In 1928 Kazimir Malevich, the inventor of suprematism, was preparing for his retrospective exhibition at the State Tretyakov Gallery. A number of his early, impressionistic works remained in Germany for the Great Berlin Art Exhibition. Regardless of the fact that thirty years had passed since he created them, Malevich took a bold decision to remake these paintings and mark them with the earlier dates. He could not conceive of evolution in art without Impressionism. This Malevich mystery was only uncovered several decades later.
From 30 May till 18 September the exhibition Impressionism and the Avant-Garde will be held in the Museum of Russian Impressionism presents. It features more than 60 impressionistic works by Russian avant-garde artists borrowed from 14 state museums and 17 private collections. The list of artists features Mikhail Larionov, Robert Falk, Kazimir Malevich, Alexei Jawlensky, Natalia Goncharova, Pyotr Konchalovsky, Aristarkh Lentulov, Alexandra Exter, Nadezhda Udaltsova, Antonina Sofronova, and Olga Rozanova.
The exhibition aims to show that the Russian avant-garde movement, which has received worldwide fame, would have been impossible without Impressionism. The works prove that the influence of the French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists triggered the revolutionary experiments of Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Kazimir Malevich, Pyotr Konchalovsky, Robert Falk, and many others. Two floors of the exhibition will surprise viewers, revealing hidden gems. Goncharova’s exquisite painting Lilac (1906) gives several hints towards the later Cubist compositions which made her famous. David Burliuk’s fine and lyrical landscape sketches show how the “father of Russian Futurism” experimented with the style of the French Impressionists.
A crucial component of the exhibition is the first international conference Impressionism and the Avant-Garde. During two days, on 7 and 8 June, specialists from all around the world will gather at the Museum to discuss the influence of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism on the artists of the Russian avant-garde and Impressionism’s assimilation and its reflection in Russian art during the period of radical avant-garde experiments of the early twentieth century and during the formation of Soviet modernism in the 1920s and 1930s. Speakers’ presentations and round tables will be available for both professionals and public. Registration in advance is required.