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Article

(Isayevich)

(b Vinnitsa, Ukraine, Dec 22, 1889; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Dec 12, 1970).

Russian painter, graphic artist, sculptor and designer of Ukrainian birth. He studied painting at the School of Art in Odessa (1901–7) under Kiriak Kostandi (1852–1921), at the same time attending classes in sculpture. In 1908–9 he made a series of pointillist paintings. He visited Vienna and Munich in 1910 before going to Paris, where he worked at Vasil’yeva’s Free Russian Academy until 1912, producing paintings on Jewish themes and studying Cubism. In 1912 he went to St Petersburg, where he painted a number of Cubist portraits, for example of the poet Anna Akhmatova (1914; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.). His Cubist work makes much use of faceting and transparent planes. From 1918 to 1921 he taught at the Department of Visual Arts (IZO) of Narkompros in Petrograd, but he was criticized for his attempts to identify Futurism with the art of the proletariat. Al’tman became well known as the designer of post-Revolutionary mass parades and monuments, for example the celebration of the first anniversary of the Revolution on ...

Article

Russian, 20th century, male.

Born 1897, in Kozliv.

Painter. Figures, nudes.

In the 1920s, Sergei Arkhipov was influenced by Suprematism, and then by Constructivism. In 1938, he became a member of the Union of Artists. His works are housed in the most important Russian museums....

Article

V. Ya. Petrukhin

(Illarionovich)

(b Vygolevo, Tver’ Province, Dec 5, 1898; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], July 29, 1972).

Russian archaeologist and art historian . He began studying archaeology at the Archaeological Institute in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) in 1921 and subsequently at the University in that city. He became a postgraduate student in 1926, then joined the staff of the State Academy for the History of Material Culture, where he studied aspects of Old Russian art, including the miniatures of the Königsberg (Radziwill) Chronicle (St Petersburg, Acad. Sci., Lib.). He became a professor in 1935 and was appointed head of the faculty of archaeology at Leningrad State University in 1949. He was director of the Institute for the History of Material Culture from 1938 to 1945 and curator of the State Hermitage Museum from 1951 to 1964. His most important works deal with the history, archaeology and art of the Scythians, Slavs and Khazars and include a study of the Hermitage’s collection of Scythian art (1970); he also conducted research into the Scythian–Siberian Animal Style. He directed excavations of numerous ancient and early medieval monuments in the Don region, the Ukraine and the northern Caucasus, including excavations of the Khazar Sarkel fortress (Rus. Belaya Vezha). The art of medieval nomads is discussed in his monograph on the history of the Khazars....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1938, in Cambrai.

Painter.

The main influences on the abstract painter Christian Belin are to be sought in the Neo-Plasticism of Mondrian, the Elementarism of Van Doesburg and in the suprematist works of Malevich. His explorations, based on the expressive power of paint in its pure state, are characterised by flat patches of colour and the abandoning of contrasting values in favour of the interaction of neighbouring colours. The colours are used in their raw form in generally simple geometric shapes. He frequently leaves virgin lines, or 'blanks', thus allowing colour the maximum freedom of space. His work is similar to the 'Hard Edge' movement made famous by Elsworth Kelly and Kenneth Nolland....

Article

Latvian, 20th century, male.

Born 25 June 1902, in Iucin or Vitebsk; died 4 March 1929, in Leningrad (now St Petersburg).

Painter, watercolourist, designer, architect.

Suprematism.

Unovis Group.

Ilya Chashnik spent his childhood in Vitebsk. From 1917-1919 he studied with Yuri (or Yehuda) Pen, then in ...

Article

Mikhail F. Kiselyov

(Vasil’yevich)

(b Valayka Station, Novgorod Province [now Lykoshino, Tver’ region], 1878; d en route from Germany to Paris, Feb 22, 1936).

Russian graphic artist, ceramicist, painter and designer. In 1896 he studied at the School of Drawing at the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts and in 1897 at Maria Tenisheva’s art school in St Petersburg, where he worked under Il’ya Repin until 1900. In 1904 he worked in the pottery studio at the Abramtsevo colony. At this period he employed Art Nouveau elements in his work, as in the majolica decorations for the Hotel Metropole, St Petersburg (early 1900s) and the majolica panel St George Triumphant for the Municipal Primary School on Bol’shaya Tsaritsynskaya [now Bol’shaya Pirogovskaya] Street in Moscow (1909). He took up book illustration in 1904 and his graphic talent flourished in the 1910s. His work for Apollon was particularly successful, his illustrations first appearing in its pages in 1911. Chekhonin soon became an original and skilful artist, using a sharp and elastic line interspersed with dots. From ...

Article

Russian, 20th century, male.

Painter.

Constructivism, Suprematism.

Little is known of Ivan Chervinko's life, and only a few of his works are known to exist. He was a pupil of Kazimir Malevich and worked in his studio in Vitebsk.

Article

Russian, 20th century, male.

Born 1904.

Painter.

Suprematism.

