Category Archives: Russian

Oscar Wilde. Aubrey Beardsley. A Russian Perspective

23.09.2014 – 30.11.2014

19th and 20th Century European and American Art

The «Oscar Wilde. Aubrey Beardsley. A Russian Perspective» exhibition is being held as part of the UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014 celebrations. The exhibition embodies a unique blend of the two cultures at work. Over 150 art pieces will be on display, including Aubrey Beardsley’s drawings and his series of prints for Oscar Wilde’s Salome. Among other exhibits are works by Russian Beardsley followers and admirers, Russian and British art magazines with pieces by Beardsley, Wilde and their followers; as well as books by Oscar Wilde, autographed works, photographs and archive materials.

Oscar Wilde’s exquisite works gave a larger audience an opportunity to learn about the ideas of Aestheticism. Aubrey Beardsley’s intricate illustrations inspired the creators behind the first Russian art magazines. In Russia, as well as in Europe, Oscar Wilde was seen as a leading figure of the British Aesthetic movement. The artist’s unique personality charmed the public; his writing — plays, essays and famous paradoxes — had no less mesmerizing an effect. Coined by Wilde and Beardsley, the image of a dandy turned into a signature for a number of artistic movements. They drew inspiration from the ‘art for art’s sake’ concept, the Silver Age of Russian Art being one of the greatest examples of its realisation.

In Russia, Wilde and Beardsley’s artistic aesthetics were a major influence on the formation of the style and concept of the Mir Iskusstva (World of Art) movement in St. Petersburg in the 1890 s. However, the two artists reached their peak in popularity in Russia in Moscow in the 1900 s. At the time, Scorpion and Grif publishing houses printed Oscar Wilde’s major works, along with the works of Russian decadent poets. Scorpion and the Vesy literary magazine played a greater role in the development of the Moscow Beardsley-inspired artistic community.Beardsley’s sophisticated arabesques influenced artists such as Konstantin Somov, Leon Bakst, Nikolay Feofilaktov, Miss (Anna Remizova-Vasileva), Sergei Lodygin, and Dmitriy Mitrokhin.

Curators: Zinaida Bonami, Anna Poznanskaya, Olga Averyanova, Alexey Savinov