An exhibition showcasing Russian avant-garde artists has opened in Baku’s Heydar Aliyev Center
Titled “Upon Request: The Rusian Avant-Garde Collection of the Regional Museums, 1900-1930. Part 3,” the exhibition includes artifacts sourced from the first and second exhibitions of the avant-garde in Moscow in 2016 and 2017 and traces the history of the Russian avant-garde from its formation in the 1900s to the movement’s crisis in 1932, at which point the ideas of the avant-garde clashed with the newly emerged state-sponsored direction of Socialist Realism.
The exhibition offers insight into the main styles and techniques of the movement, with artworks from unique avant-garde collections from regional museums across 17 cities in Russia. The exhibition features 60 works from both internationally recognized avant-garde classics — Kazemir Malevich, Vasily Kandinsky, Alexander Rodchenko, Vladimir Tatlin, Alexandra Exter, Marc Chagall — as well as lesser known names, including Viktor Bart, Alexei Grishchenko, Alexei Morgunov, Sergei Romanovich, Pavel Mansurov and many others who have made a significant contribution to the history of avant-garde art.
It isn’t a coincidence for the exhibition to travel to Baku: it is a nod to the history of the city and its inhabitants. Back in 1920, Velimir Khlebnikov, a famous Russian poet and playwright found himself in Baku, where he joined Baku-based Persian Red Army as a lecturer and continued to write. Khlebnikov was one of the most significant figures of the Russian avant-garde and a central part of the Russian Futurist movement.
Some of the art exhibited at Heydar Aliyev Center is shown for the first time, and the fate of the artists was frequently a tragic one, with many dying in Stalin’s camps or during the second world war. The exhibition is curated by Andrei Sarabyanov, an art historian with published works on Russian avant-garde, and is organized in coordination with the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre of Russia and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.
Here, we share some images from the opening event.
Upon Request: The Rusian Avant-Garde Collection of the Regional Museums, 1900-1930. Part 3 will be on view at the Heydar Aliyev Center until May 5