The Khardzhiev Collection at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Published by nai010 publishers.
Text by by Elena Basner, Geurt Imanse, Frank van Lamoen, Michael Meylac, Sergey Sigey et. al.
The famous Russian collector and literary scholar Nikolai Khardzhiev (1903–1996) was a close friend and admirer of the modern painters, poets and philosophers of his time. Often buying directly from the artists and their families, from the late 1920s Khardzhiev collected work by such masters of the Russian avant-garde as Kazimir Malevich, Mikhail Larionov, Olga Rozanova, El Lissitzky, Vasily Chekrygin, Mikhail Matyushin and Vladimir Tatlin, thus compiling one of the greatest collections of this period. As the Soviet regime began to clamp down on Futurism and Suprematism, Khardzhiev sought to acquire anything that would allow him to one day write a history of these movements, and his archives also included manuscripts and rare books, as well as his own correspondence with artists. Russian Avant-Garde provides a full overview of the unique Khardziev-Chaga collection, which has been housed at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam since 1997. The collection contains numerous works on paper, including gouaches, watercolors, Futurist book cover designs, sketches, studies and archival photographs. These items, many of which have never previously been reproduced, greatly deepen our understanding of the sheer range and prolificness of these monumental artists, and Khardzhiev’s valiant determination to preserve their work.