Lezar Hidekel was a pupil of Kazimir Malevich in Vitebsk and attended the Unovis school. In 1922 he left for Petrograd (now St Petersburg) with Malevich to work at GINKhUK (the state institute of culture). At the same time, he studied at the institute of civil engineering until ...

Article

German, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1951, in Munich.

Painter, mixed media. Murals.

Horndash lives and works in Munich. He uses multiple forms of expression and combines cultural references from the Suprematism of Russian painter Kasimir Malevich to the Constructivism of Russian painter, sculptor and graphic artist Eliezer Markowich Lissitzky. Notably, he produces monumental murals on glass, painted from the block, and inscribes signs, scripts and geometric forms onto the vast surface....

Article

Inkhuk  

John E. Bowlt

[Institut Khudozhestvennoy Kultury; Rus.: ‘Institute of Artistic Culture’]

Soviet institute for research in the arts that flourished from 1920 to 1926. Inkhuk was a dominant force in the development of Soviet art, architecture and design in the 1920s. Founded in Moscow in May 1920, with affiliations in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) and Vitebsk, it attracted many members of the avant-garde, especially Lyubov’ Popova and Aleksandr Rodchenko; its key administrative positions were occupied by Vasily Kandinsky (Moscow), Vladimir Tatlin (Petrograd) and Kazimir Malevich (Vitebsk). At one time Inkhuk maintained contact with Berlin (through El Lissitzky and the journal Veshch’/Gegenstand/Objet), the Netherlands, Hungary and Japan, although it never really had the chance to develop these international connections. One of the principal aims of Inkhuk was to reduce the modern movements such as Suprematism and Tatlin’s concept of the ‘culture of materials’ (see Tatlin, Vladimir) to a scientifically based programme that could be used for educational and research purposes—a development analogous to the initial endeavours of the Russian Formalist school of literary criticism, which attempted to analyse literature in terms of formal structures. In its aspiration to elaborate a rational basis for artistic practice, Inkhuk encouraged discussions on specific issues of artistic content and form, such as the debate on ‘composition versus construction’ in ...

Article

Anthony Parton

[Rus. Bubnovy Valet]

Group of Russian avant-garde painters active in Moscow from 1910 to 1917. It was founded by Mikhail Larionov, Natal’ya Goncharova, Aristarkh Lentulov, Pyotr Konchalovsky, Robert Fal’k, Il’ya Mashkov and Aleksandr Kuprin, young artists who found membership of existing art societies no longer compatible with their experimental styles of painting. Regular participants included Alexandra Exter, David Burlyuk and Vladimir Burlyuk. The name ‘Jack of Diamonds’, chosen by Larionov, suggested not only the roguish behaviour of the avant-garde but also their love of popular graphic art forms such as old printed playing cards.

The group’s first exhibition took place in Moscow in 1910, and, following the example of the exhibitions sponsored by the magazine Golden Fleece, they invited contributions from foreign artists such as Albert Gleizes, Albert Le Fauconnier and members of the ‘Neue Künstlervereinigung München’, including Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter and Alexei Jawlenski. In this first exhibition the influence of the ...

Article

Laima Laučkaitė

(b Sejny (now Poland), Nov 14, 1890; d Vilnius, June 13, 1961).

Lithuanian painter, art theoretician, and teacher. He studied at the Vilnius School of Drawing (1910–2), Moscow Drawing School of Konstantin Yuon (1912–6, simultaneously studied law at Moscow University), and Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1917–8). During the World War I he was drafted into the army. In 1918–19 he worked in the Art Department of People’s Education in the Voronezh district, and in 1920 he was an artist and advisor on art at the Fifth Red Army headquarters in Irkutsk. In 1920–21 he studied in Vkhutemas (Higher Art and Technical Studios) in Moscow under Pavel Kuznetsov, where he joined the Russian avant-garde movement, working in Constructivism, Cubism, and Suprematism. In 1921–32 he lived in Vilnius (then belonging to Poland) and taught drawing in Lithuanian schools and his own studio (1921–8). He organized the Exhibition of New Art in Vilnius in 1923...

Article

Adam M. Thomas

(b Minden, Jan 15, 1902; d Austin, TX, Dec 8, 1985).

American painter of German birth. Kelpe moved to Hannover to study art and architecture in 1919. In the early 1920s he was exposed to the leading abstract trends in European modernism, including Suprematism and Constructivism. Kelpe developed an abstract painting vocabulary characterized by geometric order, hard edges, overlapping planes, and interpenetrating shapes before immigrating to the United States in 1925. He eventually settled in Chicago, where he had his first solo exhibition in 1932 at the Little Gallery. In the late 1920s Kelpe applied found objects to his paintings, as exemplified by Construction with Lock and Key (1927; Washington, DC, Hirshhorn). He abandoned such constructions by the early 1930s in favor of integrating in paint recognizable gears, wheels and machine parts into his abstract compositions. Machine Elements (1934; Newark, NJ, Mus.), with its stacked semi-abstract machine and factory forms, is representative of his work during the period. Kelpe worked for the Public Works of Art Project in ...

Article

A. N. Lavrentiev

(Vladimirovich)

(b Novocherkassk, 1897; d Moscow, 1979).

