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