Rayonism

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Mikhail Larionov, Red Rayonism, 1913 Larionov red rayonism.jpg
Mikhail Larionov, Red Rayonism, 1913

Rayonism [1] (or Rayism [2] or Rayonnism [3] ) was a style of abstract art that developed in Russia in 1910–1914. Founded and named by Russian Cubo-Futurists Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova, it was one of Russia's first abstract art movements. [4]

Contents

Background

In 1909, Italian poet F. T. Marinetti published the Founding Manifesto of Futurism. The Futurists took speed, technology and modernity as their inspiration, depicting the dynamic character of early 20th century life; examples of Italian Futurists are Umberto Boccioni and Giacomo Balla. Shortly after the movement started, Russian Futurism, Ego-Futurism and Cubo-Futurism began; in Russia, the movement was developed by painter David Burliuk, poets Aleksei Kruchyonykh, Vasily Kamensky and Vladimir Mayakovsky, and many others. Larionov and Goncharova were early followers of Russian Futurism.

In 1910, the latter two people, together with many associates such as Aristarkh Lentulov and Ilya Mashkov, they founded the exhibiting society the Jack of Diamonds. However, in 1912, Goncharova and Larionov left, in protest at the group's reliance on French art, and organised their own rival exhibitions. It was then that Rayonism began, with a distinct vision of what abstract art was representative of. Larionov's approach to abstract painting was the idea that certain scientific principles, like radioactivity, ultraviolet light, and x-rays, were the foundation for the vision of what he wanted to create. [5]

History of the movement

Goncharova began to paint in the Rayonist style as early as 1909, but the Rayonist Manifesto by her and Larionov was written in 1912, and published the subsequent year. [6] In the manifesto, Larionov expresses the following, "Long live the style of Rayonist painting created by us, free from realistic forms, existing and developing itself only according to its own pictorial laws." [7]

The Rayonists sought an art that floated beyond abstraction, outside time and space, and to break the barriers between the artist and the public. Rayonist paintings thus focused on the rays reflecting from the objects, and how the rays moved. [8] They derived the name from the use of dynamic rays of contrasting color, representing lines of reflected light "crossing of reflected rays from various objects".[ This quote needs a citation ]

At the famous 1913 Target exhibition, they introduced the style to the public. [1] In their literature they described Rayonism as "naturally encompassing all existing styles and forms of the art of the past, as they, like life, are simply points of departure for a Rayonist perception and construction of a picture".[ This quote needs a citation ]

Larionov and Goncharova also wrote:

"The style of Rayonist painting that we advance signifies spatial forms which are obtained arising from the intersection of the reflected rays of various objects, and forms chosen by the artist's will. The ray is depicted provisionally on the surface by a colored line. That which is valuable for the lover of painting finds its maximum expression in a rayonist picture. The objects that we see in life play no role here, but that which is the essence of painting itself can be shown here best of all – the combination of color, its saturation, the relation of colored masses, depth, texture ... . [9]
"We do not sense the object with our eye, as it is depicted conventionally in pictures and as a result of following this or that device; in fact, we do not sense the object as such. We perceive a sum of rays proceeding from a source of light; these are reflected from the object and enter our field of vision.
"Consequently, if we wish to paint literally what we see, then we must paint the sum of rays reflected from the object. But in order to receive the total sum of rays from the desired object, we must select them deliberately – because together with the rays of the object being perceived, there also fall into our range of vision reflected reflex rays belonging to other nearby objects. Now, if we wish to depict an object exactly as we see it, then we must depict also these reflex rays belonging to other objects – and then we will depict literally what we see ...
"Now, if we concern ourselves not with the objects themselves but with the sums of rays from them, we can build a picture in the following way:
"The sum of rays from object A intersects the sum of rays from object B, while a form emerges in the space between them driven by the artist's will." [5]
"Perception, not of the object itself, but of the sum of rays from it, is, by its very nature, much closer to the symbolic surface of the picture than is the object itself. This is almost the same as the mirage which appears in the scorching air of the desert and depicts distant towns, lakes, and oases in the sky (in concrete instances). Rayonism erases the barriers that exist between the picture's surface and nature. [ This quote needs a citation ]

Later that same year, the Rayonists started painting their faces; in explanation, Larionov and fellow theoretician Ilia Zdanevich wrote the manifesto "Why We Paint Our Faces", which included suggested Rayonist face painting designs as illustrations.

