The Russian Avant-garde. Dreaming the Future Through Art and Design

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum hosts the most comprehensive exhibition in Turkey sponsored by Sabancı Holding featuring Russian Avant-garde which shaped the art world in the 20th century.

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum opens the exhibition ‘Dreaming the Future. Russian Avant-garde Art and Design’ sponsored by Sabancı Holding on 18 October 2018, open until 1 April 2019, featuring a comprehensive anthology of the Russian Avant-Garde.

The exhibition is co-curated by Dr. Nazan Ölçer Head of Sakıp Sabancı Museum and Dr. Maria Tsantsanoglou, Head of the George Costakis Collection at State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, and besides the Costakis Collection it contains a selection of 513 works from Moscow’s All-Russian Museum of Decorative Arts and Multimedia Art Museum and works from leading private collections in Europe shown together for the first time thus shedding a light upon the important place Russian Avant-Garde occupied in the history of art.

Sakıp Sabancı Museum is a part of Sabancı University and this exhibition that focuses on one of the most exciting periods of 20th century art history aims to fulfil its academic mission by presenting the political strata behind the Russian Avant-garde in such a way as to provide a source. The exhibition represents the fertile productivity of the entire period and the activities of the artists and the schools that aimed to spread their art to every aspect of life with a selection including paintings, design, literature, film and theatre.

The ‘Dreaming the Future. Russian Avant-garde Art and Design’ exhibition does not only focus on the dramatic changes and radical developments that happened during first quarter of the 20th century and prepared the groundwork for intellectual and artistic progress, not just within the Russian artistic culture, but it is designed to hold a mirror to the effect on world art. The exhibition shows the Russian avant-garde artists that in the early 1900s tried to introduce art as a lifechanging power, the ground-breaking work of the artists in this period where the reformist atmosphere had been brought about by the October Revolution in 1917, and the social design they tried to put into practice supported by the new regime and also the wide boundaries of the future they dreamed of. The exciting technological developments and industrialisation that occurred in the early 20th century turned the avant-garde artists towards science and overcoming the boundaries of the earth, dreams of space reflected the beliefs the artists had in the future and this is very vividly reflected in the works displayed in this exhibition.

One of the world’s most important Russian Avant-Garde collections, the George Costakis Collection at Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art forms the basis of the ‘Dreaming the Future. Russian Avant-Garde Art and Design’ exhibition. The George Costakis Collection of Russian Avant-Garde collected with great passion by George Costakis and secured for future generations, contain works by important artists which are part of the exhibition including  Kazimir Malevich, the creator of art history’s iconic Black Square, Vladimir Tatlin, the pioneer of a new period of artistic theory where he obscured the boundaries between art and production, Alexander Rodchenko the courageous pioneer of photography, painting, sculpture and graphic art. Again, from the George Costakis Collection are works by representatives of the many female artist of the period such as Olga Rozanova whose work was based on interaction between text and depiction, Lyubov Popova who with her set designs contributed to the transformation of plays into the language of the theatre, and Natalia Goncharova who turned towards Russian folk art and undertook a determining role in Russian Avant-garde. The exhibition, ‘Dreaming the Future. Russian Avant-garde Art and Design’ is the first time the works of all the big names representing this turning point in 20th century art history come together in Turkey.

In the research into how the new art and society should be constructed, the applied artwork that reflect Russian Avant-Garde, which also consider Russian folk art, the collection of the examples of design covering all fields borrowed from Moscow All-Russian Museum of Decorative Arts show the scope of the ideals of the Russian Avant-Garde to reorganize life and the history of people’s relationship with art.

The large photo anthology of documentary character from Moscow Multimedia Art Museum, which also houses the photo archive of the great name of Russian Avant-Garde Alexander Rodchenko, shows the compatibility of the Russian Avant-Garde with new technology and opens a window to the private world of the artists.

The effect of the transformative cultural atmosphere of the Russian Avant-garde can also be seen in the magnificent constructions and re-animations. The model of the construction of Vladimir Tatlin’s air vehicle Letatlin, gives an indication of the breadth of Russian Avant-Garde artists’ dreams of transforming life. The foundations of the modern theatre are considered by many art historians to have been laid by the Russian Avant-Garde and the Russian Avant-Garde theatre stage has come alive through new productions in all its glory at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum.

During the exhibition, films, concerts, literary events and workshops for children and adults will also cover the different disciplines of Russian Avant-Garde in depth. A catalogue with articles about the Russian Avant-Garde written by esteemed art historians and specialists will accompany the exhibition.

Entry is 5 TL for students aged 14 and up during The Russian Avant Garde. Dreaming The Future Throught Art and Design.

