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On 9 April 2021, the Moscow Kremlin Museums open the exhibition Suprematism Vision: Space Motifs in the Graphic Works and Jewellery Designs of Nadia Léger, which celebrates the approaching 60th Anniversary of the first in the human history space flight of Yuri Gagarin.

Nadia Léger, née Khodasevich (1904-1982), was an artist of considerable, versatile talent. A student of Kazimir Malevich, she became a leading figure of the artistic School of Paris. Nadia's paintings were exhibited alongside the works by such masters as Wassily Kandinsky, Jean (Hans) Arp, Alexandra Exter, Le Corbusier, Fernand Léger and many others. Her original body of work (paintings, graphic works, sculpture, design) was the amalgam and reinterpretation of the major artistic trends of the 20th century, such as Cubism, Suprematism, Purism and Socialist Realism. Nadia married Fernand Léger in 1952; afterword, she made exceptional efforts to preserve, promote and immortalise his oeuvre.

The new exhibition project of the Moscow Kremlin Museums is going to focus on one of the aspects of Nadia Léger's outstanding talent, and namely, on her collection of avant-garde jewellery designed according to the principles of Suprematism. The creation of this jewellery collection was inspired by a milestone event – on 12 April 1961, the Vostok satellite spaceship with a man on board was launched into the open space – an unprecedented achievement in world history. The spacecraft was piloted by the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, whose image and the name became synonymous with space exploration. The feat of Yuri Gagarin brought about "cosmic" shockwaves in Nadia: this miracle, which became a reality, was perceived by her as the ultimate fulfilment of Kazimir Malevich’s earlier dreams and prophecies. Early in the 20th century, he wrote, "within a person, in human consciousness lies hidden the longing for the outer space, the yearning for the detachment from the earthly sphere".

The collection of 37 pieces of precious avant-garde jewellery – brooches, rings and watches – was transferred to the Moscow Kremlin Museums in 1980 by the USSR Ministry of Culture. Today, it is the only documented collection of sculpted jewellery designed by the celebrated artist in commemoration of the landmark historical event – the dawn of the Space Age. The complete collection will be displayed to the public for the first time at our Suprematism Vision: Space Motifs in the Graphic Works and Jewellery Designs of Nadia Léger exhibition. Along with the jewellery pieces, it will showcase a graphic portrait of Nadia, made by her husband Fernand Léger; four Suprematist Compositions from the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and Pablo Picasso’s drawing from the collection of the art patron Mikhail Karisalov, depicting Yuri Gagarin as a soaring dove.

Suprematism Vision: Space Motifs in the Graphic Works and Jewellery Designs of Nadia Léger will run from 8 April – 31 August 2021 in the Anteroom of the Armoury Chamber, the Moscow Kremlin Museums.

Further information

Contact the Moscow Kremlin Museum Press Office:

press@kremlin.museum.ru

+7 (495) 695-41-87 

High-resolution images and caption sheet are available on request.

 
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