Thanks to my employer's owner, we had a chance to see this today.
As a part of the event, there was a breakfast, live music, dancers and kids' activities, all with a Russian theme. There was also a small speech by the Wesfarmers CEO, Richard Goyer, talking about the work the company does in supporting the arts in W.A. And they do do quite a bit.
The exhibition, however, was definately the star of the day. Leece took extensive notes throughout - which I failed to do, so I'll be a lot more vague. The exhibits were spread over two galleries, one on the first floor, and the second on the ground floor.
The first floor contained earlier works - from about 1860 to 1899. These featured some of the earliest break-aways from the Imperial Academy, with stunning landscapes by Ivan Shishkin, and many other stunning works.
The second gallery featured pre-revolutionary works, from about 1900 to 1917. These featured realist renditions of peasant life, stunning stage costumes and designs, and revolutionary propaganda in the lead up to the 1917 revolt.
One thing that stood out was the way the artists and designers were so interrelated. You have a number of portraits and sketches of artists in one gallery appearing in the other, showing how the society was structured - and that these were not artists in isolation. They were part of a forward-looking and dynamic culture.
One of the things that stood out was that the works arising in Russia at this time were leading the world - and in particular the French and German movements by about 10-20 years. You can see examples of impressionism and expressionism appearing well in advance of the popluar movements in the west.
Overall, 9/10 and a puzzle box by Faberge on the Sid&Nancy.