Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum presents Russian avant-garde
The Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum - Dilek Sabancı Gallery in the southeastern province of Mardin, restored by the Sabancı Foundation upon the late businessman Sakıp Sabancı’s will and transformed into a museum and art gallery, is hosting the exhibition “The Russian Avant-garde. Dreaming the Future Through Art and Design.”
Organized with works from the Costakis Collection of Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art, the exhibition sheds light on the important place Russian avant-garde occupied in the history of art.
The Russian Avant-garde, which was one of the most exciting movements in the history of art at the beginning of the 20th century, is represented by its rich productions in the branches of painting, design, literature, film and theater. In addition to the political, social and technological developments of the period, the exhibition reflects the avant-garde artists’ belief in progress.
One of the world’s most important Russian avant-garde collections, the George Costakis Collection, is divided into two, being kept in the Moscow State Tretyakov Gallery and Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art.
The George Costakis Collection of Russian avant-garde contains works by important artists which are part of the exhibition, including Kazimir Malevich, the creator of art history’s iconic Black Square; Vladimir Tatlin, the pioneer of a new period of artistic theory in which he obscured the boundaries between art and production; and Alexander Rodchenko, the courageous pioneer of photography, painting, sculpture and graphic art.
Works by many female artists of the period such as Olga Rozanova, whose work was based on the interaction between text and depiction, and Lyubov Popova, who with her set designs contributed to the transformation of plays into the language of the theater, are also shown in the exhibition.
The theater, which lived its golden age during the years of the Russian Avant-garde, and the pioneering stage theories produced in this period are also presented in the exhibition through reenactments and constructions.
The exhibition also hosts a program where examples from the Russian Avant-garde theater are being exhibited.
Under the general artistic direction of Associate Professor Emre Koyuncuoğlu, who is also a choreographer, writer, translator and critic, the program consists of performances by actors from Mardin and Diyarbakır theaters.
At a ceremony held at the opening of the exhibition on June 16, the Sabancı Foundation Board of Trustees Member Dilek Sabanci said: “Since its opening in 2009, the Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum - Dilek Sabancı Art Gallery hosted nine exhibitions, each more important than the other. With the 10th exhibition today, we are proud to revive the cultural and artistic activities affected by the pandemic process in this ancient city.”
Sakıp Sabancı Museum Director Nazan Ölçer said: “This unique city, which is currently included in the international art calendar, is closely followed by art authorities around the world with its culture and art agenda and its artists. I can say that we were able to create a striking and dynamic project in Mardin. A new surprise, a new documentary and pioneers of science await visitors at every corner of the halls. Surprisingly, visitors will be able to see how all this was thought and imagined 100 years ago.”
“I would like to thank the directors of the Costakis Collection of Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art and my colleague Dr. Maria Tsantsanoglou for giving us the necessary permissions with great generosity for
the exhibition of the works in such an environment,” Ölçer added.
The Russian Avant-garde. Dreaming the Future Through Art and Design” can be seen from Tuesday to Saturday between 8.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. at the Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum - Dilek Sabancı Gallery.