Dr. Alexandra Selivanova

Dr. Alexandra Selivanova is a curator and art historian specialising in the history and theory of the early Soviet culture. Since January 2023 she is a research fellow (PostDoc) at Bauhaus University Weimar and affiliated researcher of the project “Madness, Media, Milieus” with a project on “The Electrified Body in the Synthetic Art of the 1920s: Aleksei Gastev / Kliment Red'ko / Solomon Nikritin / Vasily Kandinsky / El Lisitsky”.

She studied architecture and art in Moscow, and wrote her dissertation at the Research Institute for Theory and History of Architecture and Urban Planning in Moscow (2010); it was published as a book “Post-constructivism. Power and Architecture in the 1930s in USSR” (2019). Since 2000, she has curated a series of interdisciplinary exhibitions in museums and galleries in Moscow (Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Jewish Museum and Centre for Tolerance, Museum of Moscow), Perm (Perm Museum of Modern Art PERMM) and Yekaterinburg (Yeltsin Centre) exploring the intersections of science, technology, art and literature in the 1920s and 1930s. The exhibitions addressed such topics as Soviet art and aviation, psychotechnics, crystallography, electrification, organisation of labour processes, as well as the international art context (surrealism, Art Deco, neoclassicism, functionalism). In 2014 she founded and headed the Avant-garde Centre in Moscow, conducting research, seminars and exhibitions on the phenomenon of the Soviet avant-garde and constructivism.

She is an author and compiler of the books “Avant-garde and Aviation” (2014), “VHUTEMAS. School of the Avant-garde” (2020), “Electrification” (2021), a series of 3 books on the new architectural typology and social processes of the 1920s in the USSR, “The Unnoticed Avant-garde”.

  • History and Theory of the Soviet Avant-garde, including Architecture, Theater, Cinema, Literature and Design 
  • History of Experimental Art Educational Theories in 1920s, Propaedeutics
  • Intersections between Science, Technic Theory and Art in USSR
  • Industry, Labour and Man in 20th century

Academic Employment and Curator Work



  • 2019 - Archive research scholarship for Sevan Writers' Resort Conservation Management Plan (Armenia) for "Keeping It Modern: Report Library" The Getty Foundation
  • 2015–2017 - Research scholarship "1930s Small Urban Architectural Forms, Design and Furniture as Models of Monumental Architecture" at the Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences
  • 2013–2014 - Research scholarship "Soviet Cinema Architecture: Prewar Experience in Art Deco and Postconstructivism Context and their Impact on 1950s–1970s Projects" at the Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences
  • 2012 - Finalist of the competition for the Development Concept of State Mikhail Bulgakov Museum held by the Socio-Cultural Programs Institute (Moscow) and Moscow Department of Culture
  • 2010 Winner of the "Changing Museum in a Changing World" Competition. Multimedia sound installation in the State Museum of Mikhail Bulgakov "The Fifth Dimension"


  • Alexandra Selivanova: Post-conctructivism. Power and Architecture in the 1930s in USSR. Moscow: BooksMArt, 2018 (2020), 318 p.
  • Alexandra Selivanova, Kristina Krasnyanskaya: Post-constructivism and birth of soviet Art Deco: Paris – New-York – Moscow. Moscow, 2018.
  • Alexandra Selivanova, Konstantin Gudkov, Alexandr Dudnev: The Obrabstroy House in Basmanny str. ("The Unnoticed Avant-garde" series) Moscow, 2018.
  • Alexandra Selivanova. The ABC of Museum. To 120 Anniversary of Museum of Moscow. Moscow, 2016.
  • Alexandra Selivanova, Ilya Starkov, Polina Zueva: Swimming-pool at Rogozhsky-Simonovsky district. ("The Unnoticed Avant-garde" series). Moscow, 2016.
  • Alexandra Selivanova, Ilya Starkov: Danilovsky Department Store. ("The Unnoticed Avant-garde" series). Moscow, 2016.

Catalogues (as author and compiler)

  • Ed. with Ksenia Guseva: Electrification. Light and electric current in the art and culture of the 1920s and 1930s. Moscow, 2021. 
  • Ed. with Ksenia Guseva: VHUTEMAS 100. School of Avant-garde. Moscow, 2020 (Special Red Dot Award – 2021).
  • Moscow Textile, Exhibition Catalogue. Moscow, 2018.
  • Vasily Maslov. Labour Commune Avantgarde. Exhibition Catalogue. Moscow, 2014.
  • Avant-garde and Aviation. Moscow, 2014.

