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Maker(s):Exter, Alexandra Alexandrovna
Culture:Russian, born in Poland, Russian Empire, active in Ukraine, Russia, France (1884-1949)
Title:Stage Set Design for Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice'
Date Made:1930
Materials:Gouache au pochoir
Measurements:Sheet: 12 7/8 x 19 1/4 in.; 32.7 x 48.9 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2001.09
Credit Line:Gift of Thomas P. Whitney (Class of 1937)
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Published in “Alexandra Exter: Décors de théâtre.” Édition des Quatre Chemins, Paris, 1930

Label Text:
Aleksandra Ekster started her career as a theater designer at Aleksandr Tairov’s Chamber Theatre in Moscow in 1916. When she relocated to Paris in 1924, she became famous all over Europe as a theater artist. It was her conscious decision to continue in this field, since she was well aware of the greater difficulty she would have trying to find an enthusiastic audience for her painting.

Merchant of Venice was published in 1930 in a portfolio of fifteen designs titled Maquettes de theatre, featuring mostly unrealized projects. With their publication, Ekster aimed to showcase the many facets of her theatrical work.

Ekster regarded the stage as a venue waiting to be explored and inexhaustible in its Constructive possibilities. Her designs owe much to Constructivism. Yet they oscillate between architectural structure and abstract composition, which is distinctive of her work.
BJ, 2014

abstract; theater; architecture; bridges; stairs; water

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