In the desert of Karakulpakstan, [part of Uzbekistan] is a town called Nukus. In that town is an art museus with 44,000 paintings by Russian artists of the first half of the 20th century. They are in need of framing and restoration, but most of being recognized as the treasure they are. A documentary has been made about the museum and how an artist named Savitsky [unable to paint freely during the Stalin years] saved the works of colleagues who also painted against the Socialist realist mode of the time, many of whom were sent to the gulags for years, their paintings hidden in attics. In one case the paintings were systematically cut from their frames so the frames could be fire wood.
A documentary, Desert of Forbidden Art, has been made and shown fairly widely. It can be borrowed from Netflix and I'd urge anyone who is curious to see it. It's worth seeing some of the fascinating, brilliant art. I particularly remember one painting with a brilliant lavender road that preceded David Hockney's recent works with just that kind of color in landscape.
The world is full of the unexpected, the wonderful, the beautiful, I never get tired of discovering them through books and film.
ELDER MUSIC: Let's Face The Music And Dance - This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge an...
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