Puppet Catch-up: Clive’s Posts

19th century Italian glove-puppet show

Over the past months there’s been much written about puppets at the Artlog by way of offering encouragement to those taking part in guest curator Peter Slight’s Puppet Challenge. In fact between us Peter and I have written so much, that I’ve decided to offer links for easy access to posts that may have been missed first time around, plus links to some puppet-themed items from my archive, written before the challenge. To save crowding, I’ve made two posts. Today we kick off with my collected puppet posts, and Peter’s will follow on Friday.

Clive’s Posts

Guide to Types of Puppetry (ongoing)

Glove-Puppets

Shadow-Puppets

Marionettes; Part 1

Marionettes: Part 2

Bunraku

The European Tradition

The Puppets of Palermo

The Royal Toone Theatre, Brussels: Part 1

The Royal Toone Theatre, Brussels: Part 2

The Royal Toone Theatre, Brussels: Part 3

The Guignol Puppet Theatre of Alexei Romanov

20th century artists and puppetry

Dada and Constructivist Marionettes of the 20th C.

Luigi Veronesi’s puppets for The Soldier’s Tale

The Marionettes of Aleksandra Ekster

Paul Klee

Contemporary puppet-makers.

Czech puppet-maker, puppet maker Bára Hubená

Interview with Czech puppet maker Jan Zalud

Interview with Julian Crouch

Jan Svankmejer

20th Century puppet-makers.

Richard Teschner

DoLores Hadley

William Simmonds

Walter Wilkinson

Puppet Performances

69 Degrees South, Phantom Limb

Spartacus, Théâtre La Licorne

The Devil and Mr Punch

How the Hoggler got its Name

Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Cyclops Glove-Puppet

Modes of Locomotion: one puppet, two techniques

Born

The Puppets of The Mare’s Tale

Audrey II

the marionettes of Aleksandra Aleksandrovna Ekster

Much appreciation has been forthcoming from Artloggers for the constructivist marionettes of the Russian artist and stage designer Aleksandra Aleksandrovna Ekster (1884 -1849) recently featured in three puppet-themed posts. Having since found further examples of Exter’s marionettes, I’ve decided to gather all the images I have of her puppets into a single post.

There’s an Aleksandra Aleksandrovna Ekster Wikipedia entry for anyone inclined to read more about her, but here’s a brief summary of the facts. After studying art at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris, Exter returned to Russia where she became a leading stage-designer and produced the set and costume designs for what is often called the first Soviet science-fiction film, Aelita, (1924) aka Aelita: Queen of Mars. That same year she and her husband Nicolas Evgenievich Ekster emigrated to France, where Alexandra lived for the rest of her life. She moved and worked in a circle of artistic elite, and was friends with Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, Guillaume Apollinaire and Gertrude Stein.

I haven’t been able to find evidence of Ekster giving performances with her marionettes, which might suggest they were more by way of the artist being playful with three-dimensional form in the process of designing for the theatre. (Though if that’s the case they were enormously elaborate constructs.) She also made maquettes of costumes/characters for the stage, as well as producing costume designs by the more usual method of drawings/watercolours on paper.

 …

Below is an example of an Exter maquette of characters/costumes for Romeo and Juliet,  followed by three costume designs for a production of Salome.

Maquettes of figures from Romeo and Juliet, circa 1924

Costume designs for Salome. 1922

Images of Ekter’s work as a  painter and stage designer may be found at THIS Pinterest page.

UPDATE:

And here, to wind up this post neatly, is a photograph just sent to me by my friend Leonard Greco. He took it yesterday at LACMA, and it’s of a wonderful Ekster marionette. Thank you, Leonard.

Alexandra Exter

Russia, 1884 – 1949

Evening Dress (Habit de Rigeur) 1926

Wood, cardboard, plastic and material

dada and constructivist marionettes of the twentieth century

There’s been a lot of interest here at the Artlog in the constructivist puppets of the Russian artist and stage designer Aleksandra Aleksandrovna Ekster that I featured in my two posts about marionettes. Here are a few more of her puppets.

After studying art at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris, Exter returned to Russia where she became a leading stage-designer and produced the set and costume designs for what is often called the first Soviet science-fiction film, Aelita, (1924) aka Aelita: Queen of Mars. That same year she and her husband Nicolas Evgenievich Ekster emigrated to France, where Alexandra lived for the rest of her life. She moved and worked in a circle of artistic elite, and was friends with Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, Guillaume Apollinaire and Gertrude Stein.

Below: images from Aelita

Practioners of the Dada and Constructivism movements were particularly drawn to puppetry as an expression of their art. Among their number were Ekster (1882 – 1949), Otto Morach (1887 – 1973), Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889 – 1943) and Hanna Hoch (1889 – 1978). Here are some images of marionettes designed and made by Morach, Taeuber-Arp and Hoch.

Below: marionettes by Otto Morach

Below: marionettes by Sophie Taeuber-Arp

Above: Sophie and Jean Hans Arp with marionettes

Below: marionettes by Hanna Hoch