DOBYCHINA’S CHOICE’ EXHIBITION - Russian impressionism museum
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Temporary exhibition


8 June - 24 September

This summer the Museum of Russian Impressionism will open the ‘Dobychina’s Choice’ exhibition, dedicated to one of the first Russian gallerists. The Art Bureau she created in St. Petersburg in the 1910s hosted a solo exposition by Natalia Goncharova, and also the ‘Last Futuristic Exhibition of Paintings 0.10’, at which Kazimir Malevich’s ‘Black Square’ was shown for the first time. The new exhibition will present Nadezhda Dobychina in her two major professional roles: as a collector, and as an exhibition organizer.

For almost ten years the Art Bureau of N. E. Dobychina was the main independent platform in St. Petersburg where innovative artists could exhibit their works and collectors could acquire works by contemporary masters. Acting as both gallerist and curator, Nadezhda Evseevna provided Marc Chagall, Yuri Annenkov and other still unrecognized artists with an opportunity for the first large-scale presentation of their work to the metropolitan public.

The ‘Dobychina’s Choice’ exposition will feature the Art Bureau’s most important projects from 1912 to 1919: from the ‘Permanent Exhibition of Contemporary Art’ with works by authors from the World of Art and avant-gardists to the personal show by Nikolai Kulbin, the avant-garde artist and theorist, a close friend of Dobychina. Nathan Altman, Boris Kustodiev, Robert Falk, Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva, Olga Rozanova, Jan Ciąglinski and others participated in the Bureau’s exhibitions at different times.

Visitors will also see works from the personal collection of Nadezhda Dobychina: paintings and drawings by leading masters of the early 20th century including Alexander Benois, Konstantin Somov and Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, as well as works by lesser-known authors such as Valentina Khodasevich, Viktor Zamirailo, Yuri Cherkesov, etc.

The continuation of the exposition on the third floor of the museum will be devoted to Art Bureau projects that were never implemented, for various reasons. The First World War and, subsequently, two revolutions, altered the exhibition plans. Archival documents, newspaper clippings and the personal correspondence of artists have made it possible to restore the themes and composition of the participants in unstaged exhibitions: displays of Persian and Japanese art, exhibitions by masters from the Russian provinces, and personal shows by Léon Bakst, Sergei Sudeikin, Vasily Shukhaev and Nicholas Roerich. This section of the exhibition will allow us to imagine what the guests of such ‘unrealized’ projects might have seen.

The exhibition will be the first large-scale study dedicated to Nadezhda Dobychina and her influence on Russian culture in the early 20th century. Works from more than 40 sources including private collections and both Russian and foreign museums will help give an idea of the gallerist’s activities. Among them are the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum, the Primorye State Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery of Armenia, the A. Kasteev State Museum of Arts of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and others.

A number of works will be accompanied by tactile stations with three-dimensional models of the pictures and additional elements that reflect the texture of the painting. Fragrances created by perfumers from the NŌSE Perfumes brand and based on four canvases by Natalia Goncharova, Ilya Mashkov, Robert Falk and Olga Rozanova will help us feel the mood of the works. The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive educational programme for children and adults.

The exhibition catalogue will contain articles by curator Anna Skliarevskaia and art historians Natalia Murray and Natalia Semenova dedicated to Nadezhda Dobychina and her personal art collection, the activities of the Art Bureau and the structure of the art market in Russia from the 1900s to 1910s.

Exhibition curator — Anna Skliarevskaia, exhibition department specialist at the Museum of Russian Impressionism.