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Russian art

Related: Russia - art

By medium: Russian film - Russian literature

Movements: kino pravda - constructivism

Key work of the Russian avant-garde: Beat the white with the Red wedge (1919) El Lissitzky

Kunstkamera Museum on Vasilyevsky Ostrov. St. Petersburg, Russia, February 1, 2000
Image sourced here.

Hermitage Museum

The State Hermitage Museum (??????????????? ???????) in St. Petersburg, Russia is one of the largest and oldest art galleries and museums of human history and culture in the world. The vast Hermitage collections are displayed in six buildings, the main one being the Winter Palace which used to be the official residence of the Russian Tsars.

Strong points of the Hermitage collection of Western art include Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Watteau, Tiepolo, Canaletto, Canova, Rodin, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, and Matisse. There are several more collections, however, including the Russian imperial regalia, an assortment of Faberge jewellery, and the largest existing collection of ancient gold from Eastern Europe and Western Asia. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermitage_Museum [Jul 2006]

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 - 1975)

2006 would have been Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich's 100th birthday and through Belgian classical radio station Klara I was introduced to his work. One of the most surprising elements in his biography is that professionally he accompanied silent films during a substantial part of his life. If you listen closely, you can hear this aspect in some of his music. He also scored films. After his death, his music was used in several films including personal favourites Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut and Patrice Chéreau's Intimacy. He also set one of my favourite short stories to music: Nikolai Gogol's The Nose.

Russian avant garde

The Russian avant garde is an umbrella term used to define the large, influential wave of modernist art that flourished in Russia from approximately 1890 to 1930 - although some place its beginning as early as 1850 and its end as late as 1960.

The term covers many separate, but inextricably related, art movements that occurred at the time; namely Russian Symbolism, neo-primitivism, suprematism, constructivism, and futurism. Notable artists from this era include El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich, Pavel Filonov, Wassily Kandinsky, Vladimir Tatlin, Alexander Rodchenko, Sergei Tretyakov and Marc Chagall amongst others.

The Russian avant garde reached its creative and popular height in the period between the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the foundation of the Soviet Union in 1922, at which point the ideas of the avant garde clashed with the newly emerged state-sponsored direction of Socialist Realism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_avantgarde [Sept 2005]

Based on modernity and abstraction, an exceptional movement stirred up the Russian artistic world: the first Russian Avant-Garde movement appeared as early as 1907 in opposition to Naturalism and the Symbolist reverie. At that time, Russian artists were among the most audacious instigators of the changes that shaped 20th century art. This Avant-Garde movement passed through many stages – Neo-Primitivism, Cezannism, Russian Fauvism, Cubo-Futurism, early abstraction, Suprematism, Constructivism, the Matiushin School, and the Filonov School – before it progressively blended in with the Soviet ideology.

The exhibition in Brussels will approach the movement in all its amplitude in order to establish a dialogue between paintings, sculptures, reliefs, craftwork, stage sets and costumes, short films, photographs, photo collages, architectural projects, posters… It will unite or oppose legendary artists such as Goncharova, Larionov, Filonov, Malevich, Tatlin, Exter, Popova, Rozanova, Stepanova or Rodchenko, Pevsner, Gabo…

For the first time, the movement will be placed within a larger historical context. The exhibition will retrace its exceptional history, from its origins up to the mid 30’s and will thereby be a testimony to the parallel or concurrent evolution towards Soviet Realism, whose dogma was promulgated in 1932. Indeed, in the 20’s, Malevich’s Post-Suprematism, Pougny, Altman and Lebedev’s Constructivist Realism, and Filonov’s visionary virtualities were contemporary with the structured works of Deineka and Samokhvalov and to the religious icon-painting of Pakhomov and Pakulin, which lead to the great ideological engineerings of Soviet Realism. --http://www.europalia.be/russia2005/event.php?id=77&lng=en [Nov 2005]

See also: Constructivism - Russia - avant-garde

See also: cabinet of curiosities - 1700s - Russia - museum

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