Three Women in Yellow, c. 1912
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Fri, 09/16/2022 – 15:57
Russia, 1881–1962, active France
Graphic Arts Council Fund
In 1912, Natalia Goncharova and her lifelong partner Mikhail Larionov founded a painting school for the study and evolution of traditional Russian art. Tapping into religious iconography and folk art forms such as lubuk prints, they forged new modes of expression in a spirit of Neo-Primitivism. Amongst their peers in this pursuit, was Russian cubo-futurist poet Velimir Khlebnikov, who collaborated with the duo on a series of books fusing avant-garde poetry with collage and illustration. Constructed from simple materials, the books were meant to feel as if they had spontaneously sprung into existence. This aspect was heightened through text written in Zaum, a language invented by Khlebnikov and fellow futurist Aleksei Kruchenykh, with an aural symbolism rooted in Slavic sounds aiming to express feelings beyond words. Like Natalia Goncharova, Velimir Khlebnikov seemed to acknowledge his place in the greater continuum while simultaneously attempting to shatter it and transcend time and space. This sensibility resounds in Radio Budushchego, a 1922 audio collage by Khlebnikov that blends themes of technology, nature and spirituality. His ode to the nascent medium of radio is an aspirational one, imagining heightened human connectivity and ultimately evolution through intentional transmission.