Alexandra Alexandrovna Exter
Art on This Day
The Russian artist Alexandra Alexandrovna Exter, who divided her life between Kiev, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Vienna, and Paris was born on this day in 1882.
At a young age Exter received an excellent private education, studying languages, music, art, and taking private drawing lessons. She graduated from the Kiev Art School in 1906. Two years after, Ekster married and moved to Paris.
In 1908 Exter began exhibiting her works, she went on to organize a series of increasingly radical exhibitions, and her own work also became progressively more avant-garde. Exter has been noted to be a Suprematist and Constructivist painter as well as a major influencer of the Art Deco movement.
Within a few years (1908–15), Exter evolved from Impressionism through Cubism and Cubo-Futurism to Nonobjective art. She uses many elements of geometric compositions, which reinforce the core intentions of dynamism, vibrant contrasts, free brushwork, attention to colour and rhythm with her assimilation of many different genres.
Exter’s most productive period was from the mid-1910s to the beginning of the 1920s. Parallel to her success in painting came success in stage design.
With her experimentation across many mediums Exter started to take the concept of her costume designing and integrate it into everyday life.
In 1921 Exter’s work in fashion design began. Most of her fashion design was highly decorative and innovative, usually falling under the category of haute couture. In 1923, she continued her work in many media in addition to collaborating with Vera Mukhina and Boris Gladkov in Moscow on the decor of the All Russian Exhibition pavilions.
In 1924 Exter moved to Paris, she was involved in exhibitions, theatrical work, and book illustrations. Her theatrical works such as sculptures, costume design, set design, and decorations for the revolutionary festivals, strongly reflect her work with geometric elements and vibrant intentions. Through her costume work she experimented with the transparency, movement, and vibrancy of fabrics. She also continued with these experimental tendencies in her later puppet designs.
Although Exter died on 17 March 1949 she remains known internationally as a painter of unquestionable originality and equally great constancy of creativity.
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