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Declensions of the Sublime: 200 Years of Russian Art – and Its Incessant Vagaries

An online lecture by Dr. Joachim Pissarro

Essays on Russian art tend to focus either on the 19th century and the pre-revolutionary period, or on the revolutionary Russian Avant-Garde. Very seldom do we hear about what happened artistically prior to the Revolution, during the Revolution, and – at the other end of the spectrum –  at the very end (early demise) of the Soviet Union.

In this lecture, Dr. Joachim Pissarro will attempt to see the multiple – and, at times, utterly contradictory –  facets of what unfolded in Russia through two centuries of one of the most complex histories on this planet.

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About the Speaker

Joachim Pissarro is an art historian, theoretician, educator, and Professor Emeritus, Hunter College (City University of New York). He has taught at Yale University, Osaka University, and Sydney University. He has held curatorial positions at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth; the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Pissarro’s recent projects include Crystals in Art: Ancient to Today, an exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in the fall of 2019. His latest books include Wild Art (Phaidon, 2013), and Aesthetics of the Margins / Margins of Aesthetic (Penn State University, 2019), both co-authored with David Carrier. Pissarro’s last two exhibitions were Olga Picasso at the Musée Picasso, Paris and Pushkin Museum, Moscow; and Jeff Koons: SHINE at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence (2021).

Together with Philippe de Montebello, and Jennifer Stockman, he has co-founded the Global Museum Strategies Group (GMSG), designed to develop museum institutions and their permanent collections, namely in the Middle East. Pissarro and his partners focus on creating a symbiotic alliance of architectural and curatorial practices.

Connecting With Zoom

This virtual lecture is presented live via Zoom. Registered users will be emailed a link to join this Zoom program. To get started, please download Zoom on your chosen device and explore the Frequently Asked Questions.

This program will be recorded and posted to the museum’s YouTube channel.


Images: Details of Boris Kustodiev, “Maslenitsa,” 1916; and Kazimir Malevich, “Painterly Realism of a Boy with a Knapsack -Color Masses in the Fourth Dimension,” 1915.


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