Painting XX century
Arkhipov A. Ye.
Abram Yefimovich Arkhipov made his name in the history of Russian art of the turn of the century as a sensitive, poetic artist who devoted all his talent to themes from peasant life. He was born into a poor peasant family in a remote village in Ryazan Gubernia. As a boy he first showed an interest in drawing at his local school. His parents gave him every possible encouragement, and in 1876, having painstakingly gathered together the necessary means, they sent him to study at the School of Art, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow. At that time people such as Ryabushkin, Kasatkin and Nesterov were among his fellow students. The heart of the school, and the best loved teacher was Vasily Perov, and other teachers included Makovsky, Polenov and Savrasov.
Arkhipov studied eagerly and with great application his works received prizes at exhibitions. In his third year he completed the painting "A Came of 'Svatka'", and in the early 1880s painted "The Second-Hand Shop" (1882, TG), "The Drunkard" (1883, TG) and "The Tavern" (1883, TG). Perov's lessons, which urged the artist to be truthful and not too shy from the darker sides of life, clearly did not fall on stony ground. Arkhipov started out as a genre-artist, in the footsteps of his teacher.
In 1883, after seven years at the School, Arkhipov decided to continue his education at the Academy of Arts. The academic system of teaching disappointed him, however. Despite the fact that his study "Man Falling from the Saddle" and various other drawings were hailed as masterpieces and donated to the Academy's permanent collection, Arkhipov left the Academy and retumed to the Moscow School. After Perov's death he studied under Polenov, whose art permeated with light and a joyful perception of life, and also exerted an influence on his work.
One of the most important works, drawing together the threads of Arkhipov's student period, was "Friends or Visiting the Sick Woman" (1885, TG), which depicts the artist's mother. Her head sadly inclined, her eyes fixed at one point, a sick woman is sitting on a straw-filled bed in a miserable dark hut. Besides her, with the same dimmed sorrowful look in her eyes, is her neighbour which came to pay the sick woman a visit. The postures of the two women, their tired, unhappy faces?everything tells of their humility, hopelessness and sadness. Only the sunlight, bursting in through the open door, is a reminder that happiness and beauty do exist somewhere. The painting contains both quiet melancholy and a feeling of deep compassion for human sorrow.
In 1888 Arkhipov set off on a trip along the Volga with his friends from the school. They stayed in villages, drawing a lot and painting many etudes. This was where he conceived the idea for the small painting "On the Volga" (1889, RM), in which for the first time he tried to achieve a successful fusion of genre scene and lyrical landscape.
Two years later Arkhipov was accepted as an active member of the Peredvizhniki Society. The same year he completed one of his best known works. "Along the River Oka", which shows a barge floating along the river with tired peasants, deep in thoughts. Its meaning extends beyond the bare subject-mailer, however. It is a story about people who are capable of enduring a great deal without losing their strength and steadfastness. It is an affirmation of the beauty of Russian nature, with its blue horizons, the spring flooding of its rivers, and its streams of sunlight. The muted colour scheme is in harmony with the general mood of the painting. Arkhipov's artistic style has changed. Compared to the careful detail of his early works, his style has become more free, expansive and passionate.
'The whole picture is painted in sunlight,' Wrote Stasov about this painting, 'and this can be felt in every patch of light and shade, and in the overall wonderful impressions among the people on the barge, the four women?idle, tired, despondent, sitting in silence on their bundles?are portrayed with magnificent realism.'
In the 1890s Arkhipov painted mostly 'open air", portraying his heroes not in their small stuffy studios and rooms but in the wide open spaces of the Volga, in broad sunlit squares, green meadows and roads. The painting "The Ice Is Gone" (1895, Ryazan Regional Art Gallery) breathes the cheerfulness of spring. The river is freeing itself of ice, throwing off the fetters of winter. The inhabitants is of the surrounding villages?old men, women and children?have come to observe the ceremonious awakening of Spring. Everything is bathed in the first rays of the sun. In Arkhipov's works people are closely bound up with nature. Their thoughts and feelings are refracted through the prism of the landscape, which?like Russian folk tales and songs ?has an epic breadth and sweep and is full of lyricism and gentle poetry.
Later, Arkhipov also painted highly dramatic works. The first of them?"The Convoy" (1893, TG)?deals with a new theme for the artist: that of the tragic fate of the peasants, ruined and impoverished, worn down by poverty and without land. Silent and submissive, they patiently bear their cross.
In his painting "Women Labourers at the Iron Foundry" (1896, TG), Arkhipov dealt with one of the nineteenth century's most poignant themes: the bitter fate of Russian women. The painting depicts the women resting from their exhausting labour, but the artist draws more attention to their milieu. The drifting black smoke, the sun-scorched earth and the low, wooden buildings help us to imagine the dreadful conditions that these women worked in from dawn to dusk.
Arkhipov's paintings seldom depict acute situations or actions. The basic meaning is revealed through the milieu or surroundings in which the events take place. This was a characteristic device for artists at the end of the nineteenth century. One of Arkhipov's best and most interesting works is the painting "The Washer-Women", of which there are two versions:
(1899, RM; and 1901. TG). While working on it, the artist searched tirelessly for a model. He visited washhouses and spent hours watching the movements of the women at work. When the painting was almost finished, he noticed an old washerwoman sitting in a washhouse at the Smolensk market in Moscow. Her hunched back, her lowered head and her limply hanging arm?everything spoke of utter exhaustion, deep spiritual apathy and hopelessness. Profoundly moved by all this, Arkhipov decided to start a new canvas, and in this way the second version came about. The artist ignored many unnecessary details, enlarging the figures by moving them closer to the spectator. He raised the picture to a universal level, epitomizing the hopelessness and doom of these women's existence.
The Washer-Women is an example of the artist's new searchings in the realm of colour. In contrast to his earlier works, the painting is also to a certain extent, accusatory, a trait which brings it in line with the best traditions of critical realism of the second half of the nineteen the century.
The early 1900's saw the creation of Arkhipov's Northern landscapes. They represent nature in all its splendour, with muted colours, distinctive wooden buildings, rickety collages huddled together along river-banks, deserted wooded islands, and huge boulders by the seaside. He worked enthusiastically on "A Northern Villge" (1902, TG), "A Jetty in the North" (1903, TG), and "In the North" (1912, TG); the greyish colour-range of which is amazingly rich in subtle shades and half-tones.
