A Gallery Tour, Continued.

So here we are among the works by artists originally displayed as part of the Jack (or Knave) of Diamonds exhibition in Moscow. The notes for each painting are taken from the exhibition cards of the Courtauld Gallery, London.

Mikhail Larionov’s (1881-1964) work below was displayed along with Still life in a Major Key at the Golden Fleece exhibition in Moscow in 1910. The Russian avant-garde artists had an abiding interest in the union of music and painting.

Still life in a minor key, by Mikhail Larionov. (1909).

Still life in a minor key, by Mikhail Larionov. (1909).

This painting was in the first Jack of Diamonds exhibition in Moscow from December 1910 – January 1911. “The nude female bathers form a scene similar to the works of the German Expressionist group the Bruecke (Bridge). Larionov’s use of red-orange and green, opposite colours on the colour wheel, define the figures with a jarring, clashing force.”

Bathers at sunset, by Mikhail Larionov. (1909).

Bathers at sunset, by Mikhail Larionov. (1909).

Aristarkh Lentulov (1882-1943) returned to Moscow and painted this based on his impressions gained from his Parisian life among the French avant-garde. “The artist uses a radical style to depict a very traditional subject, giving the roses a monumental quality through his layering of petals and bright blocks of colour.”

Flowers, by Aristarkh Lentulov. (1913).

Flowers, by Aristarkh Lentulov. (1913).

Natalia Goncharova’s (1881-1962) series of harvest paintings appeared between 1908 and 1911. She imagines a scene of cypresses and pink mountains, and the women’s outfits are unlike those she usually depicted Russian paintings in. Apelsinia was a name she invented for her solo exhibition in 1913 in Moscow. “The work reveals her taste for the exotic and interest in the art of Paul Gauguin.”

Apelsinia, by Natalia Goncharova. (1909).

Apelsinia, by Natalia Goncharova. (1909).

Vladimir Burliuk (1886-1917) was influenced by Cezanne and Cubism. “He often fractured his paintings into interlocking irregular segments, as if translating the principles of stained glass onto canvas.”

Landscape, by Vladimir Burliuk. (1913).

Landscape, by Vladimir Burliuk. (1913).

Olga Rozanova’s (1886-1918) typical style of simple and energetic brushwork and bright colours is exemplified in this work, executed three years before her death. The playing cards theme was one she returned to throughout her life, “emphasising that her art was based on card games often played in streets, bars and funfairs.”

Queen of Diamonds, by Olga Rozanova. (1915).

Queen of Diamonds, by Olga Rozanova. (1915).

Innokenti Annenesky’s play Thamyris, The Cither Player (Famira Kifared) was staged at the Moscow Chamber Theatre to Alexandra Exter’s design, which incorporated traditional art of her native Ukraine and referenced ancient Greek friezes. “With their graphic clarity and arrangement of bold colours, Exter’s designs contributed to a rhythmic framework shaping the performance itself.”

Greeks (Costume design), by Alexandra Exter. (1916).

Greeks (Costume design), by Alexandra Exter. (1916).

This was a design created by Goncharova for the astronomer Magus in a ballet (Liturgie) that never saw the light of day. Here she displays her interest in Russian folk art, peasant embroidery and icon painting. She was at the same time beginning her fruitful collaboration with Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes.

Magus (Costume design), by Natalia Goncharova. (1915).

Magus (Costume design), by Natalia Goncharova. (1915).

Avant-Garde Outing Continued Again

(Text below is from the St Petersburg Gallery’s exhibition notes for Russian Revolution in Art, Russian Avant-Garde: 1910 – 1932, running in London till September 20, 2014.)

Vyacheslav Levkievsky’s painting Tramway was displayed in the 1914 exhibition N°4, a show that (Mikhail) Larionov described as uniting artists that were ‘not in any way related to each other apart from their youth, their forward-looking vision and their problem-solving approach in the realm of painting while nevertheless being like-minded in their thoughts and feelings’.

Woman with guitar.

Woman with mandolin, by Vladimir Burliuk. (1913).

Vyacheslav Levkievsky.

Tramway, by Vyacheslav Levkievsky. (1914).

Self-portrait, by Yuri Annenkov. (1960).

Self-portrait, by Yuri Annenkov. (1960).

Sketch for the painting "Battle", by Aristarkh Lentulov. (1913).

Sketch for the painting “Battle”, by Aristarkh Lentulov. (1913).

Three designs of book cover "Evreinov, Kamensky, Lentulov", by Aristarkh Lentulov. (1914).

Three designs of book cover “Evreinov, Kamensky, Lentulov”, by Aristarkh Lentulov. (1914).

