Natalia Goncharova

Russia, b.1881, d.1962

Costume Espagnol (Spanish Costume)

  • 1919
  • Gouache au pochoir print
  • Presented by Anita Muling, 1979
  • 408 x 245mm
  • 80/12

This print is from the folio L’Art Décoratif Théâtral Moderne (Modern Theatrical Decorative Art) produced in Paris in 1919 by leading European avant-garde artists Natal’ya Goncharova (1881–1962) and Mikhail Larionov (1881–1964). Including examples of the artists’ work in lithography and pochoir (stencil) printing, the folio highlights not only their interest in stage and costume design, but also their desire to combine the forms of cubism with the representation of movement. In 1912 Larionov initiated rayonism, an artistic genre in which he investigated the effect of light rays fracturing and reflecting off the surface of objects. The prints included in L’Art Décoratif Théâtral Moderne, with their rich decorative patterns, vibrant colours and abstract forms, highlight these concerns.

Goncharova and Larionov first met in 1898 as students at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and remained lifelong companions. Both artists were founding members of leading Russian avant-garde movements, including the Donkey’s Tail (1912), and worked with the renowned founder of Ballets Russes, Serge Diaghilev (1872–1929), from 1914. In 1919 they relocated to Paris, where they became prominent figures in the city’s artistic, dance and literary circles. Today they are widely regarded as the foremost Russian artists of the twentieth century.

L’Art Décoratif Théâtral Moderne was presented to the Gallery by Anita Muling in 1979.

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • I see red, 5 December 2007 - 23 November 2008

    Standing tall, the Spanish dancer concentrates, then slowly moves and turns her body like a flickering flame. In hot colours, bold flowers appear then disappear beneath layers of cloth in deep red and fuchsia pink.

    This striking stencil print of a Spanish woman was made in Paris in 1919 by Russian artist Natalia Goncharova as part of a series of prints produced with her partner Mikhail Larionov as stage costume designs. (Ken Hall, 2007)