A large retrospect exhibition of Mikhail Larionov (1881–1964), one of the founders of Russian artistic Avant-garde and its acclaimed leader.
Empowered by a gift for painting and a talent of experimental researcher, from the very beginning of his career he was making an enormous impact on the formation and evolution of a new art of the 20th century. The master’s primitive-style works were the embodiment of the national version of Avant-garde. Larionov was a forefather of abstract art. His “proprietary” variant of non-figurative painting was called “Rayonism” (from the word “ray”).
There will be about 500 exhibits showcasing all the principal fields of the artist’s oeuvre, and also a wide range of interests of Larionov the collector.
The Russian section will feature paintings for the most part, among which there will be iconic pictures, like, for instance, “The Garden” (mid-1900s, State Russian Museum) included by Sergei Diaghilev into the famous 1906 exhibition of Russian art in Paris; works of the “Soldier series” of the 1910s; famous “Venuses” kept at different Russian museums (1911–1912); pieces of the “Seasons” series reunited for the first time (1912, “Winter” and “Autumn” — State Tretyakov Gallery, “Spring” — Centre Pompidou); and a few tableaus that have never been exhibited in Russia before: the rayonist canvas “Nocturne” (1913–1914) from Tate Gallery and “Rayonist Sausages and Mackerel” (1912) from Museum Ludwig.
The French section of the master’s oeuvre will include not only paintings but also a large collection of Larionov’s graphic works, many of which will be demonstrated to the general public for the first time. Additionally, works of the 1910–1920s associated with the Ballets russes will be on display — Larionov collaborated with that show as an art designer, author of librettos, adviser and choreographer. A special section of the exhibition features Larionov the collector. The main areas of his collecting endeavors will be represented there: Russian and Oriental lubok, children’s drawings, a body of materials related to his work on a book on the history of ballet, unique photographs of Diaghilev-produced performances, Russian ballet shows in Monte Carlo. The exhibition will include pieces from Russian collections (State Russian Museum, art museums of Ryazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Ulyanovsk, Ufa, Krasnodar, Kazan) and foreign contributions (from Centre Pompidou, Museum Ludwig, Tate Gallery).