The Archaeology of the Frivolous              The Courtyard Gallery    The Collection        Lincoln     UK               November 7th  - December 31st        2013

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a n  e x h i b i t i o n      b y   D a v i d   K i r s h n e r


St. Petersburg 1913. As revolutionary fervour reaches breaking point, a group of artists led by Kasimir Malevich and Natalia Goncharova mount an exhibition of their work at 73 Nevsky Prospect under the banner ‘The First Futurism Exhibition, Tramway V’  The private view is a lively affair. Afterwards, there is an incident on a tram, another on the boulevard. Possible victims and perpetrators have been lost in time, only Malevich’s two drawings survive. My exhibition at the Courtyard Gallery is both an interpretation and a frivolous commentary on a night when passions ran high, and political events scattered the protagonists around a Europe never to be the same again.

There are 31 names on the private view list on the 12th November 1913. Poets, composers, artists : some , like Malevich, Tatlin, El Lissitzky are well known to us. Some not so, indeed some had very short, but eventful lives, like Sergey Esenin, married four times, once to Isadora Duncan, dies aged 30. Some emigrated and lived into the 1960’s, others stayed in Russia and prospered, suffered, survived – often all three, sometimes concurrently.

I have always been fascinated by this era. Their work was of course ‘revolutionary’, much more so than the ‘Western’ avant-garde, with the exception of Duchamp. This exhibition is a celebration of their work, and in particular this event, a century ago, but seen through my own eyes.

The  structures on show are not in any way ‘illustrations’ of particular works, but use elements found in their works, their names, their ideas, their images, as a starting points to develop my own responses to their works.

So then to sum up, in essence, some digging up of the past – archaeology, and some academic and not -so- academic analysis – Oh, the frivolity of it all.


 Bordering on the transrational

 Ivan's own little tower

  Natalia and Mikhail leave for Paris

 Natasha's bedside console

 On the set of 'The Suprematist'

 Three drawings

 The Red Cavalry rides

 Racing from Market Rasen

 Puttin' on de Stijl

 It says it on the tin

general view