“A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde”
MoMA has seized upon the centenary of the Russian Revolution to bring together a remarkable and varied group of artworks and artifacts chronicling the cultural output that defined the era. The show includes 260 works (all drawn from the museum’s own holdings) dating from 1912 to 1935. There are plenty of familiar and dynamic examples from the schools of Suprematism and Constructivism, including an entire wall of geometric paintings and drawings by Kazimir Malevich. A selection of mixed-medium works by El Lissitzky includes Proun 10D (1920), which combines sandpaper, metal foil, graph paper, and traditional art-making materials on a plywood board. Among the less-familiar artists shown is Alexandra Exter, who is represented by her designs for the theater. The show is especially successful in evoking a time and place through the inclusion of rarely seen ephemera: book covers, prints, posters, exhibition brochures, film clips, and more. —Lindsay Pollock
Pictured: Jean Pougny (Ivan Puni): Flight of Forms, 1919, gouache and pencil on paper, 51⅛ by 51½ inches. Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.