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ABOUT REVOLUTIJA, THE RUSSIAN AVANT-GUARDE IN A GREAT INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION
Art | Events | Exhibitions | History
Last weeks at MAMbo for the deepening about Russian artistic vanguard and the special events around Bologna city
If you haven’t yet felt the smell of revolution, maybe you didn’t pass next to MAMbo’s doors. Don’t miss it: you have time until the 13th of May to enjoy a precious and peculiar exposition focused on Russian art of the early XX century.
“Revolutija” is the expo-jewel of the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna, produced and organized by CMS.Cultura: it evokes not only the Centenary of the historic Russian Revolution, but also all the prolific artistic dynamics born and developed during that restless period. Two are the main goals of Evgenia Petrova, deputy director of the St. Petersburg State Russian Museum and cooperator of the exhibition:
- to bring a light on the heterogeneous variety of Russian artworks
- to direct the attention of the general public on artists like Repin, Petrov-Bodkin and Kustodiev, which were somehow overshadowed by the huge success of the famed Kandinsky, Chagall and Malevich.
Revolutija: the Exhibition
Over 70 artworks coming from the St. Petersburg State Russian Museum testify to the modernity of the cultural movement which raised before the revolution of 1917. Primitivism, cubo-futurism, suprematism and constructivism delineated two parallel styles: from one side, the figurative expressionism, from the other side, the pure abstractionism.
"Revolutija" becomes, thus, an excursus through the History, through the Russian culture during this restless period, through the human approach to changes and through Art as figurative tool to express the deepest feelings. This is the real revolution: to investigate what's inside our minds, thanks to such a rich cultural heritage made available in a vibrant contemporary context, like MAMbo does.
The Revolutions and their role
Revolutions of the early XX century have been relevant into the Russian democratic-middle class background and into the creation of a Soviet culture and art. The pessimistic mood caused by the failure of the uprising in 1905 evolved in something different after the victorious revolution of 1917, that led to a powerful but contradictory shift. Realist artists in line with the 19th century’s art canons were in contraposition with an emergent avant-guard tendency, which was driven by anxiety and exasperation and that aimed to destroy a hated past.
Malevich, the most drastic of the innovators, fought against the realism, claiming that the pure, absolute art has to be a supreme sensitive which has nothing to do with life, society or politics: its Black Square, Black Cross and Black Circle were new icons of the total non-objectivity. “Having desperately tried to free art from the objective world, I found refuge in the square shape” he declared. It was the birth of suprematism. In opposite, Tatlin, another fundamental exponent of avant-guarde, conceived art as free research into abstract properties of surfaces, colors, lines and mass applied to social and industrial needs: in a word, constructivism, the base of the currently known industrial design.
Malevich and Tatlin depict one of the two factions that the revolution generated, the one where non-objectivism and spatial compositions are the main features; the other artistic faction emerged after the revolution and brings a return of order and an accessible figurative language.
The activism of women in Russian avant-guard
Natalia Goncharova, together with her husband Michael Larionov, was the first of contentious artists and authors who made up the panorama of Russian avant-guarde, opening the first chapter made by non-objective art and abstractionism. Her favourite theme, as a very sensitive painter, was the folklore and popular crafts.
She has been one of a series of female figures who highly contributed to Russian avant-guarde: Popova, Rozanova, Dymschyz-Tolstaya are some of the proud women which represented the revolution theme with the futurist characteristics first, and the socialist realism then.
Revolutija and Bologna city
In collaboration with Bologna University and the most representative cultural institutions of Bologna, "Revolutija" doesn’t end up into MAMbo’s walls, but aims to transform the whole city in a workshop area. The Russian avant-guarde, even in our times, is capable of spotlighting the innovations and opportunities hidden around us.
Thanks to Giovanna Bile
Press Office CMS.Cultura
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