Articles (selection)

  • „Les Trains d’agit-prop”, in: Rouge. Art et utopie au pays des Soviets. Paris, 2019. p. 49.
  • “Transition from Mechanism to Organism in Post-Constructivist Architecture”, in: Materials of S.O. Khan-Magomedov's conference. SPb.: Kolo, 2015.
  •  “Architecture and Utopia”. Avant-garde Today”, in: Projections of the Avantgarde. Moscow, 2015. P. 212 (in Russian).
  • “Soviet antiquity”, in: Modernism without manifesto. Catalogue of Roman Babichev art collection. Moscow, 2017.
  • “Soviet Architectural Theory Lexics Deformation in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Semantic Analisys Attempt”, in: The Process of Architecture and Town Planning: Regulations and Freedom. Мoscow, 2013. P.384. (in Russian)
  • “Architector Ludens and «1935 Style»”, in: Monumentalità & Modernità. Classical tradition in Modern Architecture and Visual Arts. Collected papers. St. Petersburg, 2013. P.31. (in Russian)
  • “Auguste Perret and his «Reinforced Concrete Classics» in the World of 1930s Architecture”, in:  General Architectural History Issues. Issue 4: Personality, Era, Style. Мoscow, 2012. Pp.263-276. (in Russian)
  • “Historiography and Respectful Attitude Formation Towards 1920s-1930s Architectural Heritage”, in: 20th Century Architecture Preservation and World Heritage. Heritage at Risk. Conference Papers. Мoscow, 2006. Pp.133-135. (with Yu. Volchok; in Russian)

Conferences/Presentations/Papers (Symposia, Colloquia, etc.)

  • Symposium "The Avant-garde Museum" (Lodz, Poland, 2022)
  • Art et architecture soviétiques des années 1930 : nouvelles perspectives (Paris, France, 2022)
  • Challenges of new sociocultural space and the museums of decorative art (Moscow, 2021)
  • Atelier II “Exhibiting archive” (Berlin, Germany, 2018)
  • RE-READING SOVIET MODERNISM symposium (Yerevan, Armenia, 2017)
  • Architectural Heritage (Moscow, 2015)
  • Docomomo-Russia Conference (Моscow, 2014)
  • International Conference «II Khan-Magomedov readings» (Моscow, 2014)
  • International Conference «Soviet Modernism: Forms of Age», (Моscow,  2013)
  • Khan-Magomedov Memorial Conference (Моscow, 2012)
  • Architecture and State in Context of Russian History (Моscow, 2012) 
  • Le Corbusier Oeuvre in Context of Topical Problems of 1st Half and Mid-20th Century Creative Culture Research (Моscow, 2012) 
  • Monumentalita & Modernita. Italy, Germany, Russia… (St. Petersburg, 2011), S.O. 
  • IX International Conference on Town Planning History «Comparative History of European Cities» (Lyon, France, 2008)


At the Centre of the Avant-garde on Shabolovka (Moscow):

  • 2021 – Bugs and worms. Insect culture in soviet art of 1920-40s
  • 2020 – Donskoy Crematorium
  • 2020 – VHUTEMAS for children
  • 2019 – Left than to the left. Georgian avant-garde in book design. 
  • 2019 – Gastev. How to work
  • 2019 – Crystallography. Matushin, Malevitch, Leonidov
  • 2018 – Mayakovsky. An universal answer
  • 2018 – Soviet Antiquity
  • 2018 – Meer Aizenstadt. Toward synthesis of arts.
  • 2017 – Surrealism in a country of bolsheviks
  • 2017 – Ladovsky’s Experiment
  • 2017 – Agit-trains
  • 2017 – Museum of Avant-Garde at Shabolovka. Permanent exposition
  • 2016 – Bulgakov VS Mayakovsky
  • 2016 – АМО-ЗИЛ – Уралмаш. Наследники мечты
  • 2016 – Constructivism for children. Children book of Avant-Garde period. 
  • 2015 – «Shabolovka Avantgarde. Model for a New Life, 1:1 Scale»

 At Moscow Museum:

  • 2021 – Electrification. 100 years of GOELRO plan
  • 2020 –  VHUTEMAS 100. School of Avant-garde
  • 2019 – Moscow Textile
  • 2017 – Designing the city
  • 2017 – Cities of the future
  • 2016 – ABC of Museum. To 120 Anniversary of Museum of Moscow
  • 2016 – Moscow Thaw

 At Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center (Moscow):

  • 2014 – «Vasily Maslov. Labour Commune Avantgarde»
  • 2014 – «Avant-garde and Aviation»
  • 2013 – «1920s Noise Orchestras»

 At Heritage Gallery

  • 2018 – Soviet Art-Deco

 At Moscow Museum of Modern Art

  • 2018 – Factory of happy people. Gorky Park


1998–2012 – More than 30 exhibitions and research projects at the State Mikhail Bulgakov Museum (Moscow)