Alexandra Exter, Study for a Male Costume, 1920, gouache on cardboard, 48.2 x 35.7 cm


Alexandra Exter

Moscow Museum of Modern Art
25 Petrovka Street (also at 10 Gogolevsky blvd, 9 Tverskoy blvd, and 17 Ermolaevsky lane)
April 22–July 4

Curated by Georgi Kovalenko

Comprising some 200 objects—180 of which are borrowed from the A. A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum in Moscow—this show, surprisingly, is the first retrospective devoted to painter and designer Alexandra Exter, perhaps the most peripatetic member of the Russian avant-garde. For almost two decades before she settled in Paris in 1924, Exter was constantly on the move, working for extensive periods in the French capital, as well as in Kiev, Odessa, and Moscow. With her firsthand knowledge of the latest aesthetic developments—Cubism, Futurism, Orphism, Suprematism, Constructivism—Exter played cultural emissary for other artists, while her own exuberant color compositions defy easy identification with any single movement, style, or national culture. This show will foreground her exploration of the stage as a dynamic arena for visual experimentation, arguably her greatest accomplishment.