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Article

Anna Moszynska

Term applied in its strictest sense to forms of 20th-century Western art that reject representation and have no starting- or finishing-point in nature. As distinct from processes of abstraction from nature or from objects (a recurring tendency across many cultures and periods that can be traced as far back as Palaeolithic cave painting), abstract art as a conscious aesthetic based on assumptions of self-sufficiency is a wholly modern phenomenon (see Abstraction).

In the late 19th century, and particularly in Symbolist art and literature, attention was refocused from the object to the emotions aroused in the observer in such a way that suggestion and evocation took priority over direct description and explicit analogy. In France especially this tradition contributed to the increased interest in the formal values of paintings, independent of their descriptive function, that prepared the way for abstraction. In his article ‘Définition du néo-traditionnisme’, published in L’Art et critique...

Article

Ewa Mikina

(b Moscow, Jan 26, 1898; d Łódź, Feb 21, 1951).

Polish sculptor of Latvian origin. She studied at the School of Painting, Sculpture and Drawing, the second Free Workshops (Svomas), Moscow, 1917–20. In 1920 she moved to Smolensk, and in 1921 she married Władysław Strzemiński. In 1920–22 she was associated with the Vitebsk-based group Unovis. She lived in Poland from 1924, and she belonged to all the Polish Constructivist groups in succession: Block, Praesens, a.r., as well as to the international group Abstraction–Création. All works cited in this article are in the Museum of Art, Łódź. Her earliest pieces are Cubist nude studies. Hanging Constructions (1921–2) are Suprematist kinetic forms suspended in space, called ‘aerostats’, in which tensions in the materials provide movement and vibration. Abstract Sculptures (c. 1924) are multi-element vertical compositions, flat forms with flowing contours and composed in space defined by the cylinder of the base. The series of Spatial Compositions and ...

Article

Lolo  

Cuban, 20th century, female.

Born 1911, in Pinar del Rio.

Painter, collage artist, sculptor.

Lolo was a follower of the geometrically-inclined abstract art movement deriving from the work of Sophie Taüber-Arp and the Suprematism of Malevich.

After becoming heavily involved in trade union activities, Lolo was made cultural representative of the Republic of Cuba in Europe. In this position, in ...

Article

Troels Andersen

(Severinovich)

(b Kiev, Feb 26, 1878; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], May 15, 1935).

Russian painter, printmaker, decorative artist and writer of Ukranian birth. One of the pioneers of abstract art, Malevich was a central figure in a succession of avant-garde movements during the period of the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 and immediately after. The style of severe geometric abstraction with which he is most closely associated, Suprematism (see fig.), was a leading force in the development of Constructivism, the repercussions of which continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. His work was suppressed in Soviet Russia in the 1930s and remained little known during the following two decades. The reassessment of his reputation in the West from the mid-1950s was matched by the renewed influence of his work on the paintings of Ad Reinhardt and on developments such as Zero, Hard-edge painting and Minimalism.

Article

Christina Lodder

[Puni, Ivan (Al’bertovich)]

(b Kouokkala, Finland [now Repino, St Petersburg Region, Russia], Feb 22, 1892; d Paris, Dec 28, 1956).

Russian painter, illustrator and designer, active in France. He was educated at the gymnasium and then at the military academy in St Petersburg. Between 1909 and 1912 he visited Italy and France. In Paris he studied at the Académie Julian and stayed with his compatriot, the artist Yury Annenkov. He became friendly with Osip Zadkine and other Russian artists and began to experiment with Fauvism and early Cubism. Very few paintings remain from this period, although Walk in the Sun (1912; Zurich, M. et Mme Berninger priv. col., see Berninger and Cartier, vol. i, p. 31), painted after he returned to Russia, indicates an interest in expressive colour, surface texture and perspectival distortions.

On his return to St Petersburg, Pougny was introduced by Nikolay Kul’bin into avant-garde circles, and he exhibited with the Union of Youth group in the winters of 1911–12 and 1913–14. Breaking with them in January 1914...

Article

[Alexander] (Mikhaylovich)

(b St Petersburg, Nov 23, 1891; d Moscow, Dec 3, 1956).

Russian painter, sculptor, designer and photographer. He was a central exponent of Russian Constructivism, owing much to the pre-Revolutionary work of Kazimir Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin, and he was closely involved in the cultural debates and experiments that followed the Revolution of 1917. In 1921 he denounced, on ideological grounds, easel painting and fine art, and he became an exponent of Productivism (see Constructivism, §1) in many fields, including poster design, furniture, photography and film. He resumed painting in his later years. His work was characterized by the systematic way in which from 1916 he sought to reject the conventional roles of self-expression, personal handling of the medium and tasteful or aesthetic predilections. His early nihilism and condemnation of the concept of art make it problematic even to refer to Rodchenko as an artist: in this respect his development was comparable to that of Dada, although it also had roots in the anarchic activities of Russian Futurist groups....