Jack of Diamonds Disputes

Photograph of Goncharova with her face painted in the radically primitive manner that she and Larionov pioneered.

Jack of Diamonds: Disputes

Friday, 24 October and 7 November 2014

18.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art

The Jack of Diamonds Disputes taking place on 24 October and 7 November 2014 will highlight the special display of paintings that will be hung in The Courtauld Gallery from Thursday 18 September through to 12 January 2014. The Jack of Diamonds was an enormously influential Russian Artists’ Association based in Moscow and active from 1910-1917. Its large exhibitions brought together the latest Western art from Paris, Munich and elsewhere in confrontation with the latest innovative Russian art. One result of this was to trigger a lively debate about Russian culture, and whether it needs to pay any attention at all to Western precedents. This issue of a culture split between East and West had existed since Peter the Great founded St Petersburg as his window onto the West. The vast inventive richness of French and German art before World War I had a great impact in Russia, but also provoked a vigorous reaction. To accommodate these powerful debates the Jack of Diamonds Artists’ Association held a series of lively debates that they billed as Disputes. We aim to acknowledge these Disputes, by recreating their innovative arguments, acted out in character, complete with audience participation.

Dispute 1: Friday 24 October, 18.00

18.00 – 18.20: Konstantin Akinsha as Russian Futurist David Burliuk

18.20 – 18.40: James Butterwick as Aristarkh Lentulov, a dynamic and colourful painter in the Jack of Diamonds

18.40 – 19.00: Elena Sudakova will interrupt as the brilliant and assertive Natalia Goncharova. There will be engagement with the audience.

Dispute 2: Friday 7 November, 18.00     

18.00 – 18.20: John Milner as the Futurist and neo-Primitive painter Mikhail Larionov

18.20 – 18.40: Robin Milner-Gulland as the Futurist poet Velimir Khlebnikov, the self-styled King of Time

18.40 – 19.00: Jordan Tobin as Natalia Goncharova will announce Russian Futurist face and body painting. There will be engagement with the audience.

Ticket/Entry details: Open to all, with free gallery admission prior to the event.

Organised by Professor John Milner (The Courtauld Institute of Art)