Monday 11 March 2013

The Big Change. Revolutions in Russian painting 1895-1917

Ilya Maskov
Today was the big opening of a big expo at Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht. Even though openings are not the best times to really take time to see the works I was already very impressed with today's short visit.
2013 is the Netherlands-Russia year, a year in which the Netherlands and Russia emphasize their long bilateral relations. This is for sure on of the highlights.

The Big Change.
Revolutions in Russian painting 1895-1917

In the last twenty years before the 1917 revolution was a period of drastic change in the Tsardom. A bourgeois elite spread a wave of enlightenment throughout the still conservative society. And painting played a vital role in this cultural explosion.
Unfortunately, this fascinating period is not well known in the West. The standard idea of a sleepy art world that was shaken awake by the Impressionists, for examplem must be revised. There were innovative art scenes in St. Petersburg and Moscow long before the time of the 'modern revolution' of artists like Malevich and Kandinsky. In this tumult, there was no single overriding concept, but rather an incredibly lively debate on many different aspects. thanks to the cooperation of leading Russian museums like the Tretyakov Museum in Moscow and the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, you can now experience the versatile powers of this period. You may not be familiar with names like Ilya Mashkov, Vasili Denisov or Natalia Goncharova, but that will make it even more exciting to mae acquaintance with their work. By presenting this exhibition of over 80 paintings, many of which have never been seen outside Russia before, the Bonnefanten aims to show a missing link between tradition and innovation. The Big Change forms an essential link in the series of exhibitions presented in the Netherlands as part of Russia Year 2013.

The Dacha Room

The Russian artists Marta Volkova and Slava Shevelenko have created a 'Dacha Landscape' in the final room of the exhibition, in which visitors can find reading, audio and video material offering them more in-depth information about the featured artists and movements. The dacha tradition holds an important place in Russian culture. Dachas are small, often simple houses in the countryside, which their owners like to occupy during the summer months. To many Russians, dacha life symbolizes the opportunity to enjoy the unadorned and honest simplicity of rural life – a self-imposed isolation close to nature and far from the bustle of the city.
The artists have produced a new work especially for the large Dacha. Visitors can discover with the aid of an audio-tour the impact specific paintings have had on their personal lives. Marta Volkova and Slava Shevelenko grew up in St Petersburg, where they both trained as artists. They have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1991.

Here are just few just few images of the works that are included in this exhibition. 
The experience in the museum is very impressive and highly recommended.
The Big Change. Revolutions in Russian painting 1895 - 1917 is open from 12th March until 11th of August 2013.

Ilya Maskov

Aristarch Lentoelov

Aristarch Lentoelov

Natalia Goncharova

Serge Diaghilev by Léon Bakst

Olga Rozanova

Pavel Filonov

Aviator, 1914 Kazimir Malevitsj

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