On the occasion of the centenary of the magazine “Zhar Ptitsa”: The Diaghilev effect. Art publishing and Ballets Russes reception in 1920s Berlin. Agents and Echoes.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

1920s Berlin was a cauldron of modernist art. It was the period of Dada; Expressionism made a strong impact through painting and cinema; Constructivism and Suprematism were on their way to Europe from Russia, where the new revolutionary social context had provided great inspiration for avant-garde artists, and in 1922 the first Russian Art Exhibition brought Russian avant-garde artists to Berlin. The years of German hyperinflation in particular, saw the German capital rise to be the centre of Russian modernist creativity, dissemination and publishing. Yet, some of those Russian projects in publishing made a deliberate effort to contrast with, or even defy those modernist tunes. They displayed with nostalgia the heritage of Russian Silver Age art and thus, despite their outsourcing to Berlin, remained a rallying point for Russian neo-nationalist and symbolist aspirations. Their agents celebrated the oeuvre of the Mir Iskusstva [World of Art] group, more specifically, the theatrical decoration and costumes this group had created for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes before the First World War. With their striking visual quality and focus on the sheer magnificence of those colourful displays of art, they echoed the precious theatre events of Diaghilev’s troupe, without however, embarking on any discussion of a theoretical nature. These publishing projects are the topic of this article, which will shed light on both the agents and the echoes of the “Diaghilev Effect” in Berlin during the years 1921 to 1928.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSynthesis of Arts as a Field of Experiment
Subtitle of host publicationHistory, Theory, Practice. Towards the 150th Anniversary of S. Diaghilev
PublisherMoscow Conservatory
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 1 Jan 2022

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