At the beginning of the twentieth century, the discoverers of the idea of the outer space conquest, among whom was Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, infected artists with their dream. The influence of the idea of cosmism spread to literature, music, and fine arts. Later it entered the category of many advanced areas of science, and then turned out to be almost forgotten for a long time. A hundred years have passed, and just now, in our century, many books about scientists and cosmist philosophers have been written, films have been created. Modern artists have turned to this inspiring topic again - it continues to live in art and excite inquisitive minds.  

In the paintings, the ideas of cosmism manifested themselves in very different ways, often in the most unusual forms. 100 years ago artists did not yet have something so habitual for us like the Hubble images processed on a computer, painted in amazing colors. We are lucky in this sense, of course. But our predecessors had a unique opportunity to invent space! They composed all the colors and forms of the unknown world independently, relying only on their unrestrained imagination or sensitive foresight.

The State Russian Museum in the Benois Building (St. Petersburg, 2 Griboyedov Canal Embankment) opened a wonderful «The science and art interaction» exhibition "Cosmism in Russian Art" about this very topic in November. The exhibition reveals unexpected facets of the work of many artists! Here, for the first time in history, the works of both famous and less-known masters are brought together - more than 180 paintings and graphics from the collection of the State Russian Museum, the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Cosmonautics Museum in Moscow, the Tver Regional Art Gallery, the Novosibirsk State Art Museum, private collections of Moscow and St. Petersburg. In the museum space of the Benois building, built in the classical style, an additional module was assembled – it looks like a space object with a part of the exposition inside of it. On the plasma screen, educational films about the heroes of the exhibition are being shown non-stop. The creative search touched upon not only Russian art and science, but also Russian philosophy. The authors boldly spoke about cosmism both in paintings and arguments, as evidenced by numerous quotations also included in the exposition. Paintings and drawings by masters of abstract art (Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Konstantin Yuon, Pavel Chelishchev, Natalia Goncharova, Ivan Kudryashev, Mikhail Matyushin) are shown next to works of figurative art. All of them present individual ideas about the planet Earth and the Universe to the audience and are quite consonant with the latest discoveries in science! 

The long-standing fascination with cosmism attracts our attention today again – we are still focused on the stars because life on Earth seems difficult, boring, incomprehensible (or maybe just too comprehensible...). That's why we are happy to watch movies about space at The International Space Film Festival TSIOLKOVSKY, where new creators of outer space come together from all over our planet! We need to wait a little longer – only until April 12 to re-enter the halls of the Kaluga Cosmonautics Museum for the film forum sessions. In the meantime, until March 10, 2022, there is a rare opportunity to see the very first reflections of a favorite topic in the history of Russian art. 

Hurry up to the Russian Museum – they show SPACE there!