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Alexander Kishchenko: famous Belarusian monumental artist

Mosaic in Minsk
Mosaic in Minsk
Mosaic in Minsk
Mosaic in Minsk
Mosaic in Minsk
Mosaic in Minsk
Mosaic in Minsk
Mosaic in Minsk
Mosaic in Minsk

Unique masterpieces, bright places of Belarus’ capital, tourist attractions and the pride of Minsk. Works by People’s Artist Alexander Kishchenko can be seen in all parts of the city.

For instance, the mosaic picture “Partisans” has been decorating the side wall of the hotel Tourist (Turist) for more than ten years now. The canvas was created in 1973. It’s the first large-scale piece of art presented by Alexander Kishchenko to the Belarus capital. The area of the mosaic is 245 square meters and it took a couple of years to lay it out.

However, the mosaic started to gradually crumble in the mid 1990’s. By the time the two-year restoration works began, only 50 per cent of the masterpiece remained intact.

Nina Kukharenko, Alexander Kishchenko’s widow:
It was very important for my husband to pursue monumental art. All the more, cities and buildings were being constructed. My husband had a wish to give Partizansky Avenue a splash of color. Some kind of a logical ending of the avenue. And the theme of Belarusian partisans served as a ground for the masterpiece.

During the restoration works, it turned out that smalt, the material that the picture is made from, wasn’t produced any more. A little bit from here and a little bit from there had to be taken. And that’s considering the fact that four million elements of 14 shades of smalt were used to create the picture.

Alexander Kishchenko gave a symbolic meaning to colors. Ochre is Belarusian land. Red mosaic is blood. Black and dark brown shades are the tragic history of Belarus during World War II. Yellow smalt is faith in victory.

Nina Kukharenko, Alexander Kishchenko’s widow:
I think that all city dullness irritated him, just as any other artist, and he wanted to decorate the city. That is why he started using such color palettes in the neighborhood Vostok. Golden and blue palettes meant Belarusian lakes. And he studied a lot of material on Belarusian ornaments and used these colors in his mosaic works.

The most famous mosaic compositions by Kishchenko, such as October in Yubileynaya Square, City-warrior, City of Science, City of Culture, and City-builder, can be seen on the sides of blocks of flats in the neighborhood Vostok.

Certainly, the most outstanding masterpiece by Kishchenko is the “Tapestry of the Century”, the size of which is 14 by 19 meters. It was recognized as the biggest tapestry of the world in 1991 and was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

It took the artist five years to complete the work. The unique canvas was recognized as the national heritage of Belarus.

Nina Kukharenko, Alexander Kishchenko’s widow:
The theme of this tapestry is rather interesting. It’s a tapestry of the century in some way. We can see cultural and political figures in it. And looking at such tapestries today, we can speak about the culture and history of any state.

Despite the fact that Alexander Kishchenko died more than 18 years ago, people still remember him. Nina Kukharenko did her best to preserve everything that was left from her talented husband.

Nina Kukharenko, Alexander Kishchenko’s widow:
He usually engaged many people to create his works. He never made anything up. A large group of people posed as models for him. And even I posed for many of his works. In the neighborhood Vostok it’s the composition Mother and Child. First of all, some outlines had to be done and then the mosaic was laid.

Today Kishchenko's creations are located in the art museums of Belarus, Russia, in the State Tretyakov Gallery and in private collections as well. His works give us the full idea of today’s problems. The artist aimed at raising Belarus in its heroic invincibility, peaceful life and in consolidation of Christian values.

Alexander Kishchenko: famous Belarusian monumental artist