Cache Of Russian Avant-Garde Works Surfaces In Regional Museum's Basement

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tags: museums, Russia, art history

A leading Russian avant-garde expert says he has identified dozens of works by artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova languishing in an obscure history museum in the Kirov region, 800km away from Moscow.

Andrey Sarabyanov says he was “astounded” at what he found in the basement store of the Yaransk Museum of Local Lore, in a town of fewer than 16,000 people. Discoveries included three watercolours by Kandinsky, a gouache by Stepanova and a “completely unknown” work by Rodchenko from 1915—a painting on cardboard that is now being restored.

Sarabyanov, the editor of a Russian avant-garde encyclopaedia that will be published in English in 2022, believes the works were abruptly abandoned after featuring in an early Soviet travelling exhibition in 1921. Having fought against the prevalence of Russian avant-garde forgeries, he defends the authenticity of the Yaransk trove and says he is open to technical analysis.

The Kandinskys were already known to specialists and had been “shown but not emphasised” in a 2005 show at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, he says, but “no one had revealed the history of the appearance of these works”.

Read entire article at The Art Newspaper

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