Mantua. Sleepy Mantua is the unlikely centre of the latest controversy to enmesh the Russian avant-garde. The small Renaissance town between Milan and Venice recently hosted an exhibition entitled “Avanguardie Russe dal Cubofuturismo al Suprematismo”, which closed last month and has been decribed by one international specialist as “a total disgrace”. Another says he has doubts about “most of the pictures” included in the show.
The exhibition included 61 previously unknown works by 37 Russian artists, ranging from saleroom superstars such as Goncharova, Larionov, El Lissitzky, Rodchenko and Stepanova to more obscure names, including Ivan Gavris, Sergei Senkin and Sergei Romanovich.