At this time, too, Arkhipov painted an unusual series of portraits of peasant women and girls from the Ryazan and Nizhny Novgorod regions. They are all dressed in bright national costumes. with embroidered scarves and beads. Painted with broad lively strokes, the paintings are marked by their decorativeness and buoyant colours, with rich reds and pinks predominating.
Arkhipov also spent much time and energy on his activities as a teacher. He started teaching 1894 in the Moscow School of Art, Sculpture and Architecture, and carried on there after the Revolution. In 1924 he joined the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia, and in 1927?to mark his fortieth year as an artist?he was among the first who were awarded the title of "People's Artist of the Russian Republic". Abram Arkhipov died in 1930.
Lev Samoilovich Bakst (Rosenberg) (1866 - 1924)
Leon Bakst (Lev Samoilovich Rosenberg) was born in a middle class Jewish family in Grodno, Belarus, on May 10, 1866 and died in Paris on December 27, 1924. He was educated at the gymnasium in St. Petersburg and then at the Academy of Fine Arts. He started his artistic career as an illustrator for magazines but changed his mind when he met Aleksander Benois. He travelled through Europe and came in contact with European artists. After his return to St Petersburg, he began to gain notoriety for his book designs and his portraits. In 1898, together with Benois and Serge Diaghilev, he founded the group World of Art (Mir Iskusstva). In 1906 he became a teacher of drawing in Yelizaveta Zvantseva's private art school where, among other students, he taught Marc Chagall.
Bakst's greatest achievements are related to theatre. He debuted with the stage design for the Hermitage and Aleksandrinsky theatres in St. Petersburg in 1902-3. Afterwards, he received several commissions from the Marinsky theatre (1903-4). In 1909 he began his collaboration with Diaghilev, which resulted in founding of the Ballets Russes, where he became the artistic director. His stage designs quickly brought him international fame. Most notable are his costume designs for Diaghilev's Sheherazade (1910) and L'Apres-midi d'un Faune. He settled in Paris in 1912, after being exiled because of his Jewish origins.
Alexander Benois (1870-1960)
Russian painter and stage designer Alexander Benois was born in a family of a St. Petersburg architect. He grew up in an atmosphere of love and respect for the arts. One of his brothers was also an architect and the other an excellent water-colorist. In 1894 Benois received a law degree from the St. Petersburg University and from 1896 till 1899 lived in France. There, he became fascinated with the life of Versailles and the epoch of Louis the XIV. Researching the period, Benois discovered the memoirs of the Count Louis de Saint-Simon, an eyewitness of the Sun-King's last years. Later, he used the memoirs for a series of paintings about life in the Versailles.
Chinese Pavillion: The Jealous One, painted in 1906, is related to the Versailles series. The actions of the characters are simplified until they acquire the schematic nature of the Italian commedia dell' arte. Placing the Chinese Pavillion in the centre of the painting, Benois elevates it to the status of the main "hero" of his work. One of Benois' favorite artistic devices, the impression that the human figures are just puppets, "governed" by majestic architecture, in this work is strengthened by the fact that the pavillion resembles a precious toy and dominates the composition, which corresponds to the World of Art notion that theater is first of all a spectacle, a "feast for the eyes." Benois conjures a precious "object d'art," in which the turquise sky with myriads of stars, the mysterious glow of the lights of the pavillion, and the doll-like tiny figures make us feel that we are looking at a delicate toy, perhaps at an elaborate music box.
After returning to St. Petersburg, Benois admitted that "no Versailles could compare with impressions made by Peterhof and Pavlovsk." As if he wanted to prove his point, he published highly acclaimed illustrations to Pushkin's Bronze Horseman and The Queen of Spades. Nevertheless, as before, the "heroes" of his illustrations are not the people but their surroundings, the landscape, the atmosphere and the spirit of the city.
One of the founders of the World of Art group, Benois, like many of his colleagues, refused to search for beauty in the chaos of contemporary life, and turned entirely to the past, producing series of paintings devoted to Elizabeth Petrovna and Catherine the Great. The World of Art circle was responsible for the revival of Russian book illustration, astonishing theatrical productions, rekindling of interest in the beauty of St. Petersburg, and the study of Russian art of the eighteenth and the nineteenth century.
Benois' international fame rests on his stage designs; he fused in them the traditional Russian folk elements with the French Rococo style. Theatrical spectacle for Benois was a fanciful invention, a stage magic, and a mirage. He assumed the role of a "theatrical wizard" who offered the viewers brilliant but purely fantastic images. He collaborated with Serge Diaghilev both in Russia and in Paris on a number of ballets, Giselle, Le Pavillon d'Armide, Les Sylphides, and Petrushka (1909-11), for which he wrote the libretto and made designs. The critics admitted that despite the "florid and wildly varied colors of the stage decorations and costumes, during the performance of Petrushka they could feel a deeply Russian harmony, a mixture of naive barbarism and refinement". Benois also collaborated with the Moscow Art Theater (MKhAT), where he directed and designed plays by Moliere, Goldoni, and Pushkin.
Benois published portfolios of art treasures of Russia and a History of Russian Painting (1904). After the Revolution, he was made curator of the painting at the Hermitage. In 1926 he left Russia and settled in Paris where he spent the rest of his life, involved in staging about 200 operas and ballets in many cities of Europe and America.
Eremeyev O. A.
Oleg Eremeyev is an active member of the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) art scene and is as well known as a painter of historical figures, portraits, landscapes, and of still life.
He was born in Leningrad on September 28, 1922 to a working class family. In 1930 he was placed into a school for gifted children and in 1938 he was accepted into the academy of art at Leningrad. His studies ended abruptly, however, in June of 1941 when he was called upon to enlist as the Great Civil war began.
After the war ended, he was able to return to his favorite occupation. Having completed his basic studies in 1951, he was then accepted into the masters program at the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture of the USSR Academy of Art.
He graduated with distinction in 1957 while studying under professor B.Ioganson where he subsequently earned the official title of "Artist of Painting". After graduation his student works were shown at a national art exhibition in the city of Moscow. These were well received and as a result, he was invited to join the Creative Studio of the USSR Academy of Art, where, during the next four years (1957- 1961) he became the principal artist in residence.
