Points of view
9 June - 2 October
From June 9 to October 2 the Museum of Russian Impressionism will present the exhibition ‘Points of View’. Through a comparison of self-portraits and portraits of artists, the curators trace the development of the portrait genre and ways of depicting the subject at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries. The exhibition includes works by Ilya Repin, Boris Kustodiev, Robert Falk, Vladimir Tatlin, Zinaida Serebryakova, Natalia Goncharova, andothers.
Visitors will be able to see how the masters portrayed themselves, and how their contemporaries — painters, graphic artists and sculptors — viewed them. Realists and innovators, participants in the World of Art and Blue Rose groups, the school of Pavel Filonov and the Jack of Diamonds, painted self-portraits and portraits of each other, demonstrating similarities or fundamental differences in their ‘points of view’.
The exhibition will feature the realistic tradition of psychologism, impressionistic lyricism, Symbolist theatricality and Cubist experiment. If some pairs of self-portraits and portraits turn out to be almost identical in style — for example, in more or less abstract images by Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova, then others stress the difference in style — as in the self-portrait of Mikhail Larionov from the Paris period and a painting of him by Natalia Goncharova.
These portrait images reflect the personal relationships of artists: professional, as between Ilya Repin and Isaak Brodsky; friendly, as with Boris Kustodiev and Ivan Kulikov; or within families, as with the Favorsky or Kardovsky couples. At the beginning of the century new motifs appeared in portraits — mirrors, masks, carnival or period costumes, paintings-in-a-painting, windows, medieval cities as a background, and even urban microcosms.
The exhibition includes several novelties for the viewer. Mikhail Larionov’s ‘Self-Portrait with an Unknown Woman’ from the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery will be shown for the first time, as well as Robert Falk’s ‘Lisa in a Blue Shawl’ from the collection of the Oryol Museum of Fine Arts, which has never previously been exhibited in Moscow. The public will encounter little-known names including Viktor Bart, an associate of Mikhail Larionov, Lev Zevin, a student of Robert Falk, and Vladimir Bekhteev, a member of the Blue Rider group.
Visitors can see works from the State Russian Museum, the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and several federal and regional Russian museums, as well as from private collections in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Self-portraits and portraits are supplemented by archival photographs that allow us to compare the artist’s actual appearance with artistic interpretations.
The catalogue for the ‘Points of View’ exhibition includes articles by the art historians Sofia Bagdasarova, on evolution of the portrait genre in world art, and Elena Yakimovich, on Russian photography. This exhibition will be accompanied by an educational
programme for children and adults.
Curator: Natalia Sviridova, Chief Curator of the Museum of Russian Impressionism.