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статьиPost-avant-garde / Russian art of the 1920s-1930s

Alexander Drevin "In the Mountains of Armenia" 1933

Alexander Drevin, an outstanding artist and teacher and the author of the famous Altai and Armenia series, reached his peak by the early thirties. His Armenia series includes “Landscape with Railroad Bridge” and “In the Mountains of Armenia,” which are part of the collection of UniCredit Bank. In the same period, Antonina Sofronova was working on her series of views of Moscow, one of the treasures of the Russian art of the twenties. The series includes “Boulevard in Winter,” “Gogol Boulevard at Night,” and the well-known “Pink House, Blue Fence.”

Georgy Vereisky created his city views earlier, in 1922, and they were rather in the Silver Age tradition, showing a St. Petersburg that no longer existed.

Ekaterina Belyakova’s “Koktebel” deserves special mention. The painting goes back to the time when she was a member of the Makovets group. In 1991 the painting was, in a sense, an emblem of an exhibition entitled “Moscow Artists of the 20s and 30s,” which had been organized by the Moscow branch of the Russian Artists Union and became the most significant exhibition of post-avant-garde art in Moscow. Anton Chirkov, Grigory Zozulya and Tamara Rein were among the artists represented at the exhibition next to the renowned masters Nadezhda Udaltsova, Viktor Midler and Tatyana Mavrina.

Today post-avant-garde art becomes a revelation for those who don’t limit themselves to superficial studies of popular history but try to trace individual paths that were followed in the 20th century by artists who proved that cultural history is a history of personal effort and that the true value of achievements cannot be measured by state-awarded prizes.

Post-avant-garde spoke a language that was not designed to produce a glamorous show or to woo the audience. The artists respected their audience and would start a dialogue with it, raising fundamental issues of human life. In our days, at the outset of the third millennium, this form of art offers an insight into a cultural reality that is more profound and interesting than products of the entertainment industry, which has become a threat to genuine art.

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