Since 1960 he has been an active member of the Leningrad organization of the Union of Artists of Russia. Teaching has always been a part of his creative life. Since he first began instructing in 1959 it has been his goal to transfer his knowledge and experience to younger artists. He has a long history at the Institute having worked his way up through the ranks as an assistant, a professor, faculty manager, and eventually the dean of the painting department. His abilities as an artist, an organizer, and and a public figure makes him an ideal director for a public art school.
From 1977 until 1990 he served as the Institute's deputy director and since 1990 he has served as its Director.
His titles include: The Deserved Figure of Arts of RSFSR (1981), as well as the most honorable National Artist of The Russian Federation (1994). He is also an elected correspondent member of the Russian Academy of Art, and current member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (1997).
The artist is widely educated. Having lived during extrordinary times, he creates art about both the present and the historical past of Russia.
He paints portraits of both cultural and artistic subjects. His subjects include working class people, open fields and landscapes and he is particularly fond of a place known as *Old Pskov*. He also travels extensively both at home and abroad including trips to Europe, America, India, China, Egypt, and other countries...
Ever since his student years, he has been a constant participant in both local, national and international art exhibitions. His art hangs not only in Russian museums but in foreign lands both near and far:
Museum of History, St. Petersburg;
Management of Exhibition of The Art Fund of Russian Federation Moscow;
Ministry of Culture of The Russian Federation, Moscow;
Murmansk Art Museum;
Karaganda Museum of Fine Art;
Sakhalin Art Gallery;
Museum Navoi in Tashkent;
Foundation of The Modern Art Museum in St. Petersburg;
Museum of Fine Art, Taiwan;
Galleries and private collections in America, Germany, China, and South Korea.
Natalia Sergeyevna Goncharova (1881-1962)
Goncharova was born in Negaevo, in Tula Province on June 16, 1881 and died in Paris on October 17, 1962. A descendant of the great poet Aleksander Sergeyevich Pushkin's wife, she was the daughter of Sergei Goncharov, an architect, and Ekaterina Ilinichna Belyaeva, but grew up in her grandmother's house in the Tula Province. She attended the Fourth Gymnasium for Girls in Moscow and in 1898 entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture as a sculpture student. At the school Goncharova met Mikhail Larionov who became her lifelong companion and encouraged her to leave sculpture for painting. Goncharova was attracted briefly to Impressionism and Symbolism, but her participation in the "Golden Fleece" exhibition introduced her to the styles of Gauguin, Matisse, Cezanne and Toulouse-Lautrec whose art would influence her development. In a series depicting the favorite theme of the Russian peasants working the land, this influence is revealed in both color and the approach to form. In 1910 Goncharova became one of the founding members of the "Jack of Diamond" group but later went her separate way to establish the "Donkey's Tail" group with Larionov. In 1912 the group held their first exhibition with more than 50 works from Goncharova, executed in a number of different styles. Goncharova was a connoisseur of lubki, Russian popular prints, and the titles of her works clearly betray this influence. Her use of conventions of icon painting is particularly evident in the Evangelists.
In 1913 she entered her most productive period, painting dozens of canvases. In her Neo-primitive works she continued to explore the styles of Eastern and traditional art forms, but also experimented with Cubo-futurism (see The Cyclist, painted in 1912-13), and adopted Larionov new style of Rayonism. Her famous Cats (1911-12) and Green and Yellow Forest (1912) show how confidently she was able to work in the Rayonist style, developing her own artistic idiom independently of Larionov. In August 1913, Goncharova attracted international attention exhibiting over 700 paintings in an one-woman show . During this period she was, like Larionov, associated with the literary avant-garde. In 1914 Goncharova visited Paris to make designs for Dyaghilev's production of Le coq d'or. Her designs, based on Eastern and Russian folk art, took Paris by storm. She also held a joint exhibition with Larionov at the Galerie Paul Guillaume. She returned to Moscow after the beginning of the war. At the request of Dyaghilev, Larionov and Goncharova left Russia for Switzerland in June 1915. In 1916 they accompanied Diaghilev to Spain and Italy. Spain left an everlasting impression on Goncharova. She was especially moved by the bearing of Spanish women in their mantillas. From that moment on, Espagnoles became her favorite subject. In 1919 Larionov and Goncharova settled permanently in Paris; they were granted citizenship in 1938. During the Paris period, Goncharova became famous for her theatrical designs. In the 1920s she developed her own idiom for her series Espagnoles and for many paintings with bathers. Following Diaghilev's death in 1929, Goncharova's creative powers declined only to be briefly revitalized by the public rediscovery of Rayonism in 1948. After Larionov's stroke in 1950, Goncharova's health also started to decline, and although the couple married in 1955, their last years were spent in poverty.
