Sovietic master of modernity
Curated by Irina Vakar, Elena Voronovič and Matteo Lafranconi
19 February - 1 May 2011
The very first event to be staged in the context of the Italian-Russian interministerial agreement on the exchange of cultural initiatives between the two countries, this exhibition is the first monographic presentation, outside Russia, of the work of Aleksandr Deineka (1899-1969), the Soviet Union's greatest and most famous realist painter and one to whom the leading critics of 20th century art have been devoting an enormous amount of attention and interest in recent years. Deineka's art owes a great deal to the influence of international realism, and to American realism (Hopper) in particular, but the distinctive mark that sets it apart from the work of all other exponents of the style is his formal and aesthetic research. This research, while inevitably bound up with the regime's propaganda aims as was so much of socialist realism, achieves a formal and poetic quality totally independent of the historical circumstances in which it developed, thus placing this painter's art in a position of absolute primacy in the definition of the European realist avant-garde.
The exhibition has been devised and produced in cooperation with the Tret'jakov National Gallery, which owns the largest concentration of masterpieces by Aleksandr Deineka, and which is indeed the only institution capable of guaranteeing that any retrospective of his work is complete and of the highest quality.
The crucial study trip that the artist made to Italy, staying in Rome in 1935 and producing some of his crucial works while in the city, imparts even greater significance to the fact that the first major monographic exhibition of this great talent's artistic output outside his homeland should be held in Rome.