Mikhail Fyodorovich Larionov

Russia, b.1881, d.1964

'Un Grime', Musique de Ravel

  • Presented by Anita Muling, 1979
  • Gouache au pochoir print
  • 324 x 502mm
  • 80/2
  • 1919

The avant-garde Russian artists Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova settled permanently in Paris following the Russian revolutions of 1917. Declaring themselves “artists of art's future paths,” they also proclaimed their fascination in “the whole brilliant style of modern times […] a great epoch, one that has known no equal in the entire history of the world.”

Larionov's print, produced two years later, exhibits the characteristics of rayonism, the cubist- and futurist-inspired art movement they introduced with their 1913 manifesto in Moscow. The print is gouache au pochoir, a manual stencil-based technique. Larionov and Goncharova were first invited to Paris by their compatriot Serge Diaghilev to design sets and costumes for his trailblazing Ballet Russes. Their spectacular success from 1914 onwards led to their joining his company and a community of Russian émigrés centred in Paris.

This print is from Larionov and Goncharova's L’Art Décoratif Théâtral Moderne, a folio of fine prints published in 1919.

(In Modern Times, 18 December 2015 – 11 September 2016)

earlier labels about this work
  • 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.