Rayonism ended with the start of the Great War.

The movement received minimal acceptance for their influence on Russian abstract art until a few pieces were acquired by the Tate Gallery in 1952. There are few locations where works representative of this style can be viewed by the public outside of galleries primarily in London, New York, or Paris. Many exist in private collections, especially due to the long history of abstract art being frowned upon by the Soviet's. [10]

Although short-lived, Rayonism was a crucial step in the development of Russian abstract art. As Larionov said, it represented the "true freeing of art" from the former "realistic" conventions that had "oppressed" the artistic community.

Electro act "The Rayonists" took their name from the movement.

See also

Related Research Articles

Futurism Artistic and social movement

Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century and to a lesser extent in other countries. It emphasized dynamism, speed, technology, youth, violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city. Its key figures included the Italians Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Fortunato Depero, Gino Severini, Giacomo Balla, and Luigi Russolo. Italian Futurism glorified modernity and according to its doctrine, aimed to liberate Italy from the weight of its past. Important Futurist works included Marinetti's 1909 Manifesto of Futurism, Boccioni's 1913 sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, Balla's 1913–1914 painting Abstract Speed + Sound, and Russolo's The Art of Noises (1913).

Aleksei Kruchyonykh Russian poet, artist and futurist

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Natalia Goncharova Russian-French artist (1881–1962)

Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova was a Russian avant-garde artist, painter, costume designer, writer, illustrator, and set designer. Goncharova's lifelong partner was fellow Russian avant-garde artist Mikhail Larionov. She was a founding member of both the Jack of Diamonds (1909–1911), Moscow's first radical independent exhibiting group, the more radical Donkey's Tail (1912–1913), and with Larionov invented Rayonism (1912–1914). She was also a member of the German-based art movement Der Blaue Reiter. Born in Russia, she moved to Paris in 1921 and lived there until her death.

Cubo-Futurism Russian art movement

Cubo-Futurism was an art movement that arose in early 20th century Russian Empire, defined by its amalgamation of the artistic elements found in Italian Futurism and French Analytical Cubism. Cubo-Futurism was the main school of painting and sculpture practiced by the Russian Futurists. In 1913, the term ‘Cubo-Futurism’ first came to describe works from members of the poetry group ‘Hylaeans’, as they moved away from poetic Symbolism towards Futurism and zaum, the experimental “visual and sound poetry of Kruchenykh and Khlebninkov”. Later in the same year the concept and style of ‘Cubo-Futurism’ became synonymous with the works of artists within Ukrainian and Russian post-revolutionary avant-garde circles as they interrogated non-representational art through the fragmentation and displacement of traditional forms, lines, viewpoints, colours, and textures within their pieces. The impact of Cubo-Futurism was then felt within performance art societies, with Cubo-Futurist painters and poets collaborating on theatre, cinema, and ballet pieces that aimed to break theatre conventions through the use of nonsensical zaum poetry, emphasis on improvisation, and the encouragement of audience participation.

Mikhail Larionov Russian painter and costume and set designer

Mikhail Fyodorovich Larionov was an avant-garde Russian painter who worked with radical exhibitors and pioneered the first approach to abstract Russian art. His lifelong partner was fellow avant-garde artist, Natalia Goncharova.

Donkey's Tail was a Russian artistic group created from the most radical members of the Jack of Diamonds group. The group included such painters as: Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Kazimir Malevich, Marc Chagall, and Aleksandr Shevchenko. The group, according to Gino Severini in his autobiography, was Futurist; it is known that, even if they were not, they were certainly influenced by the Cubo-Futurism movement. The only exhibition of the group took place in Moscow in 1912, and in 1913, the group fell apart.

