Posted on December 03, 2018

The “Russian Avant-garde: Pioneers and Direct Descendants” exhibition, organized in collaboration with the world-renowned State Tretyakov Gallery, opened at the Fire Station Garage Gallery on Monday. The exhibition, which represents a key highlight of the hugely popular Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture, will be on show from 4 December 2018 – 3 February 2019.

Sponsored by Russian oil company Rosneft, the wide-ranging exhibition curated by the Head of the Contemporary Art Department at the State Tretyakov Gallery Irina Gorlova will showcase 81 artworks from some of the most influential and significant figures in the Russian art history.

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Motivated by revolutionary changes and rapid scientific advances at the beginning of the 20th century, Russian art stepped into a new period of discovery with members of the avant-garde movement producing works informed by these developments. Interrupted in 1930s, this experimentation was revisited in the 1950s in the art of “the descendants.” The artists of the postwar generation explored groundbreaking technologies, focusing their works mainly on movement, light and sound as fundamental elements of art. By interweaving artworks of the early pioneers with pieces from the mid to late-20th century, the exhibition demonstrates the unexpected parallels between the two generations of artists who broke with tradition and produced radical artistic innovations.

Head of the Contemporary Art Department at the State Tretyakov Gallery Irina Gorlova, said: “The Russian avant-garde is a fascinating study in the break from traditional materials and techniques, inspired by societal development at the time. Even more interesting is the comparison we are able to make between the art of the pioneers and their descendants. It is so exciting for me personally to be able to explore this juxtaposition and bring it to new audiences in Qatar and the Arab world. I thank Qatar Museums for working with us to create this exhibition and hope visitors in Qatar will find inspiration in what we present at the Fire Station.”

Reem Al Thani, Director of Exhibitions at Qatar Museums, said: “The opportunity to work with the State Tretyakov Gallery has been a tremendous honour. By bringing such internationally significant exhibitions to Qatar, we hope to always provide audiences with access to world-class works and spark creativity for a young generation of artists in Qatar and the region. This is a show that will capture the imagination of our emerging artists and interest those who are moved byparallels and connections between people across time, generations and cultures.”

Visitors to the exhibitionwill have the opportunity to explore artworksby some of Russia’s best-known artists, including avant-garde pioneers such as Vladimir Tatlin, Alexander Rodchenko, Lyubov Popova and Mikhail Matyushin, as well as the “descendants” inspired by their work such as Yuri Zlotnikov, Vyacheslav Koleichuk, Francisco Infante-Arana, Rimma Zanevskaya-Sapgir, and Mikhail Roginsky amongst others.

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The State Tretyakov Gallery is an internationally-acclaimed museum and a major scientific, cultural, educational, and research complex in Russia. With over 190,000 paintings, sculptures, relics, and graphic works housed among several buildings across Moscow, the Tretyakov Gallery is the leading depository of Russian fine art in the world. It is currently headed by Zelfira Tregulova, an art historian and curator of various international projects in leading Russian and international museums.

The exhibition, sponsored by Rosneft, will mark the end of the rich and varied programme organised as part of the Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture. The Year, which was sponsored by Qatar Airways, was also planned in collaboration with leading institutions in Qatar and Russia, including the Embassy of Qatar in Moscow, the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Doha, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Qatar’s Ministry of Culture and Sport and the State Museum and Exhibition Center (ROSIZO.RU).