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Article

Charlotte Humphreys

(Yeliseyevich)

(b Olevka, Kherson province, 1886; d Moscow, 1968).

Russian poet and critic of Ukrainian birth. He is best known for his creation of Russian Futurist books between 1912 and 1916 in collaboration with the avant-garde artists Natal’ya Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, Kazimir Malevich and Ol’ga Rozanova. These books, some of which were written with Velimir Khlebnikov, are characterized by deliberate mistakes and misprints, bold handwriting or irregular typefaces and printed on differently textured paper or wallpaper. The accompanying illustrations were executed in a coarse and primitive style to match the harsh and dissonant tones of the poetry. The books include Igra v adu (‘A game in Hell’; Moscow, 1912 and 1914), Mirskontsa (‘The world backwards’; Moscow, 1912), Pomada (Moscow, 1913), Utinoye gnezdyshko…durnykh slov (‘A duck’s nest…of bad words’; St Petersburg, 1913), Te Li Le (St Petersburg, 1914), Zaumnaya kniga (‘Transrational book’; Moscow, 1915), Voyna (‘War’; Petrograd, 1915) and Vselenskaya voyna (‘Universal war’; Petrograd, ...

Article

John Milner

[Lisitsky, El’ ; Lisitsky, Lazar’ (Markovich )]

(b Pochinok, Smolensk province, Nov 23, 1890; d Moscow, Dec 30, 1941).

Russian draughtsman, architect, printmaker, painter, illustrator, designer, photographer, teacher, and theorist.

After attending school in Smolensk, he enrolled in 1909 at the Technische Hochschule, Darmstadt, to study architecture and engineering. He also travelled extensively in Europe, however, and he made a tour of Italy to study art and architecture. He frequently made drawings of the architectural monuments he encountered on his travels. These early graphic works were executed in a restrained, decorative style reminiscent of Russian Art Nouveau book illustration. His drawings of Vitebsk and Smolensk (1910; Eindhoven, Stedel. Van Abbemus.), for example, show a professional interest in recording specific architectural structures and motifs, but they are simultaneously decorative graphic works in their own right and highly suitable for publication. This innate awareness of the importance of controlling the design of the page was to remain a feature of Lissitzky’s work throughout radical stylistic transformations. He also recorded buildings in Ravenna, Venice, and elsewhere in Italy in ...

Article

John E. Bowlt

(Stakhiyevich)

(b Novocherkassk, Oct 22, 1883; d Moscow, Oct 24, 1946).

Russian illustrator and poster artist. He had no formal training as an artist and started working as an amateur illustrator in 1908 for the satirical newspaper Budil’nik, to which he contributed regularly until 1917. Influenced by the Jugendstil caricatures of Thomas Heine and the Simplicissimus group, Moor quickly demonstrated his mastery of line and sense of subtle irony, as in the cartoons Representative of the People (1913) and The Liberal (1915; see Kozlov, p. [17]).

Moor’s career as a caricaturist and poster artist began just after the October Revolution of 1917, when he produced numerous satires on the White Army, the Capitalist blockade, the Church and other topics, many of which have become famous. Drawn in a crisp and simple style, sometimes in black and white, sometimes brightly coloured, Moor’s posters are reminiscent of lubki (cheap, handcoloured broadsheets, see Lubok) and, like them, communicate the message immediately and clearly (e.g. a ...

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

Jeremy Howard

[Nadezhda] (Nikolayevna)

(b Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia, Jan 31, 1952; d Moscow, March 6, 1969).

Russian illustrator and graphic designer. The phenomenon of Nadya Rusheva arose as the result of the exploitation of a child talent and the demand for positive achievements that accorded with the Soviet myth. Her death at the age of 17 from a brain haemorrhage acted as a final sad chord in her cultural role. Her first drawings became known in 1964 when the Moscow intellectual elite was seeking an embodiment of Nikita Khrushchov’s political thaw. She exhibited in the offices of the famous opposition periodical Yunost’ (‘Youth’). She produced over 10,000 works in a number of series, most of which were essentially the line illustrations of a gifted, developing child for the classics from world literature. This work, created mostly in ink, felt-tip pen and crayon, was inspired by the amateur illustrations of 19th- and 20th-century writers, most notably Aleksandr Pushkin and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Typical of her most mature work was her illustration of ...

Article

John Milner

[Rus.: Suprematizm]

Term coined in 1915 by Kazimir Malevich for a new system of art, explained in his booklet Ot kubizma i futurizma k suprematizmu: Novyy zhivopisnyy realizm (‘From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism: the new realism in painting’). The term itself implied the supremacy of this new art in relation to the past. Malevich saw it as purely aesthetic and concerned only with form, free from any political or social meaning. He stressed the purity of shape, particularly of the square, and he regarded Suprematism as primarily an exploration of visual language comparable to contemporary developments in writing. Suprematist paintings were first displayed at the exhibition Poslednyaya futuristicheskaya vystavka kartin: 0.10 (‘The last Futurist exhibition of paintings: 0.10’) held in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) in December 1915; they comprised geometric forms which appeared to float against a white background. While Suprematism began before the Revolution of 1917, its influence, and the influence of Malevich’s radical approach to art, was pervasive in the early Soviet period; ...