THE EXHIBITION ‘AVANT-GARDE: ON A CART TO THE 21ST CENTURY’ - Russian impressionism museum
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Temporary exhibition


3 February - 22 May


The Museum of Russian Impressionism, together with the Yeltsin Center and The Encyclopaedia of the Russian Avant-Garde, presents the exhibition ‘Avant-Garde: On a Cart to the 21st Century’ — a reconstruction of a large-scale avant-garde art exhibition left forgotten in the Vyatka Province a hundred years ago. From February to May 2022 the museum will showcase more than 100 works by prominent representatives of the Russian avant-garde from the collections of the Vyatka Art Museum, the State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan, and the Slobodskoy and Yaransk Museums of Local Lore.

This project has already been successfully presented at the Yeltsin Center in Yekaterinburg and the Vyatka Art Museum in Kirov. It harks back to the events of the turbulent post-revolutionary period, when the Soviet government actively collaborated with avant-garde artists, seeing them as a driving force for the promotion of communist ideas and acquiring their works for metropolitan and regional museums. In October 1921 more than 300 items from Vyatka, Moscow, Petrograd and Kazan were brought to the 3rd Travelling Art Exhibition in the city of Sovetsk, Vyatka Province (Kirov Region). This public showing, unprecedented in the number and composition of works, was to continue in other cities of the province. A month later the masterpieces were sent on carts to the neighbouring city of Yaransk, but due to problems with financing and bad roads at the onset of autumn they were left in the local museum and forgotten for almost 100 years.

The combined efforts of our team from the Yeltsin Center and The Encyclopaedia of the Russian Avant-Garde have made it possible to partially recreate the third, and the first two art exhibitions in Sovetsk by showing rare works from the collections of regional museums. This project reveals the artistic policy of the Soviet government in the early post-revolutionary years, and the activities of enthusiastic curators who organized exhibitions of avant-garde art during a difficult time for the country.

The exhibition continues a series of projects by the Museum of Russian Impressionism featuring avant-garde artists and exhibitions of Russian art from the first third of the 20th century. Visitors can see newly rediscovered masterpieces by Wassily Kandinsky, Alexander Rodchenko, Nikolai Feсhin, Ivan Kliun, Alexandra Exter, and other masters.

For the first time we present to a wide audience the restored two-sided painting ‘Composition’ by Alexey Morgunov, saved with the help of a crowdfunding campaign on that collected 983,056 rubles. This rare work by a colleague of Kazimir Malevich was in critical condition when discovered by the exhibition curators in the collection of the Slobodskoy Museum of Local Lore. Over three months more than 800 people took part in the fundraising project.



Andrei Sarabyanov (Moscow) — art critic, curator, publisher, researcher of the Russian avant-garde, author-compiler of The Encyclopedia of the Russian Avant-Garde (co-authored with V. I. Rakitin).

Natalia Murray (London) — art critic, curator, lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

Anna Shakina (Kirov) — art critic, Candidate of Art History, Director of the A. M. and V. M Vasnetsov Vyatka Art Museum.

Anastasia Vinokurova (Moscow) — Senior Specialist at the Exhibition Department of the Museum of Russian Impressionism.

On the third floor of the museum we are showing the interactive exhibition ‘The Art of Transporting Art’, prepared in partnership with the art logistics company Fineartway.