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CG: Installation of Paintings by Russian Artists To Go on View at Brooklyn Museum

July 20, 2011 - by NYC News Desk
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An installation of thirteen rarely seen paintings from the collection of the Brooklyn Museum and the collection of Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady will go on long-term view in the European painting galleries on September 28, 2011. Russian Modern/ ??????? ??????, which explores the impact and influence of Russian and former Soviet artists on modern European painting, will feature wall labels in English and Cyrillic. It is the first presentation of the Museum's world-renowned collection of Russian and Eastern European painting since the 1923 landmark Brooklyn show, Exhibition of Russian Painting and Sculpture, curated by Christian Brinton.

Ranging widely in subject matter and style, these paintings by artists from both imperial Russia and the revolutionary avant-garde offer insights into the spread of modernism across over a century of Russian art history. Russian Modern/ ??????? ?????? will feature masterworks by such pioneering artists as Ilya Bolotowsky, Boris Anisfeld, Boris Gigoriev, Wassily Kandinsky, Chaim Soutine, Vasily Vereshchagin, Max Weber, and Aleksandr Yakovlev.

Included will be Vereshchagin's large-scale, anti-war painting The Road of the War PrisonersClouds over the Black Sea-Crimea (1906), a rendering in near abstraction of white clouds over bright blue water; and The Visit, possibly a courtship scene, (1919) by Max Weber; best known for his Cubist paintings.

Many of the artists represented in the exhibition were émigrés of diverse ethnic and regional backgrounds, displaced from Europe by political upheaval. Several, like Bolotowsky and Weber, relocated to New York where they helped make it the epicenter of Modern art in the early twentieth century. Bolotowsky's mural for the Williamsburg Housing Project in Brooklyn was one of the first abstract murals done under the Federal Arts Project and is one of a group of these murals on loan to the Brooklyn Museum, where it has been on view for more than twenty years.

The works in the exhibition explore various themes ranging from Vereshchagin's realistic, critical depictions of the horrors of the Russo-Turkish War to Kandinsky's psychological meditations on balance and color. Works in a wide range of artistic styles are represented, among them Critical Realism, Cubism, Art Nouveau, abstraction, and Socialist Realism.

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