Christina Kiaer

  • “Kazimir Malevich and The Russian Avant-Garde”

    Reconstructing a core component of the 1915 Suprematist exhibition “0.10.,” New York’s Museum of Modern Art installed a dazzling wall of Malevich paintings for its recent show “Inventing Abstraction,” demonstrating the affective power of the Russian artist’s precise geometries and the necessity of seeing them in a historically specific framework. This fall, the Stedelijk will place Malevich even more firmly in context as it gathers some five hundred items (uniting its own prized Khardzhiev collection with the renowned Costakis collection), including pieces

  • COLLECTIVE BODY: THE ART OF ALEKSANDR DEINEKA

    WHY DEINEKA NOW? At a time when contemporary art is revisiting all forms of figuration, realism, and neoclassicism, it should come as no surprise that the work of Russian artist Aleksandr Deineka (1899–1969) is garnering new audiences, with four major exhibitions on view in Europe within the past few years. There is more to the story, however, than the belated recognition of a talented figurative painter. Deineka conjured Soviet bodies—working, playing sports, flying, bathing, marching, meeting, and fighting from the Revolution through the early Brezhnev era—with a haptic intensity

  • “Against Kandinsky”

    This exhibition of some eighty works by Kandinsky and twenty other artists promises a new take on this recurring shift toward geometry by tracing an unexpected geographic and temporal path through twentieth-century abstraction.

    Following fast on the heels of Tate Modern’s celebratory “Kandinsky: The Path to Abstraction 1908–1922,” the polemical “Against Kandinsky” charts four historical cases of geometric resistance to the Russian artist’s expressionist abstraction. In the first two—Constructivism in Moscow and the Bauhaus under Hannes Meyer—the artists had direct contact and conflict with Kandinsky. In the second two, artists were responding to his legacy: Abstract Expressionism and its Minimalist aftermath in the US, and the dissident modernism of the Soviet Union in the ’60s, which would

  • “Designing the Modern Utopia: Soviet Textiles from the Lloyd Cotsen Collection”

    The figurative art of Soviet socialist realism has recently claimed attention previously reserved for the Russian avant-garde, so this show of more than one hundred figurative Soviet textiles and drawings made between 1927 and 1933 is particularly timely.

    The figurative art of Soviet socialist realism has recently claimed attention previously reserved for the Russian avant-garde—think of the spectacular socialist realism room in the recent “Russia!” exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. So this show of more than one hundred figurative Soviet textiles and drawings made between 1927 and 1933 is particularly timely. Unlike Russian Constructivist textiles, with their familiar geometric patterns, these works feature abstracted but legible tractors, airplanes, harvesting peasants, and

  • Wassily Kandinsky

    The modernist master narrative will make its case again this summer at Tate Modern, where Wassily Kandinsky’s epic struggle to achieve his breakthrough to abstraction will be charted in “Kandinsky: The Path to Abstraction 1908-1922,” a focused exhibition—cocurated by the Kunstmuseum Basel’s Fischer and Tate’s Rainbird—of fifty paintings and thirty works on paper by the artist. The objects will be dazzling to see, but a less predictable framing of Kandinsky might have promised a more adventurous revisiting of this complicated Russian who was both