The Fool's Ball, by Jean Pougni. (1915-16)

The Fool’s Ball, by Jean Pougni. (1915-16)

Design, by Gustav Klutsis. (1922).

Design, by Gustav Klutsis. (1922).

Sun, by Mikhail Matyushin. (1921).

Sun, by Mikhail Matyushin. (1921).

Aristarkh Lentulov V

sergiev

Sergiev Posad. (1921).

Landscape with red tower. (1920).

Landscape with red tower. (1920).

Landscape with red house. Sergiev Posad. (1920).

Landscape with red house. Sergiev Posad. (1920).

Landscape with red house. (1917).

Landscape with monastery wall. (1920).

Red bridge. (1918).

Red bridge. (1918).

Landscape with dry trees. (1920).

Landscape with dry trees. (1920).

Landscape with dry trees and tower. (1920).

Landscape with dry trees and tower. (1920).

Red boats and railway bridge. (1918).

Red boats and railway bridge. (1918).

Trees. Klyazma. (1918).

Trees. Klyazma. (1918).

Trees in Klyazma. (1918).

Trees in Klyazma. (1918).

Aristarkh Lentulov IV

Lentulov’s art keeps giving and giving. (Via Lobgott Pipzam.)

Landscape with little bridge. (1918).

Landscape with little bridge. (1918).

Landscape. (1918).

Landscape. (1918).

Landscape with red house. (1918).

Landscape with red house. (1918).

Landscape with white horse. (1918).

Landscape with white horse. (1918).

Pink church. (1918).

Pink church. (1918).

new jerusalem

Gates with tower. New Jerusalem. (1917).

Gates with tower. New Jerusalem. (1917).

Monastery. Bishop's yard in New Jerusalem. (1917).

Monastery. Bishop’s yard in New Jerusalem. (1917).

Towers of the New Jerusalem Monastery. (1917).

Towers of the New Jerusalem Monastery. (1917).

River. New Jerusalem. Landscape with bathers. (1917).

River. New Jerusalem. Landscape with bathers. (1917).

Aristarkh Lentulov III

More Aristarkh Lentulov – peisages, cityscapes, all in brilliant colour. What an artist. (Via Lobgott Pipzam.)

Cypresses. (Castle in Alupka). (1916).

Cypresses. (Castle in Alupka). (1916).

Bridge with train. (1918).

Bridge with train. (1918).

Tower. New Jerusalem. (1916).

Tower. New Jerusalem. (1916).

Red church. (1916).

Red church. (1916).

Wooden church. (1916).

Wooden church. (1916).

Nizhny Novgorod. (1915).

Nizhny Novgorod. (1915).

Dacha in Kislovodsk. (1913).

Dacha in Kislovodsk. (1913).

Church in Kislovodsk. (1913).

Church in Kislovodsk. (1913).

Kislovodsk landscape with gates. (1913).

Kislovodsk landscape with gates. (1913).

Asters. (1913).

Asters. (1913).

Aristarkh Lentulov II

One can never get enough of this brilliant colorist. Here are some more of his works (via Lobgott Pipzam).

Procession. (1914).

Procession. (1914).

Sun over the roofs. Sunset. (1928).

Sun over the roofs. Sunset. (1928).

Sun over the roofs. Sunrise. (1928).

Sun over the roofs. Sunrise. (1928).

Passion Square at night. Moscow. (1928).

Passion Square at night. Moscow. (1928).

Night at the Patriarch's ponds. (1928).

Night at the Patriarch’s ponds. (1928).

Night on the Bronny. Moscow landscape. (1927).

Night on the Bronny. Moscow landscape. (1927).

Kremlin. (1919-1920).

Kremlin. (1919-1920).

Town. (1919).

Town. (1919).

Landscape with yellow church. Moscow (Sadovaya). (1919).

Landscape with yellow church. Moscow (Sadovaya). (1919).

Landscape with red house. (1917).

Landscape with red house. (1917).

Tversky Boulevard. Monastery of the Passion. (1917).

Tversky Boulevard. Monastery of the Passion. (1917).

Church in the Novodevichy Monastery. (1916).

Church in the Novodevichy Monastery. (1916).

At Iversky. (1916).

At Iversky. (1916).

The sky (decorative Moscow). (1915).

The sky (decorative Moscow). (1915).

Ringing. (The Ivan the Great Belfry). (1915).

Ringing. (The Ivan the Great Belfry). (1915).

Kremlin. (The Ivan the Great Belfry). (1915).

Kremlin. (The Ivan the Great Belfry). (1915).

