George Costakis, one of the most famous collectors of the twentieth century. But for a long time his congregation was undervalued, and later, when it is recognized, it is scattered in different museums and countries. Most are in the Tretyakov gallery, which recently opened the hall of the latter, and the other became the basis of the State Museum of contemporary art in Thessaloniki, the home of the collector. Museum of contemporary art in Moscow, dreamed Costakis, never opened. But now the micro model can be seen in the Zverev Museum, which opened after the quarantine.
George Costakis, a legendary figure. Greek by origin, he was born and raised in Moscow. In the 1930s, got a job in a driver at the Greek Embassy, and later to the British. He often had to carry diplomats to antique shops, gradually Costakis himself was an avid collector. He collected a variety of art – from old masters to porcelain, from carpets to icons. But the crowning glory of his collection are works of the first and second wave of Russian avant-garde. However, the only master, who has systematically collected Costakis, was Anatoly Zverev. It Costakis had collected the best things of the artist, who stands alone in the history of the second half of the twentieth century. It is no accident that the exhibition “the Costakis Choice” opened at the Museum named after Zverev. Opens the project just picture the Costakis and Zverev.
in Front of us the dream of George Costakis, which was made version possible, but not the incident of the Museum of modern art in Moscow. The exhibition starts with photo album – next to a major the Zverev and the latter the whole life of the collector. Childhood, adolescence, youth… Here he is with his mother, who was descended from an impoverished noble Greek family. Here with brothers and sister in the family were four sons and a daughter. Here is a photo with the motorcycles – a passion he instilled in uncle, an avid racer. Here is a wedding with Zinaida Panfilova, they married when George was 19, and lived all his life together. They had four children. Here is a photo of the Embassy – the latter in a driver’s cap next to a solid diplomatic car. And then – the turbulent artistic life. The most famous artists of the time who gained fame much later, and partly thanks to Kostaki.
Here, in the window a few non-obvious things from the collection – three rare icons, which are now included in the collection of the Andrei Rublev Museum (one of the times of Ivan the terrible), and some grown-up toys (for example, Nicholas II) from the Museum-reserve Tsaritsyno. Leaving in the 1970-ies to their historic homeland in Greece Kostaki gave a huge part of his collection of Soviet museums. The largest part, approximately 900 works were in a gallery, while others went on thematic museums.
– I Wonder h��about icons Kostaki became interested after began collecting avant-garde, – says art critic, researcher of the Museum Zverev Sergei Solovyov. – Perhaps it was because he was interested avant-garde, in which the deep connection and resemblance with the traditions of iconography.
the Second floor is dedicated to the most famous part of the Costakis collection of Russian avant-garde of the early twentieth century. The main masterpieces are presented on a huge screen. They appear here in the form of animated film, created by artist Platon Infante, son of the Infante Francisco, famous masters and art theorist. Paintings come to life, part of a track to dance around, creating interesting Parallels with the different aesthetics of the past and of our time.
Here are some rare works, most of which are today in the collection of the Tretyakov gallery. One of them is the painting “Moscow. Red square” painted by Wassily Kandinsky. This thing the artist wrote, after returning home after a lifetime abroad. In Moscow he met with Nina Andreeva, she was 17 and the artist under 50.
They met on the phone when Kandinsky called his friend, and the phone accidentally sank the Nina. He liked her voice and he offered to meet. Their first date happened at the Pushkin Museum, for which Kandisnky then created the stained glass Windows. Two months later, got married. Spent several years in Moscow, and in 1921 went to Berlin, – says Soloviev. – Some pictures have remained with her mother Nina. Costakis found it in the late 1950’s, bought the painting and agreed to buy all the rest. But then the incident happened – he approved my visa in Paris, and the latter wanted to meet with Larionov and Goncharova, while they are still alive, and rushed… In Paris he also met with Nina Kandinsky, who also then lived there. She told me that she really wants to visit the homeland, and he gave her a visa and the trip. She came and took from her mother’s apartment all the paintings. Costakis was terrified.
the latter was very passionate in his hobby. He sought out different ways of working of the avant-garde, many saved, many opened. Among his favorite artists – avangardistki Liubov Popova. The artist with a difficult past and strong-willed. Popova was born in the family of a wealthy businessman, loved well and expensively dressed, was able to afford study abroad, travel. In the crucial revolutionary years she became interested in Suprematism and entered the famous circle of Malevich. She’s one of the few who was not afraid to argue with him, he rather feared its independent and energetic disposition. In 1921, Liubov Popova together with Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova organized the exhibition “5×5=25”, where five artists have submitted five paintings from each. In fact this exhibition is made n��chal constructivism. It was the work in the manner of a picturesque architectonics: geometric shapes written in the volume, tones, smooth transitions. Malevich considered Suprematism is a monochrome background and items, precise geometry, pure color. One of the works of Popova, writing by principles contrary to the ideas of Malevich, just presented today in the Museum Trevena is “Painterly architectonics. Red and blue” (1918). As it found the latter in the late 1950s – an adventure.
– Popov died at the age of 37. After the revolution her family took it all. In 1918 she married the art historian, specialist in ancient architecture Boris von Edinga. Began the years of famine, they moved to Rostov-on-don, on the way her husband died, and Popova and their son became ill with typhus. Had to return to Moscow, where friends put her in VHUTEMAS. In 1924 she and her son died from scarlet fever. In General, her share fell the difficult tests, and then scattered in different places. This picture Costakis found her nephew in Zvenigorod. He found out where he lives, accidentally walked into his barn and found who the picture is inserted in the window frame. The latter, of course, immediately bought.
Almost picture each wizard is history. Whether Alexander Drevin, Aristarkh Lentulov, Aleksei Morgunov or Alexandra Exter. But there is a third floor, which housed the works of the second wave of the avant-garde, non-conformist artists, contemporaries Costakis. It Antaliya, Turkey Zverev, Igor Vulokh, Alexander Yakovlev, Igor Shelkovsky, Peter Belenok, Mikhail Shemyakin. Some of them already bought not Costakis and his daughter Alika, which was guided by the choice of the father. Some of the things she once took to Greece, and now they are again in Moscow. Among them, for example, the work of Igor Makarevich “Sunday evening for music lovers” (1984). This musical instrument with a huge red figure, turned to the audience naked back emblazoned in the center of the exhibition. Thing bold for its time, but the latter had a special flair for good art. When he gathered his collection, few understood its value, but over the years it became clear. In short, microverse Moscow Museum was complex and varied. Although, of course, is only a small part of what you can tell about the famous collector and his collection.