Alexandra Exter: Decorative Compositions Boxed Notecard Assortment
Twenty assorted 5 x 7 in. blank notecards (5 each of 4 designs) with envelopes in a decorative box.
Printed on recycled paper.
Published with Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
When Alexandra Exter designed costumes for the silent 1924 Soviet sci-fi film Aelita, a tale of interplanetary love and Martian popular revolution, her designs were not out of place with the constructivist paintings she was already known for. Exter (Russian, 1882–1949) fashioned costumes evocative of the bizarre circumstances in the film, working with aluminum, glass, and other uncommon materials to create stark, sharply geometric fashions that are still referenced today.
By then, Exter had already made the frequent trips to Paris that helped bring cubist and futurist influences to her painting. She had opened a studio in Kiev that, for a short time, became core to the city’s avant-garde scene. And she had endured civil war, with many of her paintings lost to fire—effectively reducing the role of painting in her legacy.
In 1924, the same year as Aelita’s release, Exter finally fled to Paris, where she continued her work in designs for the stage. Her work turned more toward the figural, and through the 1930s she produced lesser-known works in book design and illustration. Exter’s decorative compositions in this boxed notecard set come from this period.
Contains five each of the following notecards:
Decorative Composition with Female Figure in River Landscape, 1930s
Decorative Composition with Standing Female in Landscape with Fountains, c. 1936
Decorative Composition with Nude in Fountain Landscape, c. 1936
Decorative Composition with Fountain in a Landscape, c. 1936