Moscow City Department of Culture
The exhibition “Russian Avant-Garde: From Dawn Till Dusk” features works by avant-garde artists as well as Russian-born artists of the School of Paris created between the mid-1910s and early 1940s. The Worker and Kolkhoz Woman Exhibition Center has put on display paintings, graphics and sculptures from the collection of Yuri Nosov. The exhibition marks the presentation of the catalogue of the famous Moscow collector.
This show’s concept takes the term avant-garde broadly as it is common in art criticism now: nearly all displayed artists feature in the three-volume edition of the Encyclopedia of the Russian Avant-Garde (V. Rakitin, A. Sarabianov). The title of the exhibition, “Russian Avant-Garde: From Dawn Till Dusk”, refers to the complex history of evolution of avant-garde from the inception and rapid growth of the avant-gardist artistic unions of the mid-1910s-early 1920s (the “dawn”) through the gradual fading of radical experiment impulses in the 1930s to their almost complete extinction by early 1940s (the “dusk”).
The chosen concept allows to include in the exposition works by artists of the Union of the Youth (Nathan Altman, Pyotr Lvov, Nadezhda Lermontova); the Jack of Diamonds group (Pyotr Konchalovsky, Aleksandr Kuprin, Ilya Mashkov, Aristarkh Lentulov, Robert Falk, Vasili Rozhdstvensky); the Society of Easel Artists, OST (Konstantin Vyalov, David Shterenberg), followers and disciples of Kazimir Malevich (Eduard Krimmer, Pavel Basmanov, Victor Proshkin); the Makovets group (Nikolay Grigoriev, Konstantin Zefirov, Lev Zhegin, Vasily Chekrygin, Alexander Shevchenko); the Krug art group (Viktoria Belakovskaya, Alexander Vedernikov, Tatiana Kupervasser, Alexander Rusakov, Alexei Pakhomov, Vladimir Lebedev, Nikolai Tyrsa, Maria Kazanskaya); group “13” (Sergei Rastorguev, Antonina Sofronova, Boris Rybchenkov, Mikhail Sokolov). Also on display will be works belonging to the Central Asian avant-garde: Varsham Yeremyan, Nikolay Karakhan, Mikhail Kurzin, Ural Tansykbaev, Victor Ufimtsev. Of great interest are also sunk reliefs and avant-garde paintings by Pyotr Galadzhev and architectons of Malevich.
After the Bolsheviks rose to power in 1917, they harnessed art to serve the goals of propaganda. Many artists actively joined in, but then, with no signs of appreciation of their works by the public and facing critical attitude from the authorities, they began to drift away from formal achievements toward neo-academism, neo-wanderers’ approach and heroic realism, sometimes bringing down the artistic level of their works.
A significant part of the works were created after the order of the Central Committee of the Communist Party issued in 1932, which liquidated artistic unions. Thus, in these paintings, one can follow the attempts by their authors to fit into the state-defined ideological and artistic canon of socialist realism. The exhibition also features several artists of the 1920s-1930s: Rostislav Barto, Nikolay Viting, Vladimir Grinberg, Boris Golopolosov, Efrosinya Ermilova-Platova, Fedor Platov, whose paths in art were also skewed by the interference of the authorities and politically motivated criticism.
The School of Paris will be represented by the works of Michel Andreenko, Dimitri Bouchène, Boris Grigoriev, Natalia Goncharova, Lazar Volovik, Konstantin Tereshkovich, Serge Ferat, Serge Charchoune. Comparing the works by the Soviet painters and their colleagues from France, you can see where the paths of artistic search in the West and the USSR converged and in what ways they were different. The exposition will also include sculptures by Andrey Agilev, Meir Aisenstadt, Boris Korolev, and Georgy Motovilov.
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Ticket price: 250 rubles; Special rate: 50 rubles