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News — 17 Oct 2021

To encourage research into the legacy of Nikolai Khardzhiev, the Khardzhiev Foundation organizes biennial conferences in collaboration with the Khardzhiev Foundation and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. This year, the Khardzhiev Foundation has partnered with MOMus, Museum of Modern Art of Thessaloniki for the conference that takes place in Thessaloniki on October 22 and 23.

Museum of Modern Art of Thessaloniki is the home of another major private collector of the Russian avant-garde, George Costakis (1913-1990). In the 1960s, Costakis’s art-filled Moscow home had served as Russia’s unofficial museum of modern art. In 1977, Costakis donated half of his collection to the Tretyakov Gallery and moved to Greece. The Greek state acquired the other half of his collection, amounting to 1,275 works, after his death in 1997, and transferred this collection to MOMus.

The Khardzhiev Foundation

In 2001, the loan of the eponymous Khardzhiev Foundation was transferred to the Stedelijk Museum. Nikolai Khardzhiev (1903-1996) was a Russian philologist and collector, who in his younger years entertained the ambition to document the history of Russian Futurism, a movement that united painters and writers. To this end, he brought together an art collection and documentary archive featuring work by artists such as Kazimir Malevich, Olga Rozanova, Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Velimir Khlebnikov, and Vladimir Mayakovsky.

Collector Culture of the Russian Avant-Garde – fourth International Khardzhiev conference – Thessaloniki, October 22-23, 2021
Collector Culture of the Russian Avant-Garde – fourth International Khardzhiev conference – Thessaloniki, October 22-23, 2021

Khardziev’s art collection catalogue

The catalogue of Khardziev’s art collection was published in 2013, and the archive he built can be explored online in the Stedelijk Museum reading room. The Khardziev collection and archive fit wonderfully with the Stedelijk Museum’s collection of works by Malevich, which comprises 23 paintings, 20 drawings, 35 manuscripts, and 18 teaching charts. Together with the 175 works by Malevich included in the Khardzhiev collection–mainly comprised of drawings–the Malevich collection is the largest outside of Russia.

Rakurs Research Log

The Research log Collector Culture of the Russian avant-garde is part of Rakurs, a short cut to a programme that sets out new lines and aims for original, conceptual, as well as collaborative ventures. Rakurs (Ракурс) means perspective, angle, or perspective foreshortening, such as can be seen in a photograph. Rakurs wants to establish a research platform to promote partnerships between art institutions, archives, libraries, and research institutions in Europe, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union that hold collections and literature on Russian avant-garde, Soviet, and post-Soviet art.  Rakurs wants to collect data and make them available online. Rakurs wants to offer a digital space for artists, curators, and specialists. Rakurs wants to stimulate the development of shared research projects. Rakurs is a machine of ideas.

Rakurs is an initiative of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, and the University of Amsterdam.

Read more on Stedelijk Studies