Museum Home Past Exhibitions Tango with Cows: Book Art of the Russian Avant-Garde, 1910-1917

November 18, 2008–April 19, 2009 at the Getty Center


Admission to the Getty Center is FREE. For visitor information, see information on planning a visit or call (310) 440-7300. All events are free, unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required for performances, lectures, seminars, and courses.


Explodity: An Evening of Transrational Sound Poetry
This event provides a rare opportunity to hear both the Russian Futurist poetry called zaum' ("beyonsense"), in dramatic readings by the Russian scholar Oleg Minin, and the contemporary sound poetry of the experimental poets Christian Bök and Steve McCaffery, in their own performances. Gerald Janecek, an expert in 20th-century Russian avant-garde poetry, will introduce the evening. By bringing together sound poetry of the historical and contemporary avant-gardes, the program will chronicle the singular influence of poets Velimir Khlebnikov, Alexei Kruchenykh, and Vladimir Mayakovsky on subsequent experiments, particularly those of Bök and McCaffery, with invented words, sense and nonsense, and the creation of "meaning" through sound.

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View performance schedule.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 5:00–9:00 p.m.
Reception and Gallery Viewing: 5:00–6:45 p.m.
Getty Center, Getty Research Institute Exhibition Gallery
Performance: 7:00–8:30 p.m.
Getty Center, Museum Lecture Hall

Exhibition Tours

Special curator-led overviews of the exhibition. Free, no reservations required. Meet in the Research Institute Exhibition Gallery.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 29, 2009, 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009, 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 26, 2009, 3:30 p.m.
Getty Center, Research Institute Exhibition Gallery

Pomade / Larionov


The Book as Such in the Russian Avant-Garde
Presented in conjunction with the exhibition, this one-day symposium brings together scholars and artists in fields from art history to literature to explore the Russian avant-garde's revolution of the book. Talks and a roundtable address the deliberately crude materials, the newly invented poetic language called zaum' ("beyondsense"), and the visual and literary tensions between parodic humor and apocalypse, the primitive and the urban, the sacred and the profane. Speakers will consider the influence of the Russian avant-garde book on visual poetry and the aesthetics of book production in the later decades of the 20th century.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Getty Center, Museum Lecture Hall