• Profile:

    Masha Chlenova is an art historian and curator specializing in modern art, with a focus on the historical avant-gardes of the 1910s and 20s that revolutionized the way art is made, presented and understood. She is particularly interested in the invention of abstraction across the media and in the radical practices of the Russian avant-garde. Her work also focuses on the history of exhibitions and display and on the close ties between word and image in modern art.

    Degrees Held:

    Ph.D., M.A., and B.A., Art History, Columbia University, New York
    B.A., French and Linguistics, Moscow State Linguistic University, Moscow

    Professional Affiliations:

    College Art Association (CAA)
    Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC)
    Society of Historians of Eastern European and Russian Art and Architecture (SHERA)
    Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)

    Recent Publications:

    Russian Revolution: A Contested Legacy. New York: International Print Center, 2017

    “Theater” in Revolutsiia! Demonstratsiia! Soviet Art Put to the Test, 1917-1937.” Matt Witkowsky and Devin Fore, eds. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2017 

    “Soviet Museology in the Cultural Revolution and Modernization of Western Museums: An Educational Turn” in Image, Education and Communism in Germany and USSR in the 1920s and 1930s, collection of essays in the French peer-reviewed journal Histoire@Politique, 2017

    “Soviet Art in Review: ‘Fifteen Years of Artists of the Russian Soviet Republic’ in Leningrad, 1932” in Revolution: Russian Art, 1917-32. John Millner and Natalia Murray, eds. London: Royal Academy of Art, 2017

    “The Secret Recesses of Picabia’s Transparencies” in Anne Umland and Catherine Hug, eds. Francis Picabia: A Retrospective. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2016

    “Waclaw Szpakowski: Motivating the Line” in Elzbieta Lubowicz, ed. Waclaw Szpakowski: A Retrospective. Warsaw, 2015

    “Language, Space, and Abstraction” in Achim Borchardt-Hume, ed. Kazimir Malevich. London: Tate Modern, 2014

    “Staging Soviet Art: ‘Fifteen Years of Artists of the Soviet Socialist Republic,’ 1932-33” October 147 (Spring 2014): 36-53

    “Kazimir Malevich” in “Abstraction, 1910-1925: Eight Statements” October 143 (Winter 2013): 18-27

    “Early Russian Abstraction, as Such” and “0.10” in Leah Dickerman, ed., Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925: How a Radical Idea Changed Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2012

    Performances And Appearances:

    Project-based curator at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (April 2017 - present)

    Guest curator of "Russian Revolution: A Contested Legacy" at the International Print Center New York (October 12 - December 16 2017)

    Guest curator of "Grounding Vision: Waclaw Szpakowski" at Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York (January 13 - February 19 2017)

    Curatorial Consultant  for "Revolutsiia! Demonstratsiia! Soviet Art Put to the Test" at the Art Institute of Chicago (October 28, 2017 - January 15, 2018)

    Research Interests:

    - Russian avant-garde
    - history and theory of exhibitions and display
    - invention of abstraction (including poetry, film, dance and music)
    - word and image in the visual arts
    - language of representation
    - realism after modernism

    Awards And Honors:

    The exhibition Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925
    “The best historic exhibition,” International Association of Art Critics, 2012
    “Outstanding Thematic Exhibition,” Association of Art Museum Curators, 2012

    Publication Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925: How a Radical Idea Changed Modern Art.
    “Outstanding Thematic Catalog,” Association of Art Museum Curators, 2012
    PROSE Award, the best Art Exhibition catalog, Association of American Publishers, 2012
    “Exhibition Catalogue Award for a volume published in 2012 that makes a significant contribution to the study of modernism,” Dedalus Foundation, 2012

    Current Courses:

    Inventing Abstraction

    Visual Arts and Poetry (Spring 2019)