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Russian Avant-Garde Theatre

Russian Avant-Garde Theatre

War, Revolution, and Design

John E Bowlt

Nick Hern Books

A sumptuously illustrated survey of the remarkable flowering of radical, visionary and experimental design for performance in Russia in the twenty years between 1913 and 1933.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Russian theater produced an unprecedented period of creative radicalism and collaborative experimentation. Against the turbulent backdrop of the First World War and the Russian Revolution, the avant-garde movement transformed Russia’s cultural landscape as visionaries from several disciplines generated a vortex of innovative performance and design.

The astounding body of work produced by Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko, Vladimir Tatlin, Sergei Eisenstein and Liubov Popova, among others, overturned traditions in art, music, literature and theatre. This book explores the importance and influence of a seminal moment in twentieth-century culture – one that still resonates today.

Published to accompany a major exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in association with the Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum in Moscow, this book includes essays by experts from Russia, Britain and America illustrated with over 150 images from leading artists and designers, many of which are previously unpublished.

Edited by John E. Bowlt, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Southern California, the result is an astonishing record of a period of creative innovation that redefined not only what was possible in theater and the avant-garde, but in wider artistic practices too. It will be of interest both to theatergoers and art historians, as well as current and future designers seeking inspiration for their own work.

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