Artists Research, by K. S
Liubov Popova (1889-1924) was a Russian pioner avant-garde artist , painter and designer. Through a synthesis of styles. Popova was one of the most talented, prolific, and influential women artists of the Russian avant-garde. Her style combines floating abstract forms inspired in part by Cubist collage (which she encountered on a trip to Paris in 1912–13) and Suprematism, an abstract style developed by her friend and compatriot Kazimir Malevich, together with an assertive color palette derived in part from Russian folk art.
She was born in the village of Ivanovskoe in Moscow province, in a family of a wealthy and cultured merchant. In high school she began to take art lessons with S. Zhukovskiy and K. Yuon in Moscow. In 1910, Popova went to Italy and became acquainted with the works of Giotto and Pintoriccio.
In 1912, she set up a studio in Moscow with N. Udaltsova, her friend from Arsenyeva's school and both women worked in Tatlin's studio The Tower. The same year she travelled to Paris and studied cubism with Le Fauconnier and Metzinger. After returning to Moscow in 1913, she became interested in Italian futurism. A year later, just before the war, she went to France and Italy again. In 1915 developed her own variant of non-objective art based on a dynamic combination of principles of icon painting. In 1916 She became a member of Supremus, organised by K. Malevich. In 1920, she worked at Institute of Artistic Culture ( A centre of constructivist theories).
Painterly Architectonics show Popova's interest in the presentation of surface planes with an energy of inner tension, as the coloured masses, lines and volumes all interrelate to create a formal unity. Painterly Constructions further developed the idea of intersecting planes, but gave the compositions a feeling of greater freedom and fluidity.
The artist's fascination with construction allowed her to join other constructivists in absolute rejection of easel painting. She gave up her own painting and turned entirely to industrial design (1921). A year before her untimely death, Popova was appointed head of the Design Studio at the First State Textile Print Factory in Moscow. Popova participated in many famous avant-garde exhibitions in Moscow and Saint Petersburg : "Jack of Diamonds" (Moscow, 1914 and 1916), "Tramway V" (First Futurist Exhibition of Paintings, Petrograd 1915), "0.10" (Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings, Petrograd 1915), and others. In addition, she was successful as a set designer for theatre. Her first scenic designs were for Tairov's production of "Romeo and Juliet" (1920).
Liubov Popova died in 1924 at the age of 35.
* In the first days of communist Russia, artists created radical sets and costumes for a futuristic new era of theatre that inspired Fritz Lang and even Flash Gordon. A century on, they’re just as outrageous.
Lyubov Popova’s fantastic mechanical set for The Magnanimous