The Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery is always open to the public and 7-8% of over 4,300 works of art are on exhibit at any given time. The history of modern Mongolian art begins in the early 20th century with the works of the Khuree artist, B Sharav, as in 1989 the modern art section of the gallery was set apart from the Mongolian Art Museum. Any work done before the 20th century is housed within the Zanabazar Museum. However, the Zanabazar Museum has been known to hold exhibitions of modern works as well.
Editors and researchers of the Asia Pacific Countries Art Magazine record the art culture successes among the 67 countries in this area, researching and comparing their histories. The magazine focuses on one country each year and, and in 2011 they published a statement that Mongolian art originated during the Yuan dynasty.
Mongolian art from the Yuan era consisted mostly of paintings of kings and emperors, depictions of battles or other important events and places of the time, and paintings of landscapes. These works were done mainly by Mongolian, Chinese and Persian artists. Artwork took a turn to more peaceful themes like gods, and religious teachings during the years of the lesser kings.
Of course, following this period, the great eastern artist Zanabazar did much to promote Mongolian art. His goddess images were made to depict the beauty of the Mongolian woman. The 20th century brought an explosion to the Mongolian art scene and this event is closely tied to the awakening of the conscience of a nation that had been under oppression for 200 years.
Artist B. Sharav’s painting titled “One Day in Mongolia” depicts the simple, peaceful existence of the people. However, it’s interesting to note that by the mid 20th century, artists’ work developed to show more action and expression. For example, if the famous work depicting a great horse fight set a new style in traditional Mongolian paintings, the painting called “After Work” was able to fully express the development of modern Mongolia since the “One Day in Mongolia” painting.
From the second half of the 20th century G. Soosoi and other artists ushered in a new era. These works are on display at the gallery. It’s at this gallery where you can be introduced to the works of modern artists and what can be called the fourth era of Mongolian art style.
Over the past years The Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery has worked closely with the Arts Council of Mongolia and consistently collaborated together with them. As a result the government has taken an active role in the development and advancement of Mongolian art.