Ekster Alexandra

Still life with a jug 60x43 cm, tempera on paper, 1924

Alexandra Alexandrovna Exter (1882-1949), an outstanding Russian-French painter, avant-garde artist, theater and film artist, designer, representative of the Russian and Ukrainian avant-garde. Moving from early Impressionism and Fauvism to Cubism, Futurism and Suprematism, A. Exter consistently transferred the principles the latter in three-dimensional, real space. The stages in the avant-garde scenography were the work of the artist for the A.A. Chamber Theater Tairova (the design of Famira Kifared by I.F. Annensky and Salome by O. Wilde), where she anticipated the principles of the constructivist “biomechanics” that subordinate the actors’ bodies to a single, superpersonal rhythm of the play. The work “Color Rhythms” is the fruit of Exter’s passion for abstract color-dynamic constructions that captured the artists of the Russian avant-garde in the 1910-1920s. Suprematism became one of the central phenomena of the Russian avant-garde in the early 1910s. Since 1915, when the first abstract works of K. Malevich were exhibited, including Black Square, the influence of Suprematism was experienced by many artists, such as O. Rozanova, L. Popova, I. Klyun, N. Udaltsova, N. Suetin, I. Puni, N. Genke, A. Rodchenko, A. Exter and many others. This work is close to the cubo-futuristic experiments of 1914-1916. The perfect combination of all geometric elements in a single centripetal chain gives the composition order and strict balance and puts the picture on a par with the artist’s reference works. They use the same typical motives for her: round shapes, diagonal rays, rhythmically repeating horizontal and vertical stripes, soft, “melting” volumes. A tense compositional scheme, characteristic of A. Exter’s work, based on the contrast of dynamics and statics. Dense cold coloring of the work, animated by the inclusion of bright orange spots. This composition “Rhythms of color” is a combination of multi-colored planes of simple geometric shapes. The combination of multi-colored and different-sized geometric figures forms a balanced asymmetric suprematist composition permeated by internal movement. The term “suprematism” came from the Latin “supremus” meant dominance, superiority of color over all other properties of painting In paintless canvases, paint was first freed from an auxiliary role, from serving other purposes, – Suprematist paintings with They were the first step of “pure creativity”, that is, an act that equalized the creative power of man and Nature. Many Suprematist searches of the artist were reflected in costume designs. In the mid-1910s, she was one of the first to introduce the style of new art into fashion and household design (sketches of dresses, shawls, tablecloths, etc.). Thus laying the foundations of the art deco style, universally embracing life, but free from the harsh sociological and total utopianism of post-revolutionary “production art”. A free play beginning reigned in her works of the 1920s (models of fabrics and clothes, design of performances by the Chamber, Art and other theaters; costume designs for the film “Aelita” by Y. A. Protazanov, 1923). Exter studied at the Kiev Art College. In the years 1908-1924. lived alternately in Kiev, Petersburg, Odessa and Moscow. Before the October Revolution of 1917, she often visited Paris, where she attended the Gran Chaumière Academy. In 1908, organized in Kiev, together with D. Burliuk exhibition “Link”; Since then, she has taken part in most of the most significant expositions of the Russian avant-garde (the exhibitions “Jack of Diamonds”, “Youth Union”, “Tram B”, and others). In its lifetime, “The Amazon of the Avant-Garde” A. Exter managed to do extremely much. She painted canvases in all diverse styles. Her contemporary artist O. Grishchenko joked that Alexandra changes styles every season – like fashion hats. She designed sketches for theatrical scenery and costumes, painted decorative dishes, made puppets and unique manuscript books, invented prints for chintz, worked at German, French, and Russian film studios. Alexandra Exter was loved, respected, and carried away with her. Her husband, a respectable lawyer, calmly demolished Alexandra’s bohemian friends. Their Kiev, as well as Parisian, apartment was buzzing like a beehive: guests here were not transferred. Unlike the workshops of young French cubists and Italian futurists, Exter’s cozy dwelling was tastefully decorated, it was deliciously fed and joyfully received guests. “She was extremely hospitable,” recalled Alisa Koonen, wife of director Alexander Tairov, “in her home, as in herself, an interesting combination of European culture and Ukrainian life was evident. On the walls, among the drawings by Picasso, Leger and Braque, you can was to see Ukrainian embroidery, the floor was covered with wicker carpet, served pots with mushrooms, eggplant caviar, bright majolica dishes with stuffed tomatoes “. The artist was in close friendship with Alexei Yavlensky, who introduced Alexandra Exter to Va Eli Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter, Marianne Verevkina, Fran

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