ART AT THE FRONT: Visual encounters by Russian artists-veterans of the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945

9-20 May, 10am -6pm
37 Kensington High Street, London, W8 5ED

The exhibition presents selected works by three Russian artists, which they created during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Elena Marttila (b.1923), Sergey Babkov (1920-1993), Pavel Afonin (1920-2011) were active witnesses of war at its different fronts and continued drawing even in some of the most difficult circumstances. Following call of heart they recorded some of the most decisive and tragic moments of history, thus creating an archive of their personal visual memories of the events on the Eastern Front. The original drawings and watercolours show besieged Leningrad, Battle of Kursk, crossing of the river Oder and Berlin Operation among others. There are also portraits of combatants and civilians, for many of whom they became the last records. The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of all those who died in the Second World War, in the name of peace, mutual understanding and art.

The exhibition is organised by Ksenia Afonina – independent curator and researcher of art and culture of the Second World War. She is personally acquainted with the artists and their family archives, which created the foundation for this display. Ksenia is President of the Cambridge Russian-Speaking Society and one of the founders of the Association of the Russian-Speaking Science and Technology Professionals Ru-Sci-Tech.

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