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Prof. Dr. S.V. Zagraevsky


The congress of Moscow Union of Artists

or a feast during the plague?


Published in Russian: newspaper "Moscow artist", 2, 2003.



The following text was translated from the Russian original by the computer program

and has not yet been edited.

So it can be used only for general introduction.




Note 2009. For the time elapsed since the writing of this article, the leadership of the Moscow Union of artists was another "stationery castling": in 2006 Vasily Bubnov gave place to the Chairman of the Board Ivan Kazan (the Chairman of the sculpture section), and that, in turn, in 2008 - Viktor Glukhov (the Chairman of the painting section). In General, the article is relevant today, and all new "art" group Bubnov-Glukhov-Kazan are in line with their long-term activity: for the Union lost the Moscow house of sculptors (1st Spasonalivkovsky lane, 4), many creative studios, under the threat of sale is the library of the Ministry of agriculture (Ul. Upper Maslovka, 9), and the building of sculptural works (Starovatutinsky proezd, 12) a secret from the members of the sculpture section was given in pledge "Alta-Bank".


At the end of February 2003, Congress passed another of the Moscow Union of artists (USDA). For those who does not track the vicissitudes of life "post-Soviet" creative unions, explain that USDA should not be confused with the famous Moscham - Moscow Department of the Union of Soviet artists. In 1991, on the wave of General division of the Moscow branch (now the Union of artists of the RSFSR) became an independent organization and launched into a "free floating" under the name of Moscow Union of artists, taking virtually all property earned by the labor of many generations of artists in Moscow.

The property was considerable: three large exhibition halls, four art galleries, several thousand creative studios, art plants in each section (painters, graphic artists, sculptors, applied art, poster), the House of veterans, the House of creativity, depot clinic... in short, all that was required for the effective implementation of the main functions of the creative Union - social protection and provision of Moscow artists.

From what Moscow Union of artists "floated" to its Congress in 2003? Did his head Vasily Bubnov (in the early nineties - Vice-President, in recent years - Chairman of the Board) to preserve and enhance what was left of his "inherited" from the Union of artists of the USSR? Was the work of the Union, unanimously recognized by Congress as "satisfactory", is indeed the case? Let's see.

Moscow house of the artist on Kuznetsk, 11, leased and actually redeveloped under Souvenirs / gift shop, in the remaining areas are only three or four art exhibitions a year. No wonder - in 2001, the merchants tenant has reconstructed the "House"and now, of course, "tune" them.

Most of the Central office of the Moscow Union of artists - estates in Starosadsky, 5, where there were considerable showrooms - leased to several organizations, including the "lush" restaurant. In the evenings, a quiet courtyard with a statue of St. George into a "Smoking room" for the appropriate audience.

The only regularly operating hall at the Kuznetsk, 20 - also nothing more than a pitiful remnants of luxury: in the Soviet times he was on the ground floor, and now the first floor and the second half is ready (or provided by so called "cooperation agreements") to a wide variety of organizations. Hall now huddled on the second floor, where visitors drop in very often.

In the Moscow Union of artists have about 3500 shops, of which approximately 2700 occupy artists-members of USDA, the rest are "neuchtenkoy" and rented out to strangers. However, the distribution of the recorded "workshop is run sections, that is actually workshops are out of control of the Union.

Art salons (Petrovka 12, Leninsky Ave, 99; Stroginskaya Blvd., 30; Sokolnicheskaya square, 4) were at the beginning 1990s, along with significant financial resources transferred to JSC "Moscow artist", where the USDA was a controlling stake of 51%. It seems to be okay, but it was only the first step. Then the Board of the Moscow Union of artists, made a decision on increase of the authorized capital of JSC, and when he had to pay his share, "proved"that the Union had no money for it! Other shareholders, of course, all made on time, and the share of the Ministry of agriculture has fallen to 20%, which meant the loss of control salons. Was it negligence or criminal trick by Bubnov and his first Deputy Victor Glukhov?

Currently JSC "Moscow artist" already belong only three of the cabin, and the most profitable - at Petrovka - finally gone "on the side". How did his alienation is unknown. At the Congress in 2003 about these salons have nobody even thought of.

