The exhibition of prints from the second half of the last century - the beginning of the current one, prepared at the initiative of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, is unusual and unique. It is dedicated to the skill of Dmitry Vasilyevich Molotkov, a printer with 58 years of experience. His fate and working biography are an integral part of the history of the formation of the school of Belarusian graphics in the second half of the 20th century.
In Belarus, an artist has three ways to print his works: in his own workshop, in the Belarusian State Academy of Arts and in a creative workshop at the Minsk Art Plant. Most of the prints are born in the oldest workshop of the art factory. For more than half a century of history of the workshop, several generations of graphic artists have been working here, starting with such famous names in Belarusian art as Aleksandra Posledovich, Arlen Kashkurevich, Georgy and Natalia Poplavsky, Elena Los and ending with very young, former graduates of the Academy of Arts. Collaborate with the master Molotkov and graphic artists from Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Germany, France, etc. The works of some of them can be seen at the exhibition.
High quality prints cannot be achieved without a creative attitude and great experience of the master printer. Dmitry Vasilyevich Molotkov has an innate artistic flair, a rare gift to subtly feel the artist's intention and at the same time - knowledge of the specifics of the material, his own unique professional secrets, which allows him to be not just a craftsman, performer of someone else's plan, but also a co-author of a work of graphic art. In the workshop of the art factory where the master works, unique century-old machines for hand-made prints of engravings, in particular, of the company "Krause", as well as lithographic stones have been preserved and are in good condition. And today, modern artists, first-class masters of all types of printing techniques, relying on the high professionalism of a master printer, a follower of old printing traditions, create highly artistic samples of easel graphics.
“Molotkov's Workshop” (as it is secretly called) enables graphic artists to implement their ideas in almost all artistic printing techniques, such as lithography, etching, woodcut, linoleum engraving, etc. Teachers, graduates and students of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts successfully participate in numerous foreign exhibitions. Hundreds of the best books have been designed by Belarusian artists using engraving and lithography. Their works were acquired by the largest museums in the world: the Tretyakov Gallery, the Engraving Office of the Museum of Fine Arts. A.S. Pushkin Museum in Moscow, the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the Smithsonian Center in Washington (USA), other museums, galleries and private collections.
A good master is irreplaceable. Dmitry Vasilievich Molotkov is an outstanding printer, a real virtuoso of the graphic sheet. Only in the funds of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus there are about 4000 prints by more than 90 authors with whom the master worked. One can only assume how many works of art, thanks to Dmitry Vasilyevich, adorn our life. Today D.V. Molotkov is the oldest master, who owns the secrets of hand-printed engraving, the oldest type of fine art not only in Belarus, Russia, but also in the neighboring countries. Part of the history of the development and world recognition of the Belarusian print of the second half of the twentieth century can be called without exaggeration the "Epoch of Molotkov".
Dmitry Vasilievich Molotkov was born on December 26, 1935 in Minsk. During the occupation of Minsk during the Great Patriotic War, he was a prisoner of the ghetto. From 1951 to 1954 he worked as a printer in the printing house named after. I. Stalin. After serving in the ranks of the Soviet Army, from the early 1960s, he continued to work in the printing house of the newspaper "To the Glory of the Motherland". In 1962, Molotkov was admitted to the Minsk art and design workshops of the Union of Artists of the BSSR as a printer. In 1965-1970 he worked as a master of educational printing at the Belarusian Theater and Art Institute, then head of the educational laboratory of the institute. In 1971 he returned to the Art and Design Workshops, which had by then been renamed the Minsk Art Factory (works here to this day). He was awarded the 6th (highest) category of the print printer.
Curator: Rzheutskaya Svetlana Ivanovna, junior researcher of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Bashkortostan.