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"Russian Avantgardes"
2006-02-14 until 2006-05-14
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
Madrid, , ES Spain

The exhibition Russian Avantgardes, jointly organised by the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and Fundación Caja Madrid, comprises a survey of the rise and development of Russian avantgarde art during the first third of the 20th century. In contrary to the traditional view of one single movement, this exhibition emphasises the wide variety of trends, subject-matter and styles that fall within the cultural experiment of Russian avantgarde art, hence the use of the plural term in its title.

The exhibition primarily focuses on painting and sculpture, but will also include two special sections, one on photography and another on design. The chronological span of the exhibition runs from 1907 to around 1930. For Russia and what was to become the Soviet Union, this was a period of political and cultural turmoil. Artistic life underwent a profound upheaval, manifested through hundreds of group exhibitions, manifestos and "theoretical" statements. The complex, interwoven structure formed by all these events has attracted the attention of art historians over the last three decades.

The survey opens with the search for a new national art based on Russian folk traditions of the beginning of the century. A second section is devoted to the first attempts to form links with international European art, particularly Futurism. Further on, the exhibition analyses the unique oeuvres of artists such as Chagall, Kandinsky and Filanov. It then looks at Organic Abstraction of the post-war years. Finally, the most extensive section is focused on artists’ desires to go beyond traditional art in order to transform it into a means of constructing the new man. To do so, they turned to media such as painting, sculpture, photography and propaganda art.

Featuring more than 280 works, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, posters, book covers, textiles, ceramics and other everyday objects, this extensive survey has been made possible through the special collaboration of the State Museum of Russian Art, Saint Petersburg. Other Russian museums have also been involved, including the State Tretyakov Gallery and various provincial museums, as well as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the IVAM in Valencia, the latter lending part of its collection of 20th century photography. In addition, the exhibition includes works loaned from various private collections around the world.

IMAGE
: Wassily Kandinsky
Destiny


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