The New Hermitage Russian avant-garde of the 10s and 60s
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Russian avant-garde of the 10s and 60s

Exposition "The Left March" is offered as an exhibition-essay, an exhibition-muse. Its name, founded on lines of "The Left March", written by Vladimir Mayakovsky in 1918, does not mean either stylistic community, or wide representation. Numerous and well prepared on the basis of museum and private collections of Russia and foreign countries combined and monographic exhibitions of Russian advant-guard artists, taking place in the 70s - 90s, in our opinion, have fulfilled their mission. They have found out, and then carefully investigated the sources, development and significance of Russian avant-guard in the history of world art. The given exhibition, based on the limited Moscow collections, gives rise to some comparisons and particular analogies. The statement about two components of Russian "left" or avant-guard art is well-known. One component is the art of the 10s - 20s called "Russian avant-guard". The other layer is the art of "non-conformists", mainly that of the artists of the 60s. This just explains why this very name for the exhibition has been chosen. The totalitarian regime interrupting the natural course of development of history, culture and art, from the middle 20s began to drive some artists into the underground, to kill others, to destroy physically and moraly the rest of them. The new post-war generation bit by bit absorbed the culture of the period of "thunderstorm and onslaught " through the survived teachers such as R.Falk, A.Osmyorkin, P.Sokolov, V.Favorsky and a few others.

Exhibition "The Left March" does not pursue retrospective purposes. It demonstrates a narrow "layer of time". Vast and complete demonstration of the "left" art is the privilege of museum collections. Nevertheless, the organizers have not managed to overcome many problems, what is partly connected with the character of involved private collections, and unavoidable in the process of exhibitions forming accidents. In the section showing the art of the 10 - 20s the "extreme" trends are outlined rather than presented. Abstract expressionism, constructivism, supremacism are very rare in private collections, as well as mature works of their leading masters: Kandinsky, Larionov, Tatlin, Malevich. There are no works by other large representatives of avant-guard: A.Rodchenko, V.Pestel, B.Stepanova, A.Ekster. In the section showing the art of the 60s there are no products of the Belyutin school artists, the group of artists of publishing house "Znanie" headed by Yu.Sobolev, prominent individuals of informal art of various directions: Pyatnitsky, Turetsky, Vasilyev and others. Works of the Leningrad school, of Moscow "severe style" are not presented either. At the same time, introducing products seldom displayed, the exhibition demonstrates works of not only large artists, but of little-known ones, though they are not less bright. Among them are V.Baranov-Rossiney, M.Sinyakova, I.Shkolnik, M.Sterling and first of all a leader of the Ukrainian avant-guard A.Bogomazov, whose role in Kiev is comparable with the significance of K.Malevich. The exhibition is compiled from private collections and it is not accidentally devoted to Georgy Dionisyevich Kostaki, a collector of domestic art, a Greek having a Russian soul. He is among the first specialists who have realized the clear-cut link of the art of the 10s and that of the 60s, assembling products by artists of these generations into a one collection. Creating the private museum of Russian avant-guard at the time when products of the artists of the "fist call-up" were hidden in state museums reserves, and very often were not simply ignored, but even destroyed, Kostaki enabled the generation of the 60s "to take the baton of the left art" firsthand. He helped them to feel worthy heirs to the great heritage which till now has been not apraised at its true worth, but which is an important contribution of Russian culture to the world art. The exhibition presents 160 products from 20 private collections. More than once many of them have been exhibited in our country and abroad, some of them are demonstrated to the spectator for the first time, but they have never been combined together, in the same exposition, to show their likeness and difference. Our spectators will judge the results of such comparison.

Masterpieces of private collections
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Russian avant-garde of the 10s and 60s
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Russian avant-garde of the 10s and 60s
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