San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
1917: 100 YEARS ON - REFLECTIONS ON ART IN THE SOVIET UNION. THEN AND NOW
with IVAN LINDSAY, JOHN MILNER AND MARGY KINMONTH
Chaired by Theodora Clarke, Editor at Russian Art and Culture
Monday 10th October 5.30-6.30pm
The Russian Bookshop, Waterstones, 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD
The Russian Bookshop at Waterstones and Russian Art and Culture are delighted to present a roundtable discussion with major figures working in the field of Russian art, ahead of the centenary of the Russian Revolution. The twentieth century in Russia was a major moment of cultural and social upheaval after the abolition of centuries of Tsarist rule. Artists were spurred on to create works that would come to define a new age. The large body of painting and sculpture created in the Soviet Union reflects - and in many cases, pushes against - the restrictions and complexities inherent in making art under totalitarianism.
Our speakers will discuss the groundbreaking art that emerged with the creation of the new Soviet state and consider how artists originally thrived in the new Soviet Union but also how by 1932 a curtain came down on creative freedom and a new style of Socialist Realism was introduced. The panel will shed light on the incredible breadth of pre- and post-revolutionary Russian art and confront the question of its legacy. Focusing on these themes they will help reveal to what extent and how we speak of Soviet art as a whole.
This event coincides with the release of a new major publication, Masterpieces of Soviet Painting and Sculpture, by Rena Lavery and Ivan Lindsay, published by the Unicorn Press. The author will discuss Soviet works in museums and private collections, highlights from the Moscow School of Painting and large public monuments and personal sculptures. Curator John Milner will share with us a preview of the Royal Academy’s upcoming exhibition on Russian art in 2017. This far-ranging exhibition will survey the artistic landscape of post-Revolutionary Russia, from the abstractions of Malevich and Kandinsky to the emergence of Socialist Realism. Film director Margy Kinmouth will discuss her new documentary which features artists of the Russian avant-garde such as Chagall, Malevich and Kandinsky which was filmed in Moscow, St Petersburg and London with access to the Tretyakov Gallery, Russian Museum and Hermitage. The speakers will discuss how artists captured both the idealistic aspirations and the harsh reality of the Revolution and its aftermath. The panel will be chaired by Theodora Clarke, Editor of Russian Art and Culture, who founded the bi-annual guide to Russian Art Week in London.
Ivan Lindsay is a London based art dealer and writer specialising in 20th century Russian paintings and sculpture with a particular interest in art created during the Soviet period. Lindsay became interested in Russian art whilst travelling in Russia to research his mother’s ancestors, the Vorontsovs, former Chancellors in Imperial Russia. He started Lindsay Fine Art Russian in 2004 as a division of Lindsay Fine Art Ltd. In 2014 he wrote The History of Loot and Stolen Art, which provides a comprehensive historical overview of art theft, accompanied by reflections on various motivations behind the greatest looters’ actions. He has just finished his book Masterpieces of Soviet Painting and Sculpture, co-written with Rena Lavery and published by the Unicorn Press, planned for release in October 2016.
Professor John Milner, art historian, curator, painter, is CoFounder and Honorary Co-Director of The Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre. Recent exhibitions include El Lissitzky+ (2009) at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. His publications on Russian Art include Rodchenko (Design) (ACC, London, 2009), Lissitzky (Design) (ACC, London, 2009), A Slap in the Face! Futurists in Russia (London, 2007), Kazimir Malevich and the Art of Geometry (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1996), and Vladimir Tatlin and the Russian Avant-Garde (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1984). He wrote on Malevich: becoming Russian for the Malevich exhibition at Tate Modern (July 2014). He was also involved with curating other exhibitions in London – Shukhov’s Moscow Radio Tower at GRAD (May 2014), a Jack of Diamonds display in the Courtauld Gallery (September 2014), and is currently working on Revolution: Russian Art 1917-32 show at the Royal Academy of Art in 2017.
Margy Kinmonth (Foxtrot Films) is a BAFTA best documentary winning film and television director whose many credits include Mariinsky Theatre and Nutcracker Story for ITV about Russian opera and ballet; Outback Art: The Goldrush for C4; and Rubens: A Master in the Making. In 2014 she produced Hermitage Revealed, commemorating the 250th anniversary of the State Hermitage. Her latest work, Revolution: New Art for a New World, will be released in November 2016 and draws on the collections of major Russian institutions, contributions from contemporary artists, curators, and performers and personal testimony from the descendants of major figures of the Russian Avant-Garde.
Theodora Clarke is an art historian, critic, lecturer and curator. She is founder and editor of Russian Art and Culture and publishes the guide to the biannual of Russian Art Week in London. Theodora is a popular and frequent commentator on Russia and the arts in national and international press including TV, print and radio. She previously worked at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Christie's. She recently published a book called Boris Chetkov: Reimagining Russia and she curated Abstraction/Construction for the Maslenitsa Festival in London, as well as an exhibition of contemporary Russian art for Russian Art Week.