Dzhanna Tutundzhan (1931 – 2011) was a painter and graphic artist. She was a member of the Artists' Union of Russia (1964), Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1972), People's Artist of Russia (2004), corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Arts (2009). Tutundzhan was a participant of numerous art exhibitions in Russia and abroad.
Dzhanna Tutundzhan was born in Moscow. She graduated fr om the Art School, the Moscow Art Institute named after VI Surikov (1959). After graduation she came to the home of her husband artist Nikolai Baskakov (1928 – 2010). Here she has set for herself the main purpose of creativity – to tell the world about ordinary and lovely people, preserving in their hearts the lightest and best qualities of the national character.
People truly love and respect accompanied by the artist's works throughout the years of her creative life. Her works are in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery, ROSIZO, museums Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Ivanovo, Kaluga, Karaganda, Kirov, Murmansk, Novokuznetsk, Petrozavodsk, Penza, Syktyvkar, Cherepovets, as well as in private collections.
Dzhanna Tutundzhan exhibitions invariably attracted the largest audience. Phenomenon works popularity is not only based on the story of her paintings, close and understandable to people living in the province, but also in the aesthetics of their plastic language close ethical and aesthetic traditions of Russian folk culture.
Last lifetime exhibition projects involving Dzhanna Tutundzhan was exhibition «Vologda academicians of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts painting of XIX – beginning of XXI century» (Vologodskoy State Museum, 2010) and personalized anniversary exhibition of paintings at the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War (Moscow, 2011 ).
Village Sergievskaya of Tarnogsky district wh ere Tutundzhan lived with her husband, became a source of themes and images of her graphic and pictorial art. Gradually her travel drawings and sketches were transformed into generalized, philosophically wise paintings and portraits. Perhaps none of the Vologda artists so amply and deeply depicted the fate of the Vologda Russian peasantry, as it did Tutundzhan. Her gift as muralist and human sensitivity connected, and through her images of rural women, girls, old women she told the world about the spiritual beauty, wisdom and firmness of national character.
Frank and intimate «Sergievskie sheets», with which Tutundzhan came into Vologda art, were devoted to this topic. The heroine of her graphic works akin to the literary images of Vasily Belov, Alexander Romanov, Olga Fokina, whose work village theme found its particular expression. The main advantage of the expressive graphics Tutundzhan was laconic realistic figure. Close-ups of women's faces, furrowed, looked into the soul of the viewer with their smart, all comprehending eyes, as if they were looking for support, and really just talked about their fate.
Tutunzhdan said: «Graphics – my roots, painting – my crown». Critics talk about graphic quality of her paintings and the fullness of its picturesque associations of graphic compositions. Graphic element expressive silhouette always supplemented symbols scenic spots of color. So, soft red in one case symbolizes life and warmth of the hearth («Burn clear»); in another, contrasting with the black lights the flame of fire («Fire»). Tutunzhdan writes of modern people and modern life.
Probably the most vital issues of modern life are concentrated in the «village» works Tutundzhan. Her favorite character, having survived war and revolution, have not lost the most important thing – faith and hope. These peasant women with folded hands on his knees are the «root race» of man. It is no accident that the symbol of the revival of the Russian countryside, and thus land in pictures Tutundzhan is a country woman, surrounded by children.
Means of expression, which takes advantage of the beautiful works of the artist, refer to Russian icon painting. Many researchers have called the language of monumental paintings Tutundzhan «fresco». Tutundzhan uses the parable as a plot outline. Its rustic characters akin to medieval saints and martyrs, not legendary, but living now on our land. And the names of her paintings wakes up our national memory: «Ball up his cross», «Mother Queen of Heaven», «Trinity», «All-Seeing Eye»...