Scandalous "Jack of Diamonds": How daring Russian artists from hooligans and provocateurs turned into avant-garde classics
At the beginning of the last century, this community of rebellious artists was almost the most scandalous in our country. No wonder, after all, the shocking creative group “The Jack…

Continue reading →

“Marriage takes away hope”: As an artist, Paula Modersohn-Becker was looking for a balance between family and creativity
At the end of the 19th century, the inhabitants of the German village of Worpswede only said that they were about the eccentric artists who settled there. Young men and…

Continue reading →

Picture-tricks: How over the centuries artists confused the audience
Optical illusions are not new, the first “illusionists” were the ancient creators. With the development of painting, the skill of artists in creating paintings-deceptions was improved - initially confusing, always…

Continue reading →

Scandalous “Jack of Diamonds”: How daring Russian artists from hooligans and provocateurs turned into avant-garde classics

At the beginning of the last century, this community of rebellious artists was almost the most scandalous in our country. No wonder, after all, the shocking creative group “The Jack of Diamonds” challenged painters and academics. Everything was provocative in this “grouping” – its very name, the first exhibition and, of course, the pictures that were painted by young artists. Creativity outrageous “bubnovovalevetsev” caused outrage in conservative circles of art historians and painters of Tsarist Russia. However, it was precisely these rebels who were destined to become the forefathers of avant-garde.

Provocative creativity
The name “Jack of Diamonds” caused a lot of surprise and even resentment in cultural circles. On the one hand, it referred to gambling, and on the other hand, it reminded of convicts in prison robes, on which they made a rhombus, which they were called “diamond aces”. Meanwhile, by that time, the older generation had not forgotten how Moscow and other cities of Russia at the end of the 19th century were kept in fear by the criminal group of swindlers and robbers The Club of Red Jacks. In general, something more outrageous was hard to come up with.

It is believed that the word “avant-gardists” was first applied to Alexander Benoit in relation to the “Bubnovovaletovtsam”, who doubly related to their work, but certainly was not indifferent to it. The artist, theorist, organizer of the creative association “World of Art” believed that painting can be divided into three main areas: avant-garde, rearguard, and center. He attributed himself and his like-minded people to the center, and dubbed “radical” colleagues avant-gardists.

The first exhibition of the community, called the “Jack of Diamonds”, was held in 1910 in Moscow. Young and bold painters Aristarkh Lentulov, Petr Konchalovsky, Natalia Goncharova and many others presented their works at it. Exhibited here was Kazimir Malevich, who was not part of the community, but partly shared his philosophy.

“Whoever remembers this exhibition, he should not forget the impression,” Malevich recalled about it later. “Many of the audience were amazed so much that the painting deprived them of their support.

Presented paintings, according to the great artist, were “like a flame.” This characteristic clearly reflects the effect that the work of young and audacious “bubnovovalettsev” had on the public.

A year later, the artists established the community of the same name. They worked in different directions – for example, cubism, futurism, primitivism – and experimented with new styles. The main thing – to move away from the boring academic and show a bright individuality. This approach has caused serious criticism from their colleagues.

Peasant Artist
The philosophy of bubovovalevetsy is well traced in their work, and academic artists of that time could not help but notice it.

The painting by Ilya Mashkov “Self-portrait and portrait of Pyotr Konchalovsky” depicts two half-naked bodybuilders. The author painted relief musculature on the bodies (in real life, the artists looked somewhat more modest), reinforcing the effect with the kettlebells standing next to them. At the same time, one “pitching” in the hands of a violin, and next is the piano. The score shows a bullfighter with a bull and says “Bomb”.

The picture shows the viewer a new type of artist – this is no longer the subtle, pale and effeminate “creator”, but a painter of the “blood and milk” type, a strong and energetic peasant who burst into his safe harbor with academics. By the way, Mashkov himself was from peasants.

In the works of bubnovovalevtsev you can often find still lifes. Most often, these are not delicate field flowers, but bright large fruits or similar bright, simple bouquets.

For example, Mashkov’s still life, “Fruits on a platter”, with a simple, circularly lined fruit, captivates with its defiant simplicity and concrete. By the way, five years ago, he was sold at Christie’s for 7.2 million dollars.

Artists eloquently demonstrated their self-perception and their attitude to art on self-portraits. For example, Aristarkh Lentulov portrayed himself as a portly rosy-cheeked merchant in a bright, cheerful shirt. In the picture he stands, arms akimbo, and his look is so ironic that he laughs and looks. Self-irony is supported by the name of the painting – “The Great Artist”.

Not denied a sense of humor and Peter Konchalovsky. His self-portrait is an “average” citizen – by the look of a typical clerk with a mundanely-pensive look.

Fantastic flowers and loving couples in the tender paintings of the artist-romance Yevgeny Kuznetsov
Romanticism in the visual arts in all ages attracted masters very much, it was always very vividly manifested both in painting and in graphics. Speaking about the romantic artists of…

...

How did the d’Orsa Museum defeat the Louvre and become the best in the opinion of tourists
Among all the possible museums of the world in all sorts of cultural capitals of the world, the famous TripAdvisor site chose the d'Orsay Museum in Paris this year, which…

...

City landscapes of the Belarusian artist whose paintings are illustrated by school textbooks
Minsk dwellers often see a young man with an easel on the streets of his city, writing in various studies in different parts of the capital. This is a famous…

...

The story of one picture: How a cat saved a baby during a flood and made history
For a long time, artists of the historical genre, as a rule, laid down real historical events in the plots of their paintings, which is quite logical. So the tragedy…

...