Galerie Gmurzynska will be bringing a 30 x 42 foot stage drape painted by Natalia Goncharova for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes just before the outbreak of the first world war.
As a unique art fair exhibition concept Galerie Gmurzynska will present at the year’s TEFAF at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, a single masterpiece of enormous scale and seminal historic importance. The 9 x 13 meter (30 x 42 feet) painting was created for the world’s most famous ballet company of all times, Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and was presented 105 years go in Paris and London only weeks before the outbreak of World War I. Le Coq d’Or was one of the last productions of Sergei Diaghilev.
As at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005, the work will be suspended from the ceiling of the great hall of the Park Avenue Armory and will be accompanied by a special exhibition stand (by the famed designer Tom Postma) at the entrance to the fair.
Natalia Goncharova’s backdrop is the only surviving large scale painting from this Diaghilev production but also one of the very few important large scale backdrop paintings, such as Picasso’s stage cloth for Diaghilev’s Le Train Bleu from 1924, today in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Le Coq d’Or was sold in 1968 at the famed Diaghilev Sale at Sotheby’s London, as has since been shown at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the Royal Albert Hall in London, and the MART Museum with a Skirt publication entitled The Dance of the Avant-Gardes, paintings, scenes and costumes from Degas to Picasso, to Matisse to Keith Haring.
The presentation at TEFAF coincides with a strong renewed interest in the world of Natalia Goncharova, with a major retrospective of the artist set to open at the Tate Modern in London in June with a Room dedicated to Goncharova and Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes including designs for Le Coq d’Or. It is also noteworthy that a 1916 painting by Goncharova was recently sold at Christie’s London for over $8m.
Le Coq d’Or will be accompanied by an in-depth Galerie Gmurzynska publication, with historic photographs and texts by renowned scholars such as John Bowlt and Germano Celant, as well as documentary film material.
The documentation will include two original drawings. A portrait of Natalia Goncharova by her husband Mikhail Larionov and a costume design by Goncharova for Le Coq d’Or.