Russian set designer works on Avant Garde V&A exhibition

Russian set designer Sergei Barkhin is working on an exhibition of Russian Avant-Garde theatre, coming to London’s Victoria & Albert Museum in the autumn.

Barkhin, a former chief designer of the Bolshoi Theatre, is leading the design work on the exhibition Russian Avant-Garde: War, Revolution and Design, 1913-1933, which opens in October.

Hosted in the V&A’s Theatre and Performance galleries, the exhibition will feature artworks, costumes and set designs from the likes of Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko and Vladimir Tatlin.

The V&A says, ‘The works represent an extraordinary point in Russian culture during which artistic, literary and musical traditions underwent profound transformations.

‘New types of theatrical productions demanded innovative design solutions and benefitted from the unprecedented symbiosis of artists, musicians, directors and performers which characterised the period.’

Among the exhibits will be Malevich’s set designs and costumes for 1913 Futurist opera Victory Over the Sun, which features backdrops painted with monochrome graphic forms.

There will also be a series of costume designs by Rodchenko for plays the Bedbug and We, as well as set models, stage and costume designs by Alexandra Exter, including costume design for alien beings for the 1924 Soviet science fiction film Aelita: Queen of Mars.

The Russian Avant-Garde Theatre: War, Revolution and Design exhibition runs from 18 October 2014-25 January 2015.

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