Back to All Events

A Talk by Natalia Arendt: Ariadna Arendt - a Russian Frida Kahlo

Ariadna Arendt (1906-1997) was a remarkable Russian sculptor and memoirist, who, like Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, managed to overcome the consequences of a tragic accident and live a full and creative life.

Born in Simferopol in 1906 into a well-known doctors' family, as a child Ariadna Arendt came to the estate of Mikhail Lattry, the grandson of Ivan Aivazovsky. A gathering place for the creative intelligentsia of Voloshin's circle, a bohemian atmosphere reigned here. This led Ariadna to become an artist. A friendship with Voloshin, who became her artistic mentor, just as he was a poetic mentor for the young Tsvetaeva, leads Ariadne to Koktebel, a place with which her entire fate is connected.

After graduating from VKHUTEMAS art school Ariadna settles in Moscow's Maslovka Artists Village, the so-called Russian Montmartre, working alongside her friends, the remarkable sculptors: Sarra Lebedeva, Vasily Vatagin, Ivan Efimov, Ekaterina Belashova, Issidor Frikh-Har, her first partner Meer Ayzenshtadt and her husband Anatoliy Grigoriev.

In 1936 a tragic accident befalls the beautiful Ariadna; she is run over by a tram and both her legs are amputated. But this does not prevent her from continuing to live a full creative and personal life.

Having survived the war in Moscow and the years of repression that affected her family, in the 1950s she builds a studio home in Koktebel, where she works every summer with her husband, Anatoly Grigoryev.

Recently published in Moscow by 'Kuchkovo Pole' publisher is the book Ariadna Arendt, which includes the sculptor's memoirs and her correspondence. The book contains an album of sculptural and graphic works by Ariadna, as well as Arendt family archival photographs, which have survived despite hard times. The book largely consists of Ariadna's memoirs, about the notable people in her life: her grandfather and aviation pioneer Nikolai Arendt, Maximilian Voloshin, Maria Voloshina, Ivan Efimov, Yury Roerich, about her student years in VKHUTEMAS and many others. These memoirs are published for the first time. The book also contains the correspondence with her husband Anatoly Grigoriev during his years in the GULAG, and other interesting people, friends of Ariadna, as well as the memoires of her family and friends.

Speakers: Natalia Arendt, Moscow-London artist, Ariadna Arendt's granddaughter, and Natalia Rubinstein, journalist and literary critic.

There will be a small exhibition of sculptural works by three sculptors A. Arendt, M. Aysenstadt and A. Grigoriev, as well as a small exhibition of graphic works by Natalia Arendt.

In Russian.