Vasily Vasiliyevich Kandinsky (1866 - 1944)
Vasily Kandinsky was a painter, printmaker, stage designer, decorative artist, and theorist. In 1886 he began to study law and economics at the University of Moscow. Three years later he took part in an ethnographical expedition to the Vologda province and wrote an article about folk art; this experience was to influence his early art, which would be highly decorative and would feature bright colors applied on the dark background. This effective technique can be seen in such paintings as Song of the Volga (1906), Couple Riding (1906), and Colorful Life (1907), devoted to the life of Old Russia. After traveling to St. Petersburg and Paris, in 1893 he was appointed to the Department of Law at the University of Moscow. In 1896, at the age of thirty, he gave up his successful career as a lawyer and economist to become a painter. he moved to Munich and one year later entered Anton Azbe's painting school. In 1900 he became a student at the Munich Academy and studied under Franz von Stuck. At that time, he was in contact with St. Petersburg World of Art group. Between 1900 and 1908 exhibited regularly with the Moscow Association of Artists and was very active in the Munich art world. In 1901 founded the Phalanx (dissolved in 1904) and began teaching at a private art school in Munich. Later, Kandinsky traveled through Europe (1903-6). He was affected by the expressive possibilities of Bavarian glass painting, icon painting, and Russian folk art. In 1909 the artist started his famous Improvisations and co-founded the group Neue Kunstlervereinigung. A year later he joined the Jack of Diamonds group and contributed to its first two exhibitions. In 1911 established the Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) group, which included him, Muenter, Marc, and Kulbin. He participated in its exhibitions and contributed to its Almanac. The publication of the Almanac was one of the most important events in twentieth-century art. The artists of the Blue Rider believed in a birth of a new spiritual epoch and were engaged in the creation of symbols for their own time. There were fourteen major articles in the Almanac, interspersed with notes, quotes, and illustrations. Kandinsky published his concept of "inner necessity." He revised it in 1912, in his famous essay On the Spiritual in Art, Especially in Painting (originally written in German). For Kandinsky art was a portrayal of spiritual values. All art builds from the spiritual and intellectual life of the twentieth century. While each art form appears to be different externally, their internal properties serve the same inner purpose, of moving and refining the human soul. This belief in the secret correspondence of all the arts would become a cornerstone of his artistic convictions and a foundation of his painting. The article marked Kandinsky's transition from objective to non-objective art. In 1914 the artist returned to Moscow and three years later married Nina Andreyevskaya. He was active as a teacher, museum worker, writer, and lecturer. He was responsible for designing the pedagogical program for the Institute of Artistic Culture (Inkhuk) for 1920, which included Suprematism, Tatlin's "Culture of Materials" and Kandinsky's own theories. The program was opposed by the future Constructivists and Kandinsky had to wait for its implementation till his years at the Bauhaus. In 1921 he was actively involved in the organization of Rakhn (Russian Academy of Aesthetics). At the end of the same year, Kandinsky went to Germany to teach at the Bauhaus, where he was to stay till its closure by the Nazis in 1933. Participated in the Erste Russische Kunstausstellung in Berlin (1922). In 1924, together with Feininger, Iavlensky, and Klee, established the Blue Four. Moved to Paris in 1933 and remained active as a painter till his death. (After The Avant-Garde in Russia).
Kandinsky introduced a completely new conception of painting that he bequeathed to us in a variety of modes which were often received with hostility. It is a model of art that is non-representational, but understandable in substance. Very different artists and artistic trends have branched out from this model. But the resources of Kandinsky's ideas and theories have not yet been exhausted.
Alexei Kusnetsov was born in 1916 in the city of Orenburg, Russia into a family of printers. After
completing seven years of school, Kusnetsov worked as a mechanic in a factory. Already at this time he began panting and drawing and showing his work in competitions for gifted youth in Leningrad.
In 1932 Alexei was accepted to the Penza Art College. He instructors were the famous artists N. Petrov and Gorjushkin-Sorokopudov. After graduating from the college in 1936, he was accepted to the Russian Academy of Art, where he continued studying under N. Petrov.
The war interrupted Alexei-s art education. Until the end of 1942, he was in the active army. In 1943 he was discharged in order to return to his studies at the Academy of Art which had been evacuated to Samarkand, Uzbekistan. This period is represented in his work ?Uzbek Girl.¦
In 1946 Alexei graduated from the Academy of Art where he trained in the studio of Professor A. Osmerkin. He received the official title of Painter for his thesis painting entitled ?The Journey of Life¦ which now hangs in The Leningrad Museum of History.
In 1947 Alexei began his teaching career at the Art High School which was part of the Leningrad Academy of Art. Beginning in 1948 he worked in the art studio of Professor B. Ioganson.
Alexej completed his studio work in 1951 with the painting ?Stalin in an Underground Printing House¦
which was shown in the National Exhibit in Moscow and was bought for the traveling exhibit fund of the USSR.
Between 1952 and 1956, Alexei produced the paintings ?Workers Revolutionary Groups of Russia¦ and ?Lenin on the Second Party Congress¦ which now hang in museums of Moscow.
Kusnetsov-s creative journey was tightly interlaced with his pedagogical career. In 1952 he became the director of the Art High School which was part of the Academy of Art.
Alexej Kusnetsov, a student of the Russian school of realism, influenced an entire generation of painters who left a rich legacy in the history of Russian arts.
Due to his great experience as an educator and artist, the Ministry of the Arts of the USSR sent A. Kusnetsov to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1960. His goal was to organize a national art school and to establish a program in the realist school of painting at the Hanoi Art Institute.
Alexei-s time in Vietnam was very fruitful v he resolved complex educational tasks and continued his
creative work. During this period, he produced several great portraits of women such as ?Girl Tkhan,¦
?Portrait of Tkhan,¦ ?Portrait of Uan¦ and others. In two years Alexej created over seventy paintings and many drawings which were shown in personal exhibits in Hanoi (1960-1962) and then in Leningrad in 1963. Some of his pieces remain in museums in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Upon returning from Vietnam, Kusnetsov continued his art and pedagogical work. Between 1962 and 1964, he worked on the painting ?Great Pochin¦ which was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture of Russia.
In 1968 he was conferred the prestigious title of Honorable Painter of Russia.
At this time, Kusnetsov oversaw the construction of a new building for the Art High School. The school moved to the new building in 1971 and in 1973 it was renamed The B. Ioganson-s School after the great painter and pedagogue.
The endeavors of Kusnetsov are an example of noble service to mankind and society. He dedicated 45 years of his life to the cultivation of a new generation of artists. His name has been entered into the history of Russian art as an educator and artist.
The last years of the artist-s life were highly influenced by the nature of Central Russia. Portraits and landscapes of this period (?Portrait of a Daughter¦ (illustration), ?Portrait of a Wife,¦ ?Gloomy Day,¦ ?Apple Trees¦ and others) are lyrical and have a depth of meaning.
In his last work, ?Self Portrait,¦ Alexei-s use of lightning achieves a particularly dramatic effect.
