Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Lyubov Popova: A First in the Fusion Art of "Cubo-Futurism"


 In a search for women artists, who made art history during their life, I came across a name new to me. She was Lyubov Popova (1889-1924). Yes, she had a shortened life due to scarlet fever, but what she accomplished in her 35 years is worthy of a place in art history.


Born in Russia into a highly-cultured family, by age 11, she was taking art lessons. As an adult, she traveled widely throughout Europe observing and learning ever more in her pursuit of art. By age 22, she was studying in Paris with Cubist masters. (Below: "The Model")


 Popova is considered a first female pioneer in the Cubo-Futurism, which is a