Aleksandr Rodchenko (Russian, 1891–1956). Pioneer with a Bugle. 1930. Gelatin silver print. 9 1/4 × 7 1/16″ (23.5 × 18 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Rodchenko Family

Covering the period of artistic innovation between 1912 and 1935, A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde traces the arc of the pioneering avant-garde from its flowering in 1912 to the mid-1930s after Socialist Realism was decreed the sole sanctioned style of art. Bringing together major works from MoMA’s extraordinary collection, the exhibition features breakthrough projects in painting, drawing, sculpture, prints, book and graphic design, film, photography, and architecture by leading figures such as Alexandra Exter, Natalia Goncharova, El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Lyubov Popova, Alexandr Rodchenko, Olga Rozanova, Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg, and Dziga Vertov, among others.

In anticipation of the centennial of the Russian Revolution, this exhibition examines key developments and new modes of abstraction, including Suprematism and Constructivism, as well as avant-garde poetry, film, and photomontage. The remarkable sense of creative urgency, radical cross-fertilization, and synthesis within the visual arts—and the aspirations among the Russian avant-garde to affect unprecedented sociopolitical transformation—wielded an influence on art production in the 20th century that reverberates throughout the course of modern history.

Organized by Roxana Marcoci, Senior Curator, Department of Photography and Sarah Suzuki, Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints; with Hillary Reder, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints.

The exhibition is supported by the Annual Exhibition Fund.

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