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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

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

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

Myroslava M. Mudrak

(Mykolayovych)

(b Kholm, Sept 15, 1897; d Moscow, Feb 18, 1956).

Ukrainian painter and theorist. He was apprenticed in the workshop for icon-painting in Kiev (1910–14). In 1913 he studied with Fyodor Rerberg (1865–1938) in Moscow and in 1914–18 attended the School for the Advancement of Art in Petrograd (now St Petersburg). Returning to Kiev in 1918, he studied at the Ukrainian Academy of Art and Alexandra Exter’s decorative arts workshop, and he took part in designing revolutionary street decorations. In Zrachki solntsa he gave an eyewitness account of life in Kiev during the years after the fall of the Russian empire. He spent the 1920s and 1930s in Moscow and in Paris, where he was a member of the Parisian Group of Ukrainian Artists. In 1920–22 he studied in Moscow at Vkhutemas (Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops) under Vasily Kandinsky, and he developed a synthesis of Cubist, Suprematist and Constructivist tendencies. As a reaction to the depersonalized character of ...