The creative achievements of Alexei Kusnetsov and other artists brought international attention to
Mikhail Fyodorovich Larionov (1881-1964)
Mikhail Fyodorovich Larionov was born in Tiraspol, Moldova on June 3, 1881 and died in Fontenay-aux-Roses, near Paris, on May 10, 1964. He was the son of Fyodor Mikhailovich Larionov, a doctor and a pharmacist, and Aleksandra Fyodorovna Petrovskaya, but he grew up in his grandparents' home in Tiraspol. He attended the Voskresensky Technical High School in Moscow and in 1898 entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Here he met Natalia Goncharova, who remained his lifelong companion. His imaginative work soon caught the attention of colleagues and critics and in1906 he was invited to exhibit with the Union of Russian Artists and to participate in the Russian Art exhibition at the Salon d'Automne in Paris. When Larionov met Nikolai Ryabushinsky, editor of the "Zolotoe runo" (the Golden Fleece), the famous art mecenas became the artist's chief patron and in 1908 helped him organize the "Golden Fleece" exhibition of the modern French painting in Moscow. As a result of this exhibition, many artists, including Larionov, turned away from Symbolism and started to experiment with Post-Impressionism. In 1910, Larionov was expelled by the Moscow School of Painting for organizing a demonstration against the school's teaching methods. Larionov was the founder of the "Jack of Diamond" group, and with them he exhibited a remarkable series of paintings, among them the Soldiers (1910), created during his military service. Larionov soon deserted the "Jack of Diamond" for the more radical "Donkey's Tail", which held an exhibition in 1912. In 1912 he initiated two very important movements: Rayonism (Rayism) and Neo-primitivism. Rayonism was inspired by Italian Futurism and Neo-primitivism and represented a development of the artist's Fauvist and Expressionist interests.
Rayonism was officially launched at the "Target" exhibition of 1913. In 1914 he traveled with Goncharova to Paris. They held an exhibition at the Gallerie Paul Guillaume. When the war began, they returned to Russia and Larionov was drafted into the army. He was injured in the battle of the Masurian Lakes and spent three months in a hospital. The injury affected his ability to concentrate and resulted in the decline of his artistic energy. In 1915 he travelled with Goncharova to Switzerland, at the request of Dyaghilev. There he designed for the ballet and gained success. While travelling through Spain and Italy he designed three more ballets, all equally successful. In 1919 he settled permanently in Paris, where he acted as Goncharova's manager. Throughout the decade he worked with Dyaghilev as a designer and artistic adviser. Following Dyaghilev's death in 1929, he resumed painting and also worked occasionally for the ballet. He and Goncharova were granted French citizenship in 1938. In 1950 he suffered a stroke that seriously handicapped his activity and he spent the last 14 years of his life in poverty.
Mylnikov A. A.
Andrei was born on February 22, 1919 in the city of Pokrovskoe, area of Saratov, into a family of engineers. In 1937 he studied at the Institute of Painting , Sculpture and Architecture of The All-Russian Academy of Art in the architectural department. He worked together with professors G.Kotov, Nikolsky and M. Rudnev. In 1940 he transferred to the painting faculty, where he was engaged working with V.Obolensky, P.Naumov and B.Fogel. From the beginning of The Great Domestic War he is at defensive works under Leningrad. He was awarded with several medals for his work "For the Defense of Leningrad". In 1942 is evacuated in Samarkand with Institute. In 1945 he begins pedagogical activity at the average art school at the institute. His shown degreed work "Oath of Baltic Sailors" is on display at the exhibition of degreed works of the institute. At this time he worked on above shown mosaics for The Palace of Advice (councils) in Moscow. He was also accepted in the Members of the Leningrad Organization of Union of the Artists of RSFSR. Since 1947 teaches in Institute. He was the assistant of I.Grabar, under who's direction he finished his PhD in 1948. Since 1948 during three years is by the main artist of creative workshop of Academy of art USSR. His elected by the member of a bureau and chairman of a bureau of section of painting Union of artists. He is awarded the state premium USSR in 1951 for a picture "On peace fields". In 1953 he was nominated as the manager by the faculty of painting and composition at the institute . Takes part in IV World festival of youth and students in Bucharest. In 1954-55 he worked on above shown mosaic panel "Abundance" for the "Vladimir" Leningrad underground station together with A.Koroljov. He is selected by the member of government of Union of the artists of RSFSR. He was awarded a silver medal for the painting "Awakening" in 1957. He authorized in a scientific rank of the professor. In 1960 he nominated by the chief of personal studio of monumental painting in Institute. He makes trip in USA and Italy. Finishes work above monumental work "V. Lenin" for Kremlin Palace of Congresses the following year. . His selected by the member - correspondent of Academy of art USSR on IX sessions of Academy. Finishes work on a list Leningrad theater TYS , panno "Children and Theatre", "Children and Knowledge. He honourable rank of the deserved figure of arts of RSFSR is appropriated in 1963. He is nominated as the chief of creative studio of monumental painting of Academy . He makes creative trip to the German Democratic Republic in 1965. He is a member of committee on award of the state premiums of RSFSR in the same year for 1969. His selected by the valid member of Academy of applied arts USSR in 1966 on XXIII sessions of Academy of art USSR. He is the honourable rank of the national artist of RSFSR is appropriated in 1968. He work of committee on award Lenin's and State premiums since 1969. In 1970 he is awarded by the diploma of ministerial Council for creative successes on IV Republican exhibitions . Creative trips to Spain and Yugoslavia in 1970. In 1975 he was awarded with the letter of senior Management of culture of the Leningrad executive committee for a picture "Farewell". His elected by the secretary of government of Union of the artists. In 1977 he have the state premium USSR for the painting "Farewell" is awarded. In 1978 he have the State premium of RSFSR for a mosaic panel for a memorial hall to the heroic defence counsels of Leningrad . He makes creative trip to Bulgaria and Hungary. In 1979 he was awarded with an award Lenin for merits in progress of fine art and in connection with 60-th from birthday. In 1981 he received the gold medal from the academy for "Spanish three-part painting" . He was awarded with a diploma for long-term and fruitful work on preparation highly skilled in the field of fine art. His selected by the secretary of government of Union of the artists of RSFSR on V congress of Union of the artists of RSFSR.
He participates in work of congress of artists of GDR and congress of the workers of culture of Finland. He is the chairman of council on a reconstruction of the Amber room at Ecaterina's Palace. In 1985 he was awarded with the anniversary medal "40 years of Victory in the Great Domestic War" . In 1987 his elected by the chairman of the Leningrad branch of the Soviet fund of culture. During many years he conducted the large public work, being by the member of council for the European safety. He was a member of the editorial staff of the magazines:"Artist", "The Young artist" and "Architecture and Construction of Leningrad".
Since 1987 he is the chairman of the St-Petersburg Fund of culture.
From 1989-1991 he is national deputy USSR. He is awarded with an award of Friendship of the peoples. In 1997 he was elected vice-president of the Russian Academy of Applied Arts in St.-Petersburg.
