Until the 14th of October 2012 – Museum Tinguely
This year the Museum Tinguely in Basel is dedicating its large summer exhibition to one of the most important figures of the Russian avant-garde: Vladimir Tatlin (1885–1953). It is now almost twenty years since the last comprehen-sive retrospective to be devoted to this radically innovative artist. The presented works will include early paintings, counter-reliefs that reach out into the surrounding space, reconstructions of his revolutionary tower, and the flying machine Letatlin. The exhibition is rounded off with examples of his work for the theatre. The œuvre of this outstanding artist from the watershed period at the beginning of the twentieth century will be represented in over one hundred masterpieces, mostly on loan from major collections in Moscow and St Petersburg.
Vladimir Tatlin began his career as a seaman. Until 1913 his artistic activities were limited exclusively to painting and drawing. Interested in the traditional fields of icon-painting and folk art, he later transferred his attention to the most modern avant-garde trends in Russia and Western Europe, more precisely Paris. His entire later work is founded on painting. The exhibition will show a comprehensive selection of his early paintings with their bold expanses of colour, rhythmic curves, and striking use of dark and light outlines. In these eye-catching works Tatlin achieved a highly original synthesis of the Russian tradition and the French avant-garde.