David Burliuk Ukrainian artist, poet and publicist (1882–1967)

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Ivan Puni

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Russian Futurism Literary and artistic movement in the Eurasian country

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Ego-Futurism

Ego-Futurism was a Russian literary movement of the 1910s, developed within Russian Futurism by Igor Severyanin and his early followers. While part of the Russian Futurism movement, it was distinguished from the Moscow-based cubo-futurists as it was associated with poets and artists active in Saint Petersburg.

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<i>Universal War</i> 1916 poetry book by A. Kruchenykh

Universal War is an artist's book by Aleksei Kruchenykh published in Petrograd at the beginning of 1916. Despite being produced in an edition of 100 of which only 12 are known to survive, the book has become one of the most famous examples of Russian Futurist book production, and is considered a seminal example of avant-garde art from the beginning of the twentieth century.

0,10 Exhibition 1915-16 Russian exhibition

The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0,10 was an exhibition presented by the Dobychina Art Bureau at Marsovo Pole, Petrograd, from 19 December 1915 to 17 January 1916. The exhibition was important in inaugurating a form of non-objective art called Suprematism, introducing a daring visual vernacular composed of geometric forms of varying colour, and in signifying the end of Russia's previous leading art movement, Cubo-Futurism, hence the exhibition's full name. The sort of geometric abstraction relating to Suprematism was distinct in the apparent kinetic motion and angular shapes of its elements.

<i>Dynamism of a Cyclist</i> 1913 painting by Umberto Boccioni

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<i>Black Square</i> (painting) Painting by Kazimir Malevich

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<i>Street Light</i> (painting) Painting by Giacomo Balla

Street Light is a painting by Italian Futurist painter Giacomo Balla, dated 1909, depicting an electric street lamp casting a glow that outshines the crescent moon. The painting was inspired by streetlights at the Piazza Termini in Rome.

Růžena Zátková

Růžena Zátková, also called Rougina Zatkova, was a painter and sculptor who has been regarded as the "only authentic Czech futurist." As a result of her Bohemian heritage and her decade-long residency in Rome, Růžena Zátková became an important artistic link between Russian and Italian Futurism. Zátková is considered one of the pioneers of kinetic art.

<i>An Englishman in Moscow</i> 1914 painting

An Englishman in Moscow, is a 1914 oil on canvas painting by Ukrainian avant-garde artist and art theorist Kazimir Malevich.

<i>Cyclist</i> (painting) Painting by Natalia Goncharova

Cyclist is a 1913 Cubo-Futurist painting by the Russian artist Natalia Goncharova. The painting is considered an "archetypal work" of Futurism by its current holder, the State Russian Museum.

References

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  2. Harte, Tim (2009). Fast forward the aesthetics and ideology of speed in Russian avant-garde culture, 1910-1930. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 259. ISBN   978-0299233235.
  3. Drucker, Johanna (December 2020). Iliazd: a Meta-Biography of a Modernist. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 41.
  4. "Rayonism". Tate Gallery. Retrieved 22 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. 1 2 Bobrinskaya, Ekaterina (2020). "Mikhail Larionov's Rayonism and the Scientific Mythologies of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century". Venezia Arti. 29: 127–136 via Edizioni Ca' Foscari.
  6. Gerhardus, Mary; Gerhardus, Dietfried (1979). Cubism and Futurism. Phaidon. p. 74.
  7. Dabrowski, Magdalena (1975). "The Formation and Development of Rayonism". Art Journal. 34 (3): 200–207. Retrieved 2 June 2022 via JSTOR.
  8. Lodder, Christina. "Natalia Goncharova: the Trailblazer". Tate Gallery. Retrieved 22 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. "Introducing Natalia Goncharova". Tate Gallery. Retrieved 22 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. Chamot, Mary (1955). "The Early Work of Goncharova and Larionov". The Burlington Magazine. 97 (627): 170+172–174 via JSTOR.