(b Kovno [now Kaunas, Lithuania], Nov 5, 1894; d Moscow, May 20, 1958).
Russian painter and designer of Lithuanian birth. She trained at the Kazan’ School of Art (c. 1910–11) where she met Aleksandr Rodchenko, whom she subsequently married. In 1912 she moved to Moscow where she attended the Stroganov School (1913–14) and studied with Konstantin Yuon and Il’ya Mashkov. In 1919 Stepanova became involved with the Futurist poets, composing zaum’ (‘transrational’) poetry herself and producing collaged and handwritten books, including Rtny Khomle, Zigra ar and her masterpiece Gaust Chaba (all 1918; copies in St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.), in which she wrote her zaum’ text on newspaper. After the Revolution, Stepanova worked in the Museums office of the Department of Fine Arts (IZO) in Narkompros (the People’s Commissariat for Enlightenment) and from c. 1921 taught at the Academy of Social Education.
Stepanova participated in numerous exhibitions organized by IZO, including the Fifth State Exhibition and the Tenth State Exhibition. She was one of the first members of ...