Rebranding the Russian Avant-garde
Forged in the molten crater of the vanishing Russian empire scorched by the revolution, the Russian avant-garde was driven by a burgeoning need for political endorsements and nourished by a previously unfamiliar and yet overwhelming sensation of living in a new, liberated society that encouraged ingenuity, enthused imaginations, and incited all forms of artistic expression. This eruption of creative freedoms introduced a new concept of art that moved away from the classical form and presented an art of simplicity and functionality. Together with the rise of social propaganda, it turned conventional artists like Alexander Rodchenko, El Lizzitsky, Vladimir Tatlin, Vasyl Yermylov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and many others into forefathers of commercial advertising and forbearers of what we now recognize as modern graphic design, identity creation, and branding.
Rebranding the Russian Avant-garde presents work by contemporary international artists and designers who re-imagine this innovative movement in the age of digital media, marketing collateral, and web design. Using the Russian avant-garde movement as their main source of inspiration, these artists re-contextualize familiar themes, while exploring new technologies and striving to form their own unique visual language.
The exhibit will feature selected works from recent international poster projects, including the Rodchenko 120 and Mayakovsky 120 poster campaigns curated by Sergey Serov (Russia) and the Design Sphere poster exhibit curated by Vladimir Lesnyak (Ukraine), which celebrates the greatest writers, scientists, and artists of the Russian avant-garde.
Guest Curator Olga Severina Annotated Bio
Olga Severina graduated from the State Academy of Arts and Design of Kharkov (Ukraine) with a Ph.D. in Visual Arts. One of the courses that captured her attention during her studies was a class called “Visual Language of the Poster.” Following her growing curiosity with poster art, she became involved with an International Eco-Poster Exhibition, The 4th Block (Ukraine), where she currently serves as a chief curator.
Olga is a very active participant in the international design community where she continues to pursue her interests in poster exhibitions and design expos. In 2006 and 2008, she served as a Selection Committee member for the international graphic design exhibitions Golden Bee (Russia) and curated an environmental poster exhibition Eco-Point (Ukraine) in 2008.
In her more recent ventures, Olga Severina worked on a variety of art shows and poster exhibitions in the United States, among which are Eco Art: Graphic Design for Change (March 2013, Riverside, CA), The Art of Russian Avant-garde: Rodchenko 120 (August 2012, Chicago, IL), Eco-Deology: Cause and Effect (March 2012, San Jose, CA) and AIGA (Re)Design Awards 2011 (October 2011, Los Angeles, CA).
Over the years, her own work has been featured in a variety of design expos and art projects: International Graphic Design Biennale Golden Bee (Russia), Warsaw International Poster Biennale IBP (Poland), International Eco-Show Visual Energy (Germany), and International Poster Biennale IBPM (Mexico), to name a few.
Olga Severina / Ph.D
Curator/ Graphic Designer