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Waldemars Matvejs (Vladimir Markov) in Petersburg

Waldemars Matvejs (1877-1914) is the artist and theoretic of the Russian avant-garde of the beginning of the ХХ century, one of the organizers of the artistic association The Union of the Youth (1909-1917) which involved various art trends: symbolism, "Cezannism", cubism, futurism, "art without a subject ".


W
aldemars Matvejs is the author of one of the first manifesto of the Russian avant-garde "The Russian Secession", the keynote theoretic article "The Principles of the New Art". When working out the theory of the plastic art principles, he studied culture of Africa, Oceania, North Asia. The Union of the Youth published the books by Matvejs (under pseudonym Vladimir Markov): "The Theoretic Principles in the Plastic Arts. The Texture ", "The Art of the Easter Island", the book of the Chinese poetry "The Reed of China" (together with V. Yegorov). The book by Waldemars Matvejs "The Art of the Negros" was published in 1919, upon the author's death.

T
he exhibition presents painting, graphics, photographs, archive materials, sculptures from the Easter Island and North Asia.


The Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) RAS provided the Nanai anthropomorphous figure and 3 artifacts - sculpture presentations of spirits and sacral creatures from the Easter Island:

  • The anthropomorphic figure representing a spirit - host of a home. The Nanai, beginning of the ХХ century. In the Nanai language this spirit was called dulin , other Tungus-Manchu peoples of the Lower Amur (for example, the Ulchi, the Negidal) have similar representations as well. The figures may have different dimensions, they may present both men and women. The dulin has been considered as a patron of a home, it was asked to grant fortune to hunt, health, etc. The spirit was insinuated by alcohol and meals. It was a male person only who was allowed to feed and ask the dulin (a house father, as a rule).
  • The sculpture of moai papa, the Easter Island, end of the XIX century. The sculpture was brought from the Chile expedition and was given to N.N.Miklukho-Maklay by captain R.Pradel. The local legend says that the figures of moai papa are presentations of spirits, but in its base the idea of moai papa is common with the Polynesian myth about the top heroes of Ranga (Heavens) and Papa (Earth). The ritual meaning of moai papa is unknown. Presumably, such figures belonged to the home cult.
  • The sculpture of moai tangata manu ("man-bird") of the end of the XVIII century. According to the hypothesis of the British researcher D. Attenborough this sculpture was taken from the Easter islands by the second round-the-world expedition of James Cook (1772-1775). The moai tangata manu is associated with the ritual of the annual elections of the higher hierarch of an island who was titled as "man-bird".
  • The sculpture of the end of the XVIII century. By Attenborough's hypothesis this sculpture was brought to Europe by participants of the second expedition of James Cook.

The exhibition was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the General Consulate of the Republic of Latvia in St.Petersburg.

The exhibition place - the State Russian Museum, The Benois Wing. Detailed information you can find on the web site of the Russian Museum.