Lobgott Pipzam took these pictures from the book “Аристарх Лентулов: Путь художника. Художник и время” by E. Y. Murina and C. G. Jafarova.

Women with Guitars

If you were paying attention, you may have noted Konstantin Korovin’s painting of a woman holding a guitar in a post from about a week ago. It appears that lots of artists have been attracted to this theme, and many of them are Russian. There are also other great names – notably Renoir and Matisse and Botero and Braque. In fact, Vermeer also painted a guitar-playing woman, and she bears a strange resemblance to Alanis Morissette – at least to my eye.

I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I stick the images of the Russian (and I hope you recall that when I say ‘Russian’ I continue to mean ‘of the erstwhile Russian / Soviet empires / diaspora / modern Russia / post-Soviet republics’) artworks first, and then point you to a few links for the depictions of women with guitars from the rest of the planet. How about that?

So here goes. Konstantin Korovin was quite profligate with guitar-chicks.

Lady with guitar. Konstantin Korovin. (1911).

Girl with guitar. Konstantin Korovin. (1916).

Woman with guitar. Konstantin Korovin. (1919).

Night. Duet. Konstantin Korovin. (1921).

Aristarkh Lentulov did his bit as well.

Woman with guitar. Aristarkh Lentulov. (1913).

Nearly thirty years earlier, Vasily Surikov painted the duchess S. A. Kropotkina wielding the instrument. Not quite a slide-guitar, however.

Portrait of the duchess S. A. Kropotkina. Vasily Surikov. (1882).

Vladimir Lebedev painted a portrait in oils of a nude sitting with a guitar.

Woman with guitar. Vladimir Lebedev. (1930).

I’m not entirely sure when S. Lysenko did the one below, or even who this painter is. Any ideas?

Gypsy woman with guitar. S. Lysenko.

How about a modern and up-to-date rendition of the theme? Here’s Viktor Vinokurov.

Girls with guitars. Viktor Vinokurov. (2006).

Or we can go way back and admire another work involving women and guitars. Vladimir Borovikovsky painted the Gagarin sisters, who – as you can see – can very well pass for any of Jane Austen’s heroines. (Note, though, that the Gagarins were a princely lot.) Borovikovsky was born in a Cossack family of icon painters in the Ukraine, but headed to Russia as soon as he decently could. I’ll call him a Ukrainian, shall I?

Portrait of A. G. and V. G. Gagarina. Vladimir Borovikovsky. (1802).

The brilliant Parashutov continues to anticipate my every move – his post from 9 June 2009 has several guitar-related works. The next few are all from his blog.

Girl with guitar. Nikolai Kupreyanov. (1928).

Look at this rather weak portrait from 1982 by Yuri Kossagovsky.

Woman with guitar. Yuri Kossagovsky. (1982).

Here’s Vasily Svarog’s Guitarist (date unknown):

Guitarist. Vasily Svarog.

Now for an Armenian. Ashot Asatryan has a lovely piece from a few years ago.

Evening. Ashot Asatryan. (2004).

And, to round things off, we have the Dagestani painter Mukhtar Bagandov. I’ve not been able to date this painting, but it is from this century.

Girl with guitar. Mukhtar Bagandov.

Other Women with Guitars

1. Parashutov’s series extends nearly 20 posts on the guitar, but includes men and still lifes with guitars. Take your pick.

2. Likewise, Meloteca has a nice set of guitar-related paintings from around the world.

Lives of the Artists I

Speaking of Aristarkh Lentulov, there’s a story about his sense of irony and self-deprecation. He painted a self-portrait which he modestly titled ‘Le Grand Peintre’. He named the title humorously, in a way completely in accord with his character, just as his contemporaries recall.

Self-portrait. “Le Grand Peintre”

The book designer Andrei Goncharov wrote in his memoirs about how in winter the artist Alexander Osmerkin ran into a merry and excited Aristarkh Lentulov who was riding on a sled. The sled stopped and Lentulov said, ‘Sasha, I have painted a masterpiece! Come over to my place and I’ll show it to you. But first let’s go to the shops for wine and hors d’oeuvres. There’s much to celebrate.’

No sooner said than done: they shopped and stocked up and hurried home. Without taking off his winter wear, still clad in overcoat and hat, Lentulov rushed up to the canvas (it was facing the wall), turned it around, looked at it for a long time, and then he said, mournfully waving his hand, ‘It’s crap.’

Such was Le Grand Peintre – talented and self-critical.

(Translated excerpt from Irina Osipova, ‘The Bright Light of the Ringing Bell‘, The Independent, 26 January 2007.)