• Faculty

  • Masha Chlenova

    Part-Time Lecturer, Visual Studies


    Office Location
    A - 66 West 12th Street

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    Masha Chlenova


    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 Affiliation

    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

    "Traveller's Tales: Alfred Barr, Soviet Union and International Modernism in the Postwar Period" in New Histories of Art in the Global Postwar Era: Multiple Modernisms. Flavia Frigieri and Kristian Handberg, eds. (London: Routledge, 2021) forthcoming

    "Museums of Artistic Culture in Russia and Wladislaw Strzeminski" in The Avant-Garde Museum. Jaroslaw Suchan and Agniezka Pindera, eds. (Lodz: Muzeum Sztuki, 2020) forthcoming

    "Attributed to Wladislaw Strzeminski. Unovis Posters 1920-21" in Engineer, Agitator, Constructor: The Artist Reinvented, 1918-1939. The Merrill C. Berman Collection. Jodi Hauptman and Adrian Sudhalter, eds. (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2020)

    "'A Fight for Modern Art': The Rise of Museums of Living Artists in the West" in The International Collection of Modern Art of the "a.r." Group. Paulina Kurc-Maj and Anna Saciuk-Gosowska, eds. (Lodz: Museum Sztuki, 2019) 

    "Innovative, Polemical, Dogmatic: The Case of Soviet Experimental Museum Displays, 1930-1933" in Curatorial Challenges: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Contemporary Curating. Malene V. Hansen, Anne F. Henningsen, Anne Gregersen, eds. (London: Routledge, 1919) 

    "The Beginnings in Russia" in Katarzyna Kobro Wladislaw Strzeminski: A Polish Avant-Garde (Paris: Centre Pompidou, 2018)

    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 during 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

    “Motivating the Line: Waclaw Szpakowski's Modernism” 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


    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

    Future Courses

    Avant-Gardes Across Borders
    LVIS 3020, Spring 2025

    Exhibitions as History
    LVIS 2010, Fall 2024

    Visual Arts and Poetry
    LINA 3031, Spring 2025

    Past Courses

    Avant-Gardes Across Borders
    LVIS 3020, Spring 2024

    Exhibitions as History
    LVIS 2010, Spring 2024

    Visual Arts and Poetry
    LINA 3031, Fall 2023

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