Russian photographer. In 1925 he enrolled as a trainee film cameraman in Moscow, and from 1926 he worked under Boris Petrovich Podluzsky in the photography section of the State Academy of Artistic Sciences (GAKhN), where he became a virtuoso in applied photography. He was equally successful in highly complex reproduction work and with contemplative still-lifes, such as Milk and Bread (1926). His photos of museum exhibits, architectural details, plants and seeds were published in journals, books and catalogues. In 1931 he initiated a series of lectures on ‘museum photography’ for higher museum studies courses and for post-graduate students at the Central Museum of the Revolution. In the 1930s he produced still-lifes and exhibited frequently at photographic shows. In the 1960s he founded the Moscow Novator photography club, which he ran for 15 years, while continuing to work as a photographer at the Historical Museum.

A. Khlebnikov: ‘Kultura masterstva’ [The culture of craftsmanship], ...

Article

[Klutsis, Gustav (Gustavovich)]

(b Rŭjiena, Latvia, Jan 4, 1895; d Siberia, 1944).

Latvian painter, sculptor, graphic artist, designer and teacher, active in Russia. He was an important exponent of Russian Constructivism. He studied in Riga and Petrograd (now St Petersburg), but in the 1917 October Revolution joined the Latvian Rifle Regiment to defend the Bolshevik government; his sketches of Lenin and his fellow soldiers show Cubist influence. In 1918 he designed posters and decorations for the May Day celebrations and he entered the Free Art Studios (Svomas) in Moscow, where he studied with Malevich and Antoine Pevsner. Dynamic City (1919; Athens, George Costakis priv. col., see Rudenstine, no. 339) illustrates his adoption of the Suprematist style. In 1920 Klucis exhibited with Pevsner and Naum Gabo on Tver’skoy Boulevard in Moscow; in the same year Klucis joined the Communist Party. In 1920–21 he started experimenting with materials, making constructions from wood and paper that combined the geometry of Suprematism with a more Constructivist concern with actual volumes in space. In ...

Article

Latvian, 20th century, male.

Born 4 January 1895 , in Rŭjiena, Latvia; died 26 February 1938 , in Moscow

Painter, collage artist, photomontage artist, poster artist, lithographer, sculptor.

Constructivism, Vhutemas, Productivism, Suprematism.

Unovis, October.

Gustav Klucis studied at the City Art School in Riga (1913-1915), then at the school of design under the aegis of the Imperial Society for the Fostering of Art (1915-1917) in Petrograd (now St Petersburg). He completed his training at Vasily Meshkov’s school of design and painting, Il’ya Mashkov’s studio in the State Free Art Studio (Svoma) in Moscow, and the higher artistic and technical workshops (Vkhutemas) under the direction of Kazimir Malevich and Antoine Pevsner. An associate member of the INKhUK (Institute of Artistic Culture) productivist group in Moscow from 1921 to 1925, he taught courses at the Vkhutemas from 1924 to 1930. He was a founder member of the October group in 1928....

Article

Ukrainian, 20th century, male.

Born 1870 or 1873, in Bolchie or Bolchye Gorki; died 1942, in Moscow.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, sculptor.

Suprematism.

Brought up in Warsaw, where he studied at the school of design for the promotion of the arts, Ivan Klyun left Poland and moved to Moscow in 1910 where he attended the studio of Ilya Mashkov, V. Fisher and F. Rerberg. In 1913, by now in St Petersburg, he joined a futurist group, the ...

Article

Christina Lodder

(Vasil’yevich)

(b Bol’shiye Gorky, province of Vladimir, 1873; d Moscow, 1943).

Russian painter and sculptor. He studied in Kiev and Warsaw in the 1890s and then in Moscow, and initially painted in a Symbolist style (e.g. Portrait of the Artist’s Wife (Consumption), 1910; Athens, George Costakis priv. col., see Rudenstine, p. 141). In 1907 he met Malevich and later joined the Union of Youth group, contributing to their final exhibition in St Petersburg during the winter of 1913–14. At this time Klyun began producing sculptures and reliefs using stylistic devices from Cubism and Futurism. The most dynamic and abstract of these is Rapidly Passing Landscape (1915; Moscow, Tret’yakov Gal.), constructed from painted wood, wire, metal and porcelain. Klyun was in close contact with Malevich from 1913 and signed Malevich’s Suprematist manifesto of December 1915. Klyun later produced Suprematist works, including a series of small paintings (untitled) depicting single geometric forms in various colours on white grounds (c. 1917; Athens, George Costakis priv. col., see Rudenstine, p. 147). In ...

Article

Latvian, 20th century, female.

Active in Poland.

Born 1898, in Riga; died 1951, in Lódz.

Sculptor.

Constructivism, Suprematism.

Groups: Unovis, Blok, Praesens, R.A. (Revolutionary Artists), Abstraction-Création.

Katarzyna Kobro studied sculpture in Moscow between 1917 and 1920, first at the school of painting, sculpture and design in Moscow then at the state free art workshop (Svomas). She met the painter Strzeminsky in Moscow and married him in ...

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 ...