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     Volume 8 Issue 61 | March 13, 2009 |

  Cover Story
  One Off
  Art -Time out of   Mind
  Art-Gentle Strolls   along Moscow   Streets
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Art - Gentle Strolls along Moscow Streets

Gentle Strolls along Moscow Streets

Fayza Haq
Sivtsev Vrazhek street, Moscow, oil on canvas.

If anyone was of the impression that Russia was cold and grim, looking at Liudmila Gurar's pulsating and vibrant colours in her street scenes and bunches of flowers one would feel that here was the welcoming home of people full of joie de vivre. With her Titian red hair and warm smile, Ludmila is here from Moscow to share her experiences and views with art lovers in Dhaka. She does this by presenting her lively canvases, two of which carry scenes from Dhaka. Coming to Bangladesh, she hopes to get to know the people and learn of their multi-faceted art and culture that goes down through the centuries. She has already been to places like the Sunderbans and Mainamati, and has come away awestruck, determined to see more of this country with its treasures.

Liudmila says,"In the technology era, oil, which has been for hundreds of years in the past, can still express best the emotions and dreams of an artist and so I too have stuck to oils. In this medium, the colours too can have numerous variations and depth."

Liudmila Gurar

She goes in for scenes with tall, strolling human figures, seen going about at a leisurely pace. She is keen in portraying the beauty of the day-to-day life of the city and its people. She also does flowers, which many women painters are fond of, and tries her hand at abstraction too.

Liudmila, who began drawing and painting, picked up the mastery of lines and colours from her father, who was also a painter. In her baby language, she called a pen "kai-kai" and begged of her father to draw and paint along with him. She graduated from Moscow State Textile Academy but went in for oil and canvas expertise. She participated in many art exhibitions as in the US, Spain, Austria. The last exhibition that she took part in was the 285 anniversary of the Russian Academy of Arts. Her favourite painters are El Greco and Valesquez. She also admires certain Russian painters like Korovin.

In one of the canvases, ladies in bright red, accompanied by their chaperons, are seen walking down Arbat Street. Some of the figures at the back are dark. Buildings with their arches, colonnades turrets and windows are brought in with subtlety. The sky in the background merges with horizontal sweeps with the tall buildings. The atmosphere is homely, cheerful and inviting.

Along with the evocative shutters and doors of the past, which have survived through the years, are the bright yellow and gold autumn leaves to be seen in Sibtev Vrazhek street. Sketchy lines and blobs of bold colours represent the clothing, while variations of brown bring in the details of the buildings to the left. With seeps of impressionistic hues, the artist has brought in the scene in an incredibly moving way.

Tapinbur flowers, oil on canvas. White bouquet, oil on canvas.
Roses, oil on canvas.

The buildings in Taganka street appear more black and grey, although set off by more tall buildings in white at the back. The season here is again autumn, going by the leaves of the trees, while the pedestrians carry umbrellas. The women wear long skirts and boots. The people are in red and grey, done in quick, bold sweeps. The rounded, white street lamps add ambiance to the painting. This is an old part of Moscow and still reverberates with cheerful life and living.

As for the flowers, the colours are laid on thick, while each and every petal, stalk and part of pollen have been worked on. Liudmila has worked on different types of flowers and each of bunches have an attraction of their own. Whether in red, pink or yellow, all the collection of flowers brings cheer to the heart. For Liudmila, depicting movement and life on Russian streets, brings as much pleasure, as depicting a bowl of freshly plucked flowers.

In her delightful depiction of Dhanmandi, which is a scene she has done while she has been here, the swaying trees and the buildings have a life of their own. The leaves with their different shades and the nearby buildings are drenched with a feeling of joy. Thus Luidmila presents something down to earth in buoyant colours. Her depiction of the parliament building with its surrounding trees and lawns is also something unique. Everything for Liudmila is a thing of joy, whether it be street puddles, fallen autumnal leaves or grey-white skies, seen as the backdrop of blackened buildings. For her even the very ordinary element is a thing of beauty.

Liudmila's art works were on display from March 5 for eight days at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture.

Taganka street, Moscow, oil on canvas.


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