Lost depot clinic, house in Ermolaevsky lane, unfinished House of veterans on a street AK. Varga, the House of creativity in Tarusa, Gzhel ceramics plant. Collection of USDA 18000 paintings in 1993 was sold to a certain Vladykin for a symbolic price (thousands of dollars, although the assessment of the Tretyakov gallery the cost was several million).

In fairness, we note that the President of the Moscow Union of artists in 1993 was still Oleg Savostyuk, but Bubnov was his first Deputy. Famous stationery castling "the first person or second person" can competently to escape responsibility for any fraud. Now about the same thing play out Bubnov and his Deputy (also the Chairman of the painting section) Glukhov. "Extreme" are now one, now another, but in the end no one to ask. Sometimes this "tandem" connect Executive Director of the USDA Herman Zariankin, head of the "Association of service of USDA Levon Karapetyan (in charge of are workshops), Chairman of the sculpture section Ivan Kazan, a few people from their immediate environment, and in the "water" is so muddy that group, which seized power in the Ministry of agriculture, with impunity "catches fish in it" for the last twelve years.

And "catch" there is still that. Despite their greater part of the property of the Moscow Union of artists squandered (another word cannot find), huge funds held by the budget of the MOA and now. Let's rough estimate, on the amounts involved.

According to the most modest estimates, the income of the Moscow Union of artists from renting 10000 sq.m squares in the centre of Moscow with the average (and actually underestimated) costs USD 150. per square meter per year would have to be 1.500.000 (one and a half million dollars annually. But in fact the rental price per square meter in the center - no 150, and at least $ 500!

But, for example, in 1999 the official budget of the Ministry of agriculture amounted to 3 million rubles (about 100 thousand dollars), of which 95% went to the apparatus, and 5% - for social assistance to artists. In 2003 the leadership of the Union reported at the Congress on the budget in the amount of almost 8 million rubles (about 270 thousand dollars). Of this money was generated from rental 4.5 million rubles (about 150 thousand dollars). How much money has been spent on the maintenance of management personnel, and how many - on social assistance to artists, speakers wisely silent.

But in any case we may conclude that in the 1999 budget by the Moscow Union of artists took place at least $ 1.4 million, and in 2002 - about 1.25 million. This at least. In fact, the amounts are not reflected in the budget of the Ministry of agriculture, estimated at 4-5 million dollars a year!

Where this money in their pockets they settled, why not see them 6100 "ordinary" members of the Union?

However, the "ordinary" artists - a special conversation. The idea is that the election management and evaluation of the Board is their prerogative, all the Moscow artists ' Union is a public organization. In fact, we have the following "democratic" procedure: the General Assembly sections USDA is going on average a quarter of their size, since the Board sections invite only "their" and in oral form. These "their" claim the list of delegates to the Congress, which elects "best friends" in the Board of the Union, and then unanimously recognizes the work of the Board of "satisfactory". most of their" - Bubnov and Glukhova.

It turns out that in the Moscow Union of artists, all members are equal, but some, like George Orwell, "more equal than others".

And as the sounds in the Charter of the Ministry of agriculture grounds for exclusion of members of the Union and, accordingly, taking away the shop? Purely Soviet-style: "gross and systematic violation of the Charter of the Ministry of agriculture and application of moral and material damage". What is the "gross and systematic"? What is the "moral damage" and to whom it should be applied? But how the Board will decide, so be it. It turns out that at any time any artist can throw out of the Studio.

The idea is that in the interests of "ordinary" members of the Moscow Union of artists is the exhibition industry. Most of the Congress in 2003 said about the large-scale event in the Arena, dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Moscow Union. But actually this is a good beginning was completely ruined.

Holding an exhibition in the "Golden" time - on the New year as the one celebrated in 1962. But for 40 years, much has changed.

Yes, Khrushchev yelled at artists and threatened them uranium mines. I in no case do not feel nostalgic for those times. But why do we never cease to live by the principle "the nose pull - tail stall"? Instead of yelling Nikita Sergeyevich - the silence of the media and the empty rooms (huge crowd of artists, their relatives and friends at the opening, of course, does not count). Instead of selecting office "socialist realism" - clerical personal responsibility labels with the initials instead of names. Instead of political intrigues of the Chairman of the artists ' Union of Russia Vladimir Serov - quiet covetousness the current leaders of the Moscow Union of artists.

And if in 1962 after officials vystavkoma broke even though "belotintsi", who in 2002 broke through the absence of any public response from so unprofessional organized the exhibition?

