More than one hundred years have passed from the birth of Vadim Nikolaevich Gulyaev.
Who is he? He is an artist in an extended sense but not only by occupation. V. Gulyaev was born in 1890 in the city of Barnaul in Altai Territory. His grandfather, Stepan Gulyaev was a prominent collector of Siberian folk tales and legendary. His father, Nikolay Stepanovich was an officer, a scholar engrossed in area study, ethnography, history and archaeology. Antiques he collected were included in the collection of the Altai museum. N.S.Gulyaev played a great role in the formation of art world vision of his son, Vadim and his friends, which stayed friends and companions till the last their days.
Having a light hand and being laconic, Vadim Nikolaevich was hang up on satire, what found its realization amid relatives and friends in home theatre performances, cascade of bon mots at the tablefuls or in epistolary genre and graphic sketches. In addition, looking at his portrait one can feel the calm of hoppled force.
V. Gulyaev first arrived at Uzbekistan after he graduated from the paramedic school and was conscribed at the time of the First World War. In 1915 he bore arms in Katta-Kurghan and in 1916 he was moved to Samarkand. Since 1926, V.Gulyaev had permanently lived in Uzbekistan. He is among founders of art union “Masters of New East” together with M.Kurzin, A. Volkov, A. Nikolaev (Usto Mumin), V. Markov, M. Gaidukevich and others. The union had operated for several years and had busy art program.
V. Gulyaev had rich experience in managerial work in Altai and some other Siberian areas. He arranged exhibitions and took part in them from 1912. He was a founder of Altai regional art and technical studios, art museum and school; he was an instructor at the department of monuments and antiques protection. Companions of V. Gulyaev, Mikhail Kurzin and Yelena Korovai followed him to Uzbekistan at the second half of 1920s.
In 1907 – 1917 V. Gulyaev studied in the Kazan Art College. That time Kazan was a big art center. Many famous artists of the 20th century, such as G. Lukomsky, D. Burlyuk, V. Stepanova, A. Rodchenko and M. Kurzin, studied there. In 1912, Gulyaev left the college to continue his study at the studio of I. Mashkov in Moscow. He had stayed there for a year.
He collected canvas and pictures. Variety of artists’ names, whose pictures V. Gulyaev purchased reflected the crossroads of Gulyaev-student, Gulyaev-traveller and Gulyaev-artist. Rare works of A.Yavlensky and D.Burlyuk, placards of V.Mayakovsky and M.Cheremnikh came to him at first hand, and after the death of Vadim Nikolaevich the State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan purchased them from his widow. V. Gulyaev and M.Kurzin were stencil-makers at “ROST’s Windows”. This fact touches the history of valuable exhibits, which have been in a permanent exposition of the Tashkent Museum for a long time. Gulyaev had close contacts with such artists as Usto Mumin and Kurzin. His heart, art and business contacts were always marked with his individuality, a “laboratory” of his spirit and creativity. Without them and without his deeds it seems impossible to have any opinion about him. He absolutely melted into managerial activity and his devotion for artists.
Gulyaev was among initiators of “Mountain excursions” of artists (1935 – 1937). He fixed them at his camera. He also made photo portraits of Mikhail Kurzin and folk masters at Ura-Tyube. V.Gulyaev took part in the establishment of graphic studio in Tashkent. His adherence to graphics was specific. He worked in graphics himself and studied the concept of modern graphic art developing his own orientation point. The example of Kurzin-Gulyaev gives evidence for deep penetration of Gulyaev in the world of art, creativity and mystery of its nature. He was total in the process of creativity and reticent gentle relation to his friends with his belief in their talent. In addition, this inspired the artists. A famous graphic artist, national artist of Uzbekistan, V.Kaidalov stressed that Gulyaev pushed his interest to gravure and gave to him the first styluses.
Vadim Nikolaevich was fond of graphics in all its variety – pencil, ink, silhouette and colour stamps, colourful chalks and aquarelle. He saw a primogenital art in graphics; architecture, sculpture and painting start from it, from a sheet of paper. This is a self-value in everything – in sketch and drawing. Here is a breath of paper in tune with a breath of artist; here lays a birth of image and intimacy of creative process. True graphics is always spacious; one has a feeling of heart fly the artist created. His notebooks, collection of works of A.Nikolaev(Usto Mumin), M.Kurzin and N.Chevalkov create such impression.
V.Gulyaev published collections of pictures, gravures and poems of his friends becoming museum rarity a half of century later. The book was just in a hand-made copy but his main task was to finish its compilation, to put a cover page and even price. Invention, mischief and intellectual ingenuity! In this way were issued works of M. Kurzin “Chinese Theatre”, gravures of V.Kareev, V.Gulyaev and N.Chevalkov, “Arthur Rimbaud” of L.Martinov, V.Gulyaev and E. Korovai in Omsk and Barnaul in 1920s.
In Uzbekistan, the work of Gulyaev – graphic artist was connected with operation of publishing houses of “Kizil Uzbekiston”, the journal “Guliston” and republican newspapers. He was an art director there and was sent to Moscow to study technical processes of printing with further introduction them into practice of Uzbekistan enterprises. It was in 1930 – 1938.
In 1931, he entered the Moscow Institute of Polygraphists to study by correspondence. The graphic studio started without him. Its mastermind was far from Tashkent, for the majority – nowhere. However, the studio came to life. The first pre-war lithographic series of V.Rozhdestvensky “From the Past of Uzbekistan”, L.Zilae “The Old Life” and V.Kedrin “Chirchikstroi” were prepared there. Later the studio started publishing of lithographic album “The Artists of Uzbekistan about the Great Patriotic War”. All the while V.Gulyaev had lived in Turinsk at the Ural. By a false delation he was arrested in Moscow when he worked at the decoration of pavilions of Middle Asia at VSHV (All – Union Agricultural Exhibition). A.Konobeev from “Glaviskusstvo”, Usto Mumin and others were also convicted.
Hoping to be released and rehabilitated soon, V. Gulyaev wrote to his family:”….Now I would prefer to draw any dusty and sunny small kishlak somewhere near Tashkent. Even sometime in dream Bondarovich and I went to Zenghi – Ata. Ah, what a lovely place!” On a small sheet of paper, he painted mountains and rain above them, and upper – the sun and a flying bird with wide stretched wings. He attached it to the letter: “I am waiting edgily for autumn and freedom, but what for to write about that, it is clearly so”. V.N.Gulyaev died in 1943 in Turinsk, Sverdlovsky region. The memory about him saves a pattern of lyrics of his landscapes, inspiration and will of manager, his dedication to the person and nature. The heritage of the artist, photographer and art historian continues to emanate breathing idea for the love of creativity.
Author: Rimma Eremyan