His paintings in collection of Russian State museum, Tretiakovskaya State gallery and meny other museums in Russia and foreign countrys.
Lyubov Sergeyevna Popova (1889-1924)
Lyubov Sergeyevna Popova was one of the most talented, prolific, and influential women artists of the Russian avant-garde. She was born in the village of Ivanovskoe in Moscow province, in a family of a wealthy and cultured merchant. After attending the private high schools of Yaltinskaya and Arseniyeva, she began to take art lessons with Zhukovsky and Yuon in Moscow. In 1910, Popova went to Italy and became acquainted with the works of Giotto and Pintoriccio. The rest of that year and in 1911, the artist traveled to St. Petersburg, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Suzdal, Pereslavl, and Kiev and discovered the work of Vrubel and icon painting. In 1912, she set up a studio in Moscow with N. Udal'tsova, her friend from Arseniyeva's school, and both women worked in Tatlin's studio The Tower, where Popova met her life-long friend Vesnin. The same year she traveled to Paris and studied Cubism with Le Fauconnier and Metzinger. After returning to Moscow in 1913, she became interested in Futurism. A year later, just before the war, she went to France and Italy again. In 1915 developed her own variant of non-objective art based on a dynamic combination of principles of icon painting (flatness, linearity) and avant-garde ideas.
In 1916, Popova started calling her compositions "Painterly Architectonics." She became a member of "Supremus," organized by K. Malevich. Two years later, she married Boris von Eding, a Russian art historian, and gave birth to a son. Together with Vesnin, she started teaching at Svomas (Free Art Studios) and later (after 1920) taught at Vkhutemas (Higher Art-Technical Studios). During a trip to Rostov on the Don in 1919, Eding caught typhus and died. Though infected and suffering from typhoid fever, Popova returned to Moscow and recovered from the illness. In 1920, she worked at Inkhuk (Institute of Artistic Culture), a center of Constructivist theories. Over time, the construction elements in Popova's painting increased, progressing from Painterly Architectonics of 1916 to Painterly Constructions of 1920 and Painterly Force Constructions of 1921.
Painterly Architectonics show Popova's interest in the presentation of surface planes with an energy of inner tension, as the colored masses, lines and volumes all interrelate to create a formal unity. Initially they took the form of fairly static compositions comprising overlapping planar forms, but very soon they acquired a startling dynamism as Popova tilted the planes at angles and made them slice into each other. Painterly Constructions further developed the idea of intersecting planes, but gave the compositions a feeling of greater freedom and fluidity. Finally, her Spatial Force Constructions were supposed to be preparatory experiments towards concrete material constructions (After Yablonskaya, 103-104).
The artist's fascination with construction allowed her to join other constructivists in absolute rejection of easel painting. She gave up her own painting and turned entirely to industrial design (1921). A year before her untimely death, Popova was appointed head of the Design Studio at the First State Textile Print Factory in Moscow. She excelled in industrial design of clothing and fabrics and produced posters, book designs, ceramics, and photomontages.
Popova participated in many famous avant-garde exhibitions in Moscow and St. Petersburg (Petrograd): Jack of Diamonds (Moscow, 1914 and 1916), Tramway V / First Futurist Exhibition of Paintings (Petrograd 1915), 0.10 / Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings (Petrograd 1915), The Store (Moscow, 1916), 5 x 5 = 25 (with Rodchenko, Stepanova, Vesnin and Exter), and others. In addition, she was successful as a set designer for theatre. Her first scenic designs were for Tairov's production of Romeo and Juliet (1920). Even though these designs were not used by Tairov, Popova's interest in stage design did not wane. The following year, she created the sets for Lunacharsky's The Locksmith and the Chancellor and in 1922 for Vsevolod Meyerhold's productions of Crommelynck's Magnanimous Cuckold. She continued her collaboration with Meyerhold, preparing sets for S. Tretiakov's Earth in Turmoil (1923). Her life was cut short in 1924 when she contracted scarlet fever and died at the age of 35.
Rozanova O. V.
Olga Vladimirovna Rozanova (1886 - 1918)
Olga Vladimirovna Rozanova was born in 1886 in Melenki, a small town near Vladimir. Unlike Lyubov' Popova and many other avant-garde artists, she did not travel to Italy or France to get inspired by the most recent developments in Western painting. Therefore, her overall progress as an avant-garde artist is even more remarkable. She began her art education in 1904, attending art studios of K. Bolshakov and K. Yuon in Moscow and studying for a short time at the Stroganov School of Applied Art. After moving to St. Petersburg, she went to private school of E.N. Zvantseva and in 1911 became one of the most active members of the Union of Youth, an organization that organized and sponsored art exhibitions, public lectures and discussions.
From 1911 to 1915, Rozanova experimented with Neo-Primitivism, Cubo-Futurism. Her early works show greater influence of the Italian Futurism than the French Cubism. Rozanova's paintings of this period consist of strong straight lines, frequently combined with triangular and circular shapes. The straight lines and triangles are pointing in various directions; their angles are often turned towards the center of the picture. This combination makes the composition strong and dramatic. The triangles are made of slashing lines that invade the picture from the sides, trying to reach the center.
In 1912, Rozanova started a close friendship with the outstanding Russian Futurist poets Velimir Khlebnikov and Alexei Kruchenykh. They were writing "transrational" (zaumnaia) poetry to create a new universal poetic language based on the destruction of traditional grammar and the meanings of the words, the use of the neologisms, assonances, and illogical combinations of words and sounds. Rozanova became one of the first artists of the Russian avant-garde associated with the Futurist movement. In 1913, she started to design and illustrate books by her Futurist friends. This led to the creation of her own transrational poems, published in 1917 (in Kruchenykh's collection, Valos) and in 1919, posthumously, in the 4th issue of the journal Iskusstvo. Among many booklets Rozanova illustrated were A Forestly Rapid (Bukh lesinnyi), Explodity (Vzorval'), Let's Grumble (Vozropshchem), A Duck's Nest of Bad Words (Utinoe gnezdyshko durnykh slov) (all in 1913), Te li le (1914), Transrational Pook (Zaumnaia gniga), War (Voina), and Universal War (Vselenskaia voina) (all in 1916). Te li le "represents Rozanova's attempt to interlace verbal and pictorial elements. By using her own handwriting for the text, Rozanova not only fused the words with the design, but she also presented the text in a manner intended to convey mood and emotion" (The Avant-garde in Russia, 242). The Universal War is illustrated with twelve abstract collages. The collages consist of brightly colored polygonal shapes, arranged in geometric patterns. The irregular jagged shapes recall those in Rozanova's earlier abstract compositions. "The search for new connections between the word and the pictorial image became one of the most important impulses of her development" (Israel Museum).
