Federation. Since 1997, the president of the Russian Academy of Arts has been Zurab Tsereteli,member of the Academy of Sciences, People’s Artist of the USSR, winner of the Lenin Prize and various USSR State Prizes.
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts is a museum complex that contains one of the largest foreign art collections in Russia, comprising works ranging from Ancient Egypt and Greece to the present. Today, its collections include over 700,000 works of art. The most valuable is the collection of 19th– and 20th-century French art, one of the world’s most famous collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. The Museum’s Department of Private Collections, established in 1985, contains over 30 private collections.
The Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery, MAGMA, was established in 2001 by Viatcheslav Kantor. It was launched with support from the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.MAGMA’s large, culturally significant collection of Russian 20th-century avant-garde art contains around 300 works, including paintings by Ilya Repin, Valentin Serov, Marc Chagall, Leon Bakst, Robert Falk, Nathan Altman, Erik Bulatov, Victor Pivovarov, Ilya Kabakov, Antoine Pevsner, Alexander Tyshler, Chaim Soutine, Mark Rothko, and Amedeo Modigliani.