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Russian Modernism between East and West: Natal'ia Goncharova and the Moscow Avant-Garde First Edition Edition

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521831628
ISBN-10: 0521831628
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A complex and erudite book, providing extensive primary material...The physical qualities of presentation and formal presentation of the text, notes, bibliography, index, and the copius illustrations are exemplary, and the book is a substantial contribution to scholarship on the Russian avant-garde."
-Alison Hilton, Slavic Review

"...a welcome addition on this subject!....Sharp expertly conveys the complexity of Goncharova's work and that of her dialogue with her sources...She successfully addresses the contemporary binary view of the "civilized" West and "barbarian" Russia...Russian Modernism between East and West is an important publication that not only redresses the lack of a current scholarly English monograph on Goncharova, but also advances considerably our understanding of the Russian avant-garde."
- Cheryl Kramer, Women's Art Journal

"Sharp's achievement-illuminating fascinating aspects of both Goncharova's work and russian Modernism-is truly collosal."
- Alina Orlov, Independent Scholar

Book Description

Natal'ia Goncharova and her Muscovite colleagues reclaimed Russia's 'Eastern' cultural heritage. Before the First World War, art addressed a crisis in self-representation that was a consequence of Russia's dual cultural legacies, Asian and European.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; First Edition edition (April 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521831628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521831628
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
"Russian Modernism between East and West" gives a complete and description of the influence of Natal'ia Goncharova on her Moscovite colleagues. Best book on this subject!
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Format: Hardcover
This well-written, interesting, and beautifully designed book deals with the career of Natal'ia Goncharova, one of the main modernist artists in Russia. Jane Ashton Sharp provides an impressive overview of the scholarship on Goncharova and puts forth her own interpretation of the artist's work as providing a new way forward for Russian art via a synthesis of East and West.

As Sharp notes, "Goncharova managed her identity by recognizing and activating existing stereotypes, including that of Russia as Orient and the decorative as feminine." This "strategy for reclaiming agency" (p. 4) runs through Goncharova's work, according to Sharp. Like Dostoevsky, Goncharova was Asia in Europe and European in Asia. By bringing together these various influences, a new synthesis was to emerge that would provide Russia with artistic leadership of Europe.

I was impressed by how Sharp places Goncharova into a really wide-ranging cultural context, bringing in much history and historiography, rather than in a narrow art history exploration of artistic influences. The chapter "Orientalisms" could be read with profit by those interested in Russian imperialism more broadly.

Gonchareva also drew upon regional artistic traditions to create her modernist art. (pp. 171, 199) This connects with the work by M. Umbach in _Vernacular Modernism_, which traces links between regional forms and modernism.

Sharp emphasizes the cyclical nature of Goncharova's work, which brings into question the idea of stages of development of an artists' work. Goncharova saw her work as parallel with the seasons, which for her meant winters in Moscow and summers at her country estate. The cycles of nature were a powerful influence on Goncharova's thinking and art.
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Format: Hardcover
Jane Ashton Sharp won the 2007 Robert Motherwell Book Award, given yearly by the Dedalus Foundation for her book Russian Modernism between East and West: Natal'ia Goncharova and the Moscow Avant-Garde. The award recognizes outstanding publications in the history and criticism of modernism in the arts, and comes with a cash prize.
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