The 100th April. Exhibition from the collection at the State Museum of V.V. Mayakovsky within the framework of the Resident project

VDNH and the State Museum of V.V. Mayakovsky present the exhibition "The 100th April" — one of two projects that opens the program of the Russian inter-museum Resident exchange in the pavilion Worker and Collective Farm Woman.

Prepared jointly with the State Museum of V.V. Mayakovsky, the exposition is dedicated to one of the most outstanding figures of Russian poetry and myth-making of the 20th century — Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893–1930). More precisely, the project has three characters: Vladimir Mayakovsky as a man, Vladimir Mayakovsky as a lyrical hero and Vladimir Mayakovsky as a classic figure, whose image can be destroyed only by turning to living testimonies of the poet's life and work. The name of the exhibition is taken from the Mayakovsky's poem "A Cloud in Trousers" (1914–1915): "I have never lived with my heart up to May, // but in the life lived // there is only the hundredth April". Mayakovsky's life came to its end on April 14, 1930.

Within the framework of the project, more than 100 exhibits from the collection of the State Museum of V.V. Mayakovsky will be presented: from the poet's famous futuristic bow, his early photographs and portraits of the "handsome, twenty-two-year-old" to manuscripts, posters of Windows of the satire ROSTA, self-caricatures and self-portraits, most of which will be shown for the first time. The audience will also see the works dedicated to Mayakovsky by his friends, including portraits by Vera Shekhtel, whose family the young poet met during his studies at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, and the famous caricatures by Kukryniksy and Boris Yefimov. Among the rarities, special mention should be made of the authentic photo montages of Alexander Rodchenko, illustrating the poem "About This" (1923). The exposition will be supplemented with fragments of recollections by Boris Pasternak, Kornei Chukovsky, Valentina Khodasevich, Semyon Kirsanov, Lev Kassil, Valentin Katayev, Benedikt Livshits and other contemporaries of the poet.

The cult of Mayakovsky acquired nationwide scale as a result of Stalin's decision to appoint him as the country's chief poet. So there were millions of books, monuments, and streets named after Mayakovsky, and porcelain, stamps and postcards with his portrait. The exposition also tells about this period of transformation of the poet's image.

Also there will be presented a cartoon film by Yuri Norstein and Arkady Tyurin "25th — the First Day", which uses the graphic arts of Mayakovsky from the period of work in Windows of ROSTA (a line from his poem "Vladimir Ilyich Lenin" gave the name to the film).

Maria Gadas, curator of the exhibition: "Over the years, Mayakovsky's mythology is becoming more extensive, acquiring a confident academic intonation. This process, no doubt, is justified by the fate of the poet and the scale of his personality and gifts. But, like numerous memoirs of contemporaries, this exhibition is based primarily on the desire to show Mayakovsky in real life: from the first days after his family moved to Moscow until the tragic April of 1930. Named as "the best and most talented poet of our Soviet era" after his death, Vladimir Mayakovsky lost his right to his own satire of the late 1920s, to early love poetry and private life".


About the State Museum of V.V. Mayakovsky

Founded in 1937, the State Museum of V.V. Mayakovsky has unique artistic, memorial, photographic and documentary funds dedicated to the life, creativity and memory of the poet, as well as his contemporaries. In addition to the rich collection, the museum is famous for the exhibitions of the Russian avant-garde, the first of which took place with the active participation of Nikolai Khardzhiev and his associates in the 1960s, during an era when it was impossible to show the works of Kazimir Malevich, Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova, Vasily Chekrygin, El Lisitsky and others in the main art museums of the country. At present, the museum's main building is closed for major repairs.

About the Resident project

Resident is a program of Russian inter-museum exchange, launched by VDNH in 2018. The aim of the project is to display the gems in the collections of the capital's and regional Russian museums. Within each of the exposition blocks — "Moscow" and "Russia" — several exhibition projects will be presented annually.

Dates: April 27 — September 9, 2018.
Opening: April 26, 2018.
Venue: Pavilion Worker and the Collective Farm Woman, VDNH, Moscow.
Curator: Maria Gadas.
Authors of the idea: Yevgenia Inshakova, Yekaterina Snegireva.
Organizers: VDNH JSC, State Museum of V.V. Mayakovsky.
Opening hours: 11 a.m.–10 p.m. (except Mondays).
Price: adults — 300 roubles, children from 6 to 16 years, full-time students and pensioners — 100 roubles.
Free of charge: children under 6, orphans, abandoned children, people with disabilities, veterans of the Great Patriotic War and members of large families with at least one child under 16.