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Exhibition «The Russian Painters of «Knave of Diamonds» Group: between Cézanne and the Avant-garde» in Monaco

March 11 - April 12, 2004

"RUSSIAN PAINTERS of the "KNAVE OF DIAMONDS" GROUP: between Cézanne and the Avant-garde" - this is the name of the exhibition which took place in Monaco from 11 March to 12 April this year. What do we know about the "Knave of Diamonds"? What do people in the West know about it?

"THE KNAVE OF DIAMONDS" is the name of a fine art exhibition which took place in Moscow in 1910. It was organized by Russian artists, who founded an aesthetic union under this name in 1911. At the background of their artistic movement was the fondness for urban folklore. Since 1911 the exhibitions had been regularly staged for 7 years to display the works of Russian and European masters. Among the members of the "KNAVE of DIAMONDS" Group were: P. Kontchalovsky, A. Kuprin, R. Falk, A. Lentulov, I. Mashkov and others. Besides the "core" painters of the "Knave of Diamonds", other avant-garde masters took part in the exhibitions. Practically no avant-garde painter missed the "Knave of Diamonds" Group. This applies to Kandinsky, Shagal and Malevich for whom the "Knave of Diamonds" was the starting point of their carrier. The very name of the Group represented a challenge to traditional art. The artists strived for freedom from literary bounds and focused on the essentials, such as: colour, linear design, plastic image as well as beauty of the painted surface. The first painter to realize that was Cézanne, who became the leader of "Knaves of diamonds". Later they came to be called "Moscow Cezannists".

The Ekaterina Cultural Foundation is the initiator, sponsor and organizer of the exhibition. To mark the opening of the exhibition a full catalogue of the paintings has been prepared and published by the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation in co-operation with State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and "RA" (Russian Avant-garde) publishing house.

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