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A spotlight on Russian modern art through the masterpieces from the José Maria Castañé collection
Assembled during the last twenty years, the José Maria Castañé collection of paintings, drawings, and prints constitutes a panorama of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Russian art, one of the most exciting moments of modern cultural history. Unlike other representations in the West, however, the Castañé collection does not focus exclusively on the avant-garde, Socialist Realism or the dissident movement, but, instead, offers a broader and sometimes alternative enquiry into the history of the Russian visual arts, acquainting us with often unfamiliar works by luminaries such as Léon Bakst, Aleksandr Deineka, and Liubov’ Popova as well as with less celebrated names such as Aleksandr Chirkov, Nikolai Lapshin, and Aleksandr Venedernikov.
With full curatorial descriptions, biographies, critical essays, and artists’ statements (for the most part, published for the first time in English), Of Peace and War pays homage to the initiative and foresight of a private collector and to the purposefulness and enthusiasm which molded the selection.
• One hundred masterpieces by the protagonists of Russian modern art: Léon Bakst, Aleksandr Deineka, and Liubov’ Popova as well as with less celebrated names such as Aleksandr Chirkov, Nikolai Lapshin, and Aleksandr Venedernikov.
• Introducing examples of Realism, Symbolism, Cubo-Futurism, and Constructivism, Of Peace and War reveals a dazzling plenitude and variegation, emphasizing once again the esthetic luminosity of the Silver Age of Russian culture.
John Bowlt is Director of the Institute of Modern Russian Culture at the University of Southern California and Professor of Slavic languages and literatures at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Science. He is author of Russian Art of the Avant-Garde: Theory and Criticism (1988), The Silver Age: Russian Art in the Early 20th Century (1982), Russian Theatre and Costume Design (1979) and co-author of The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection: Twentieth-century Russian and East European Painting (1993).