Kazimir Malevich (1879–1935) Portrait of a Woman, ca. 1910-1911 Gouache on cardboard State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 140.78-46

Ivan Kliun (1873–1943) Portrait of the Artist’s Wife, 1910 Pencil, watercolor and gouache on paper State Museum of Contemporary ArtCostakis Collection C549-15

Lyubov Popova (1889–1924) Study for Self-portrait, 1912 India ink on paper State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection C54 recto/verso-649

Nadezhda Udaltsova (1886–1961) Violin, 1915 Oil on canvas State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 282.78-91

Lyubov Popova (1889–1924) Travelling Woman, 1915 Oil on canvas State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 177.78-2

Kazimir Malevich (1879–1935) Red Square, undated Gouache on paper State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection C755-242

Kazimir Malevich (1879–1935) Black Rectangle, 1915 Oil on canvas State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection ATH80.10-178

Ilia Chashnik (1902–1929) Suprematist Cross, 1923 Oil on canvas State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 795.79-5

Vasily Kandinsky (1866–1944)
Study for On White I, 1920 
Watercolour and Indian ink on paper
 Private Collection

Ivan Kliun (1873–1943) Non-objective Composition, early 1920s Watercolor and gouache on paper State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 280.80-326

Ivan Kliun (1873–1943) Suprematist Composition, 1917 India ink and watercolor on paper State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 75.78-204

Gustav Klucis (1895–1938) Dynamic city, 1919-1921 Oil, concrete and sand on wood State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 94.78 – 421

Ivan Kliun (1873–1943) Study for Suprematist Composition, 1916-1918 Pencil, watercolor and gouache on paper State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 255.80-787

Mikhail Plaksin (1898–1965) Planetary, 1922 Oil on canvas State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 174.78-1276

Ivan Kliun (1873–1943) Suprematist composition, 1918 Watercolor and gouache on paper State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 177.80-205

Ivan Kliun (1873–1943) Suprematist Drawing, 1922 Watercolor and gouache on paper State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 290.80-517

Lyubov Popova (1889–1924)
Spatial Force Construction, 1921
Oil and wood dust on plywood
State Museum of Contemporary Art
 Costakis Collection
175.78-9

Lyubov Popova (1889–1924) Spatial Force Construction, 1921 Oil and wood dust on plywood State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 179.78-86

Lyubov Popova (1889–1924) Composition, 1920 Watercolor and gouache on paper State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 190.80-131

Alexander Rodchenko (1891–1956) The Clown Pierrot, 1919 Design sketch of a costume for a performance based on Alexei Gan’s play ‘We’. The production was never materialized. Ink, Pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 244.78-50

Lyubov Popova (1889–1924) Painterly Architectonics, 1918 Oil on canvas State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 178.78-105

Nikolai Suetin (1897–1954) Coffee Pot, 1923 Painted porcelain State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 1265

Nikolai Suetin (1897–1954) Inkwell, late 1920s Pencil and watercolor on paper State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection ATH80.28-1267

Vasily Kandinsky (1866–1944) Cup and Saucer (State Porcelain Factory, Petrograd), 1921 Painted porcelain State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 1268

Vasily Kandinsky (1866–1944) Cup and Saucer (State Porcelain Factory, Petrograd), 1921 Painted porcelain State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection 1268

Vasily Kandinsky (1866–1944) Cup and Saucer (State Porcelain Factory, Petrograd), 1923 Painted porcelain State Museum of Contemporary Art - Costakis Collection 1269

Vasily Kandinsky (1866–1944) Cup and Saucer (State Porcelain Factory, Petrograd), 1923 Painted porcelain State Museum of Contemporary Art - Costakis Collection 1269

Nikolai Bordukov Decorative dish, 1930s. Porcelaine, overglaze print, overglaze painting, guilding All-Russian Decorative Art Museum ВМДПНИ КП-529/1

Nikolai Bordukov Decorative dish, 1930s. Porcelaine, overglaze print, overglaze painting, guilding All-Russian Decorative Art Museum ВМДПНИ КП-529/1

Alexander Rodchenko (1891–1956) Construction on White (Robots), 1920 Oil on plywood State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection

Gustav Klucis (1895–1938) Radio Orator, Agit stand with loudspeaker, No 1 & 2, 1922 Ink on paper State Museum of Contemporary Art Costakis Collection C671-377 (100.78 A, B)

Theater Stage The Magnificent Cuckold, 1922 Director: Vsevolod Meyerhold Stage Design / Costumes: Lyubov Popova

Henry Milner After Vladimir Tatlin, Letatlin, 2013 Ash, cork, leather, steel, calico, cotton webbing, ply and twine Collection GRAD, Gallery of Russian Art and Design