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Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
ALEXANDRA EXTER. Costume design for Romeo and Juliet. Watercolor and pencil on board with silk fabric swatches. 388x275 mm; 15 1/4x10 7/8 inches. Signed and dated in ink, lower right. A band along the top contains 7 mounted color silk swatches (1x2 1/2 inches) captioned 1-7. The margins contain Exter's lettering in blue and penciled numbers corresponding to the swatches, indicating the fabric colors to be used in each section of the costume.
original costume design by the most important woman of the russian avant-garde. In 1916, Exter joined Aleksandr Tairov's Kamerny Theater in Moscow as a costume and set designer. Her most famous work was for Romeo and Juliet in 1921, for which she employed Cubist and Futurist-inspired geometric shapes and vibrant colors to create costumes that contributed to a unified sculptural environment for the stage design. This is the only design we know of containing fabric swatches. The date of this piece, which was 16 years after the production, may indicate that Exter included the work in her final art exhibition held at the Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris in 1937.
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