Vasily A. Bubnov! Artists are well aware, how many square meters of property You lease, and how the proceeds of millions of dollars go nowhere. So at least bring the money in the procedure room of the Union! At least do a competent exhibition activity! Though invite professional art - exhibition curators! Just a little money spend on advertising, publications in mass media and print directories! It will all pay off with interest...

The voice of one crying in the wilderness? Unfortunately, Yes. That place and by the Moscow Union of artists, and its section "blind persons" exhibition - "mass graves" - with thousands of anonymous works.

And the exhibition "Art of Nations" (February 2003) in the Central House of artists USDA provided all the flow and direction, but completely haphazard. However, some "system" in this unsystematic was present, but were it not for exhibition activity, and to a desire vystavkoma flatter his superiors. Thus, the exposition of painting begins with... five works by the President of the Academy of arts Zurab Tsereteli (as well as the exhibition in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Ministry of agriculture). Other artists have given to hang a maximum of one to two. Even the most " Bubnov. But Irina Glukhova, wife of Chairman of the painting section, was awarded the agenda at the beginning of the exhibition, between Natalia Nesterova and Tatyana Nazarenko. Probably, otherwise as "cronyism" this situation cannot be called.

And on the "Art Salon" CHA (mid-March) nepotism took even more exaggerated form: half (!) the exposition of the Ministry of agriculture was busy working two sons Glukhov. In this regard, want only to say, Victor, Your boys have a long and, like all of us, life is not easy. Why did You sculpt of them followers of dubious morality, but also teaches them to an unprecedented "exhibition preferences"? Not always will You in the leadership of the Ministry of agriculture...

The Congress leaders of the Moscow Union of artists talked a lot about the need for "PR" exhibition of the Union. Such declarative conversations are not the first year, without giving any results. Why? But let's think: do I need a manual MOA literate exposition activities? Should you loud and really effective exhibition? After all, their success will attract the attention of the organizers of the General public and media representatives. And then, God forbid, journalists, and behind them and the public, will start to poke his nose in the Affairs of the Ministry of agriculture guidelines.

No "extra" artists to the leadership of the Ministry of agriculture is not needed. Too bad most of them can not refuse: leased to banks and firms to multi-million dollar property, inherited from the Soviet Union still stood out not to a dozen officials from the art for artists. But fewer new members of the USDA and the lower the efficiency of the exhibitions, the less chance that the society and the state of this recall. So, the artists engage in "undesirable"!

But most of all to talk about the enormous problems - this please: from beggars organizations now the press, the public and state officials arrived in good time, to hear about the problems are not interesting, as "unaccounted for" million-the budget of the Moscow Union of artists't see.

And then - on the principle of "black sheep even a tuft of wool": held at least this exhibition, put a "tick", reported at the Congress - and okay. Accidentally came sluggishly visitor looked at the picture and left. The leadership of the Ministry of agriculture can sleep - no one will disturb...

Thus, today the Moscow Union of artists do not perform any of its functions. The artists are not provided any effective financial, social, legal and show support. So why do artists today take MA?

The answer is simple - in the hope of the workshop. But to dispel unnecessary illusion, which shamelessly uses current leadership of the Ministry of agriculture, will hold another simple calculation.

The Union has about 2700 recorded "workshop. Members of the USDA about 6100. In the year released on the average about 40 workshops (usually in connection with the death of art - objects such as houses on the streets zholtovskogo and Varga that could bring hundreds of new USDA workshops, lost).

By the most conservative estimate, the studios claim about 90% of the members of the Union (in fact, this figure exceeds 100%as many shops are allocated to third parties).

Let's count: today, in 2003, the queue length for the workshop is: 6100 - 2700 = 3400. Then enrolled in all new member of the Ministry of agriculture will receive through the Studio: 3400 x 90% : 40 = 76 years old, that is 2079 year. And every year, this period is extended, for each of the Union shall take more than 40 members, and workshops at the USDA less and less.

Some artists are able to "negotiate" with the leadership of the relevant sections and get the shop out of turn, but then for the rest of it getting pushed back, respectively.

And it is a mockery of the artists leadership of the Moscow Union of artists proudly calls "the struggle for their rights"?


Moscow. 2003.

   Sergey Zagraevsky



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