In 1916 Rozanova married Kruchenykh and the same year she joined the "Supremus" group, headed by Malevich. Perhaps influenced by Malevich's suprematist experiments, Rozanova created some abstract compositions which further developed the dynamic element of her earlier works. They show flat, polygonal regions in bright colors. However, Rozanova's "suprematist" style differed from Malevich's -- it was not only more decorative, but it was not based on the philosophical, mystical ideas (after Sarabianov). In Varvara Stepanova's words, "Malevich constructed his works on the [basis of--A.B.] composition of the square while Rozanova constructed hers on the basis of color" (Yablonskaia, 83).
In 1917-18, Rozanova created a number of non-objective color compositions, which she called "colorpainting" (cvetopis'). These compositions were a completely new stage in the development of the Russian avant-garde art; unfortunately, after Rozanova's death, they did not find any continuators in Russia. Only after the WW II, similar color experiments appeared in the American color-field paintings of the 1950s and 1960s, particularly in the works of Barnett Newman. A good example of this type of painting is Rozanova's most famous oil, Untitled (Green Stripe), which features a rough cream-colored canvas surface cut by broad perpendicular green stripe.
After the revolution, Rozanova, thanks to her early ties to the Stroganov School, devoted her energies to the organization of industrial art in the country. She was involved with IZO Narkompros (Arts Department of the People's Commisariat of Education) and the Proletcult. Through personal persuasion and by travelling to various locations, she organized Free Art Studios (Svomas) in several provincial cities.
Before she died, Rozanova drew up a plan to reorganize the museum of industrial art in Moscow. Her efforts to combine art and industrial production were soon continued and expanded by the Constructivists. When she was diagnosed ill, she was actually engaged in putting up banners and slogans for the anniversary celebration of the October Revolution. Olga Rozanova died of diphtheria a week before this event. A few weeks later, she had a posthumous exhibition, which included 250 paintings, ranging in style from Impressionism through Neo-primitivism, Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism.
Although Rozanova died young, she was able to experiment widely and reach non-objectivity following her own, individual path. In the meantime, she created many remarkable paintings. Among the best known are Still Life with Scrolls (1911), The Harbor [Port] (1912), Still Life: Vase (1912), The Pub (1913), Portrait of a Woman in a Green Dress (1913), The City (1913), Writing Desk (1914), Geography (1914-15), Workbox (1915), The Metronome (1915), Non-Objective Composition (1916), Suprematism (1916), Color Composition (1917), and Untitled (Green Stripe) (1917-1918). Equally remarkable is a series of painting of playing cards, later used as one-tone illustrations for Transrational Pook: the boldly-colored Simultaneous Representation of a King of Hearts and a King of Diamonds, The Queen of Spades, The King of Clubs, and The Jack of Hearts(all 191
Rudakov K. I.
Konstantin Ivanovich Rudakov was born March 22, 1891 in St. Petersburg, Russia into a family of an artist/decorator of the Mariininsky Theater. His father died when he was three and Konstantin was placed in a philanthropic society orphanage where he was educated until he was twelve. In 1903 he entered the school of A.P. Kopilov. As Konstantin himself says, his interest in art developed at a very early age. While in his final years of school, he was brought to Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin) to see a famous painter and pedagogue Pavel Petrovich Chistiakov. Following Chistiakov-s suggestion, Rudakov began to systematically work at drawing and painting in the private studio of V.E. Savinsky. At the same time he began attending a new art studio under the supervision of B.M. Kustodiev, E.E. Lansere, and M.V. Dobuzhinsky.
Chistiakov was the strongest influence on Rudakov in the first years of his art development. Chistiakov taught the young man ?how to paint without making a single thoughtless stroke,¦ and ?how to understand the objectives of a drawing.¦ In other words, Rudakov understood the strict relationship of a drawing as the structural foundation of a work of art. Chistiakov also played a certain role in the development of Rudakov-s style. He introduced Rudakov with Russian art, in particular with the works of M.A. Vrubel (who was one of Chistiakov-s most talented pupils) and also with the some of the phenomena of Western European painting, like the works of M. Fotuni and A. Tsorn.
In 1913 Rudakov began studying in the department of architecture of the Higher Art College, which was part of the Academy of Arts. In a year, he began his painting studies in the studio of Professor D.N. Kardovsky. An exceptional pedagogue, Kardovsky, according to Chistiakov, was able to create ?an academic institution without academic affiliations, passing on technical skills without imposing technical tricks¦ (A. V. Bakushinsky, A.V. Grigoriev, N.E. Radlov and D.N. Kardovsky. M., 1933, p. 50.). He helped Rudakov develop his talent freely and naturally. Also encouraging this development was that, in his pedagogical practice, Kardovsky devoted a great deal of time to questions of theory and art history.
Although Rudakov began his education in 1914, he finished it only in 1922 due to two interruptions in his education: the First World War in 1914 and the Russian Revolution in 1917. From 1918 to 1920 Rudakov was in the Red Army. He was a painter on the Baltic Fleet and helped fight illiteracy among the sailors.
Rudakov-s began supporting himself through his art as an illustrator on various periodicals and illustrated books. In 1923 his work began to be seen regularly in magazines like ?Begemot,¦ ?Smehach,¦ ?Pushka¦ and in the evening editions of ?Krasnaia Gazeta.¦
Based on the experience he gained during that period, in 1928-1932, Rudakov produced a series of watercolors, lithographs and monotypes using the NEP (New Economic Program) as the common theme. Concurrently with the series on the NEP, Rudakov worked on a collection of watercolors under a single title ?Zapad¦ (The West) which represented a cycle of open interpretations inspired by the works of French painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Because Rudakov contributed his own feelings in those improvisations, new subjects with independent emotional content were born. The series ?Zapad¦ represents a novel program of dynamic perceptions of life by a painter. It is not by accident that Rudakov used the works of Van Gouge for his interpretations; he felt the works of Van Gouge to be particularly perceptive. While working on this series, Rudakov rejected the restrictions of direct visual perception. He established for himself the worth of a united image based on a realistic analysis of a nature.
In the middle of 1920s, beginning of 1930s, Rudakov painted several portraits of women and children in which a lyrical side of his talent was uncovered. In his lyrical-romantic images, the painter portrayed the innate value of the uniqueness of the individual. In the 1920s Rudakov began doing graphic design, primarily illustrations for children-s books.
From the beginning of the 1930s, book illustrations became the artist-s primary creative interest. The beginning of his intensive work in this area was a result of the burgeoning Soviet book publishing industry. The painters of that time were responsible for creating new, contemporary book designs and illustrations. Many Soviet painters were involved in this, including V.A. Favorsky, Sergey Gerasimov, V.V. Lebedev, N.A. Tyrsa, A.F. Pahomov, A.I. Kravchenko, E.A. Kibrik, D.A. Shmarinow and others. Rudakov took an honorable place among those painters.
Shagal M. Z.
Mark Zakharovich Shagal (1887-1985)
Mark Zakharovich Shagal, known today all over the world as Marc Chagall, was born on July 7, 1887, in Vitebsk, Belorussia. He was the oldest of nine brothers. His father worked in a salt herring factory, his mother took care of the household, and the grandfather taught the boy religion, instilling in him love for religion and the knowledge of the Torah. In 1906, Chagall left the Jewish elementary school he attended and began studying at Yehuda Pen's school of painting in Vitebsk. In the winter of the same year, Chagall decided to move to St Petersburg, hoping that his art would find approval there. However, he failed his first art examination. Putting his pride aside, in 1907 Chagall applied to and was accepted to the school of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts in St. Petersburg, directed by Nikolai Roerich. Dissatisfied with the school, he transferred to Zeidenberg's private art school and later to Zvantseva's School, where he studied with Mstislav Dobuzhinskii and Lev Bakst. In 1910 he moved to Paris and found a place in the famous "La Ruche" (Beehive) in the Vaugirard district, where he met the poets Blaise Cendrars and Guillame Appolinaire, and the painters Chaim Soutine, Fernand Leger, and Robert Delaunay. Chagall always stressed the importance of Paris for his development: "In Paris, it seems to me, I have found everything, but above all, the art of craftsmanship. I owe all that I have achieved to Paris, to France, whose nature, men, the very air, were the true school of my life and art." Chagall's exposure to Cubism resulted in his attempts to incorporate the Cubist multiple points of view and geometrical shapes into his compositions, as can be seen in two of his best known early paintings, Me and My Village (1911) and Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers (1912-13).
Two years later, Chagall contributed to the Salon des Independants and Salon d' automne as well as to Larionov's Donkey's Tail exhibition in Moscow. In 1913 participated in the Target exhibition and in 1914 had his first one-man show at the Galerie der Sturm in Berlin. The same year Chagall returned to Russia and went to Vitebsk, where he married Bella Rosenberg who would become an inspiration for many of his works. From Vitebsk, the married couple moved to St. Petersburg (at that time Petrograd). Chagall contributed to the Exhibition of Painting, 1915, and a year later sent over forty paintings to the Jack of Diamonds show in Moscow. After the Revolution Chagall was active as an art educator. He moved back to Vitebsk and in 1919 became a founder, director, and the most popular teacher at the Vitebsk Academy. However, because he wanted the school to express all points of view on art, he was ousted by the Malevich fraction (Suprematists) and left Vitebsk for Moscow. In Moscow, Chagall collaborated with the Kamernyi State Jewish Theater and with the Habimah Theatre. He left Russia in 1922 and after a year in Berlin, settled in Paris in 1923. In 1924 he had the first major retrospective at the Galerie Barbazanges-Hoderbart. In the mid twenties produced illustrations to La Fontaine's Fables. Visited Palestine (1931), Holland (1932) Spain (1934-5), Poland (1935), and Italy (1937); in 1941 had to leave Germany and seek shelter in the United States. The death of Bella stopped Chagall's creativity for many months. After his return to France in 1948, the artist decided to move to the south of France and in 1950 he settled in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Two years later, he married Valentine ("Vava") Brodskii. His new wife was an important factor in Chagall's recovery as a painter. She encouraged him to undertake large artisitc projects, for instance the cycle Biblical Message. Finished in 1966 and installed seven years later in the National Museum of the Marc Chagall Biblical Message in Nice, the paintings (see a selection below) astonish with their vivid colors and their poetic interpretations of the Biblical texts. Among the largest projects was the decoration of the ceiling of the Paris Opera (1964), and the murals for the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1965). He also explored the technique of stained-glass, designing windows for the Cathedral in Metz (1959-62), for the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem (1960-1), for the Cathedral at Reims (1974), and for Saint Etienne Church at Mayence (1978-81). In the West, Chagall had countless exhibitions and retrospectives. In Russia, after many years of silence and disregard for the artist, an exhibition of Chagall's works from private collections was organized in Novgorod in 1968, and five years later Chagall was invited to visit Moscow in connection with a small retrospective of his work. Finally, on the centennary of the artist's birth a large exhibition opened at Pushkin Museum in Moscow, and a Chagall Museum was opened in Vitebsk.
Chagall occupies a unique place in world art. Even though at times he was slighly influenced by the contemporary developments in arts ( when he discovered Cubism, for example), throughout his long life he was an independent artist, often criticized for his lack of "realism" or for his lack of desire to explore non-objective art. The sources of his inspiration are found in his childhood, in the life of a provincial city of Vitebsk and its Jewish community, the Scriptures, and, more surprisingly, Russian folk art and icon painting. He was a poet, and his artistic visions can be considered "poetry in colors and shapes." He populated his pictures with angels, lovers, flying cows, fiddlers, circus performers, and roosters, creating lyrical poems which proclaimed the beauty of all creation, as well as his unwavering belief in the existence of miracles and in the infinite wisdom of the Creator. Despite some dark moments in his personal life, he remained an optimist, and with every brushstroke, every green, blue, or purple face of his violinists, every kiss and every embrace of his lovers, every little house or church of Vitebsk, every image of the Eiffel Tower, his paintings seem to sing the "Ode to Joy."