View Full Version : Russian Avant-garde

Penance Sentence
08-07-2015, 04:34 PM
By nothing but accident, I happened to get my hands on Venäläistä Avantgardea George Costakisin Kokoelmasta / Ryskt Avatgarde Ur George Costakis Samling -book (in english: Russian Avant-garde from collection of George Costakis ). Just saw it lying around in big pile of russian art books in local antique/2nd hand book dealer. Thought price was not bad, so let's take it, but didn't realise I would actually be as interested as I was. Published in Finland back 1984 in support of first large scale russian avantgarde exhibition. First actual exhibition of his collection was during the late 70's and basically before that whole movement had remained pretty obscure when access to artworks had been so limited. You can read more about Costakis:

"by chance discovered some constructivist paintings in a Moscow studio in 1946, and he went on to search for the revolutionary art which might otherwise have been lost to the world. This collection was to become the most representative body of Modern Russian avant-garde art anywhere at that time"

Book covers (unfortunately just b/w images) of Constructivism, Russian Futurism, Cubo-Futurism, Suprematism, and few other things. Paintings, drawings, doodles/sketches. Some photos of sculptures and slightly 3D collages. It introduces the key figures and end of book many of the others are introduces with brief history of their role in movement, their education/background etc. There are curious moments during the history of movement, how quick changes and motivations in very hardline theory/practice happened. Some moving from constructivism to sheer industrial design, conflict of theories with several of these groups.

One can easily see the connection to experimental sound. And actually reading the theoretical side of art seems kind of suitable also for avantgarde art. During times of Lenin, some of the movements had been very interested to offer the new art for new socialist order and it is relatively amusing to see how it backfired under totalitarian iron fist of Stalin, due socialist realism became the route.

I have very much the love/hate relationship with subject of abstract art, but it is pretty interesting to go through these very early stages & birth of movement.

08-07-2015, 07:22 PM
I really adore Kazimir Malevich's artwork and really feel that during that time frame (history wise) helped fuel the avant-garde era. This enormous impact of the Revolution gave artists an outlet and it was I believe a beautiful spin on what we were seeing during that time. The 20's and 30's seemed in a way magical and yet the most destructive. Massive... chaotic... beauty

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/gunz055/kazimir%20Malevich_zpsuuqx0tu8.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/gunz055/media/kazimir%20Malevich_zpsuuqx0tu8.jpg.html)