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Russian Paris (with contribution from French art museums and private collections)
Exhibitions from Foreign Collections in the Russian Museum

28 April - 21 July 2003
The Benois Wing, stand halls

A large exhibition held in the Benois wing presents works of those Russian artists who spent time in French emigration. Apart from 114 works of painting, 20 - of sculpture, and 62 - of drawing, large photographic and cinematographic material is showcased. This project reconstructs a phenomenon of Russian artistic presence in Paris, which has become homeland for many wonderful Russian artists. First acquaintance of the French public with the Russian fine arts occurred in 1890 at the World exhibition in Paris, and then, in 1909-1929, during the Russian seasons of S.Dyagilev started real passion for the Russian style. The World War of 1914 interrupted relationship between France and the Russian art for a certain time, but after the Revolution of 1917, waves of Russian artists headed for France, Germany, Italy, America. The Paris group turned out to be the most significant and became a part of the famous Paris school. Among them there were well-known artists for whom their former success was the main thing, and there were artists for whom this move to the West was the beginning. In 1909-1920 the Russian presence in Paris was strong but 'pulverizated', but after 1921 large afflux of emigrants contributed to development of original creation, which allows us to speak of the Russian avant-garde in Paris. What Russian artists brought into French cultural life (manners, styles, trends), reflected, to a certain extent, the nature of art processes which took place not only among emigrants but in all the French art of the period. Russian artists influenced Paris, and Paris influenced them. The exhibition introduces 30 works from funds of the Russian museum, 42 - from the Centre Georges Pompidou, 22 - from Musee national d'Art moderne, Paris, the other works come from private collections and from French, German, Swiss and the USA museums. A catalogue for the exhibition has been published.