With this exhibition, the Neue Galerie turns its attention to early twentieth-century Russian art and its relationship to German art of the time. In the years between 1907 and 1917, there was considerable artistic influence between the two countries. Much of it can be traced to an avant-garde artists’ collective founded in Moscow in 1910. Among the well-known painters who participated in the first Jack of Diamonds exhibition were Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, and Kazimir Malevich. Some of the German counterparts who showed with them were Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, August Macke, Franz Marc, Max Pechstein, and Erich Heckel. By presenting the work of these major Russian and German artists side by side, we can begin to understand the ways they influenced one another.
The curator of our exhibition is the superb scholar of Russian art Konstantin Akinsha. With his deep immersion in the subject, Dr. Akinsha brings many insights to an area that deserves greater attention. The results are highly illuminating. We also wish to thank the lenders to our exhibition, especially the collector and businessman Petr Aven, who have made this broad and varied display of artworks possible. Our President, Ronald S. Lauder, has traveled and worked extensively in Russia over many decades and is pleased to have the Neue Galerie serve as a venue for an exhibition exploring the relationship between Russian and German art. It is from such joint cultural understandings and friendships that stronger bonds between peoples are formed.
Director, Neue Galerie New York