16:41 GMT +321 March 2019
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    MOSCOW. RIA Novosti analyst Maria Tupoleva.

    * "Two Times" is the title of an exhibit of photographs by Yuri Abramochkin, a winner of the World Press Photo Golden Eye award and one of RIA Novosti's most seasoned and talented photo correspondents. The exhibit, which coincides with the 45th anniversary of his professional life, is being held from June 15 to July 11 at the Photo Center of the Moscow Journalists' Union.

    The exhibit features 250 of Abramochkin's photographs from the Soviet and post-Soviet periods.

    Among the exhibits are photographs of Russian and foreign leaders including Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, Fidel Castro, Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II, Yasser Arafat and others.

    The remarkable pictures of Yuri Gagarin, the first cosmonaut, taken in 1961 are of special interest, as they show him as an ordinary and exceptionally charming man.

    The exhibit also contains remarkably dynamic photographs of famous cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and great dancer Makhmut Isambayev, a humorous picture of sculptor Zurab Tsereteli lifting the weights, a photograph of aircraft designers Tupolev and Ilyushin on a gangway to an airplane. Many photographs in the exhibit feature the everyday life and holidays of ordinary people.

    Undoubtedly, Yuri Abramochkin's art marks an entire stage in the development of Russian photography. The master prompts people to take a closer look at the surrounding world and their inner feelings. Visitors are given a message that each moment of their life in unique.

    * From June 16 to July 16, the Karelian Fine Arts Museum is hosting an exhibition of paintings by Russian Empress Maria Fedorovna Romanoff (1847-1928), the wife of Tzar Alexander III and the mother of Nicholas II, the last Russian tzar.

    Maria Fedorovna (born Princess Dagmar of Denmark) was a very talented person. As all Russian empresses, she was involved in charity work and headedthe Russian Red Cross Society for many years. She was elected an honourary member of Kazan University and was a patron of the Cavalier guard and Cuirassier regiments. She corresponded with German Emperor Wilhelm II, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen and ballerina Anna Pavlova.

    Her passion for collecting objects of art and painting is not well known.

    Two still lifes and a watercolor, which the empress painted in 1869, are the highlights of the exhibit. Maria Fedorovna's works are quite professional because she took lessons of painting from Alexei Bogolyubov (1824-1896), a remarkable painter of sea battles and landscapes.

    Moreover, the exhibit features pieces by her outstanding contemporaries: Alexei Bogolyubov; Arseny Meshchersky (1834-1903) and Yefim Volkov (1844-1920), landscape painters who praised the beauty of Russia's nature; and the charming "Woman's Portrait" by well-known collector Mikhail Botkin (1839-1914).

    * From June 17 to July 25, the Moscow Central House of Artists is hosting the "Time of Genius" exhibition, which features brilliant Russian artists of the 1960s.

    The era of Nikita Khrushchev (1958-1964), who came to power after Josef Stalin died, was named "the thaw." During this period Stalin's personality cult was stopped and the first wave of rehabilitation of thousands of political prisoners followed. After decades of bloody events it was a time of relative freedom. Khrushchev relaxed censorship, which resulted in an entire generation of talented writers, poets, scientists, artists and actors emerging in Russia.

    The exhibition features the violent and blazing paintings of Anatoly Zverev, a remarkable Soviet underground painter, and the austere and laconic works of Dmitry Krasnopevtsev (1925-1995), an outstanding philosopher and art reformer. In the late 1950s-60s he created curious "metaphysical still lifes" by combining symbolic and surrealistic traditions with simple, often broken pottery, dried plants and shells.

    * On June 21 and 22, pop diva Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian La Pierre) will perform farewell concerts in the Kremlin. She has been a chart-topping singer since the 1970s.

    Her last breakthrough came with the sensational album, "Believe," which was released in the late 1990s. "Believe," which sold 11 million official copies around the world and topped the pop charts in 23 countries of the world, was her most successful album.

    Cher is also a theatre and film actress. In 1987, she starred in "The Witches of Eastwick" with Jack Nicholson and in 1999 she appeared in Franco Zefirelli's critically acclaimed, "Tea with Mussolini."

    In mid-spring 2002, she announced that the Living Proof Farewell Tour would be her last tour.

    The tour is still triumphantly going round the planet. As the singer put it in one of her interviews, this tour is indeed her last one, but nobody told it will be short.

    * From June 22 to August 26, the Hermitage (St. Petersburg) and the Solomon Guggenheim Museum (New York) are presenting an exhibition of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov's works entitled, "The Incident in the Museum and Other Installations."

    For the first time since Ilya and Emilia Kabakov moved to New York in 1988, Russians will see several installations and over 80 drawings, 16 pictures, sketches, models, and photographs from different museums and private collections. The pieces are accompanied by the artists' comments.

    Ilya Kabakov is a key figure of the Moscow underground and a famous and popular Russian artist. He created over 200 installations and his pieces are shown in many museums around the world.

    Ilya Kabakov became popular in the West with his "total installation" genre, which creates a special atmosphere with the help of pictures, texts, objects and sounds.

    On June 23, Ilya and his wife Emilia will participate in the work of an international symposium at the Hermitage Theatre in St. Petersburg to be attended by leading art critics fromRussia and abroad.

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