Nathan Altman, Portrait of the Poet Anna Akhmatova, née. Gorenko, 1914. Kazimir Malevich, Suprematism (Supremus No. 56), 1916. Aleksander Samokhvalov, Girl in a T-shirt-shirt, 1932. © 2014, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
Significant paintings from Russian art history, in collaboration with the State Russian Museum. 65 works of art ranging from the early 19th-century via early 20th-century avant-garde to Stalinist-era realism.
The exhibition takes place at Konstakademien.
The Peredvizhniki – Pioneers of Russian Painting, which appeared in the autumn of 2011, was one of Nationalmuseum’s best-attended exhibitions in recent years. This autumn’s exhibition will widen the perspective to cover artists who came before and after the Peredvizhniki, starting in the early 19th century and continuing through to the latter part of the Soviet era.
The exhibition will be an opportunity for Swedish visitors to experience a rich, multifaceted artistic culture that remains largely unknown in western Europe. The artworks are on loan from the Russian Museum in St Petersburg, home to the world’s largest collection of Russian art, and will include several prominent works from among the museum’s treasures.
From Tsars to Commissars will present some of the art produced by a society that underwent massive changes during the 150-year period covered by the exhibition: from the Tsarist empire through the revolutions and upheavals of the 1910s and ’20s to the Stalinist era and the Cold War, when the Soviet Union became a superpower.
Recurring themes include unemancipated peasants, Orthodox Christian imagery and traditions, and the consequences of social upheaval and world war. Narrative engagement and strong emotional expression typify many of the works in the exhibition. Examples of epic scale can be seen in both 19th-century realism and the propaganda art of the Stalinist era.
Russian art history also includes some of the true pioneers of early 20th-century modernism. Kazimir Malevich and Vasily Kandinsky, long considered two of the world’s greatest artists, broke new ground with a style of painting that distanced itself from realism and the narrative tradition.
Also on show will be works by 20th-century painters less familiar to international audiences, such as Pavel Filonov, who developed highly personal imagery inspired by folk art and pictures drawn by psychiatric patients. The Soviet regime banned Filonov from exhibiting his works in public.
For long periods, Russian artists worked under repressive regimes that imposed very restrictive rules regarding form and content. In Tsarist times there was strict censorship, and during Stalin’s leadership of the Soviet Union, artists were expected to serve the interests of the government. The officially sanctioned art of the Stalinist era, known as socialist realism, portrayed the progress made by Soviet society and the strength and dynamism of citizens.
Despite adapting to the requirements of the Soviet regime, some artists still managed to create visually interesting works. A leading example is Alexander Deineka, who depicted modern industrial scenes and the catastrophic impact of the Second World War.
The exhibition will comprise a total of 65 oil paintings by 40 artists, all on loan from the Russian Museum. Featured artists will include Ivan Aivazovsky, Alexey Venetsianov, Nathan Altman, Natalia Goncharova, Alexander Deineka, Vasily Kandinsky, Isaac Levitan, Kazimir Malevich and Marc Chagall.
Nationalmuseum 02.10.2014 - 11.01.2015
Website & source : Nationalmuseum EN - SWE
Website : Stockholm
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