entrance to the neighboring
Avant-gardism, developed in the literature by Vladimir Mayakovsky and Velimir Khlebnikov, since the 1910s has also spread powerfully in Russian painting. Back in the 1910s avant-gardism in Russia was fond of Kazimir Malevich (who created the style of suprematism), Vasily Kandinsky, Vladimir Tatlin. The heyday of the Russian avant-garde came in 1914–1922. What was the avant-garde? Combining abstractionism, constructivism, cubism, suprematism and some other postmodernist movements in painting, he abandoned realism, while retaining an emphasis on the form of objects as such. Thus, Malevich’s Suprematism appeared in the 1910s as a writing style in the form of combinations of multi-colored planes and the simplest geometric outlines. Continue reading
Kandinsky became the creator of abstract art in its pure form, its theorist and creator. In his early works, which strongly influenced the French and German influence, and undoubtedly in the later ones, the artist asserts the possibility of self-expression, freed from reality, painting, born “from the artist”, “from the mental vibrations”; born not as a “dead word”, but as a “fertilizing abstract spirit that has found a form for revelation” and “spilling over into a symphony whose name is the music of the spheres”.
After the October Revolution, abstraction was for some time proclaimed official art, and Kandinsky held leading positions in virtually all institutes and colleges, research museums and centers, but his ideas were not in demand by the Soviet society. However, the rejection of art, where the “brush itself seeks paint,” began even before October. Continue reading
Konstantin Somov is one of the representatives of Russian symbolism. The development of the artist’s style was largely influenced by his studies at the Paris-based Colorassi studio (1897–1899); it was then that he mastered the lessons of modern and French rococo. The scenes of his canvases resemble gallant balls and masquerades, which were characteristic of the bygone XVIII century. Modernity in his works is mystically connected with the previous epoch, the genre scenes of his canvases are reminiscences of the last century, his characters vaguely resemble puppet Watteau, Boucher and Fragonard, but unlike their predecessors, the artist endows those depicted more mystical ghostly than elegant elegance. V.A. Lenyashin rightly noted that the sources of Somov “beyond the borders of the past days” are much deeper, more blunt: Botticelli, Watteau, Hoffmann.
The ghostly transparent eroticism, without which Somov did not think of art, then permeates the irreversibly spicy pages of the Book of the Marquise, appears about (like the Casanova doll) in the naively challenging and mechanically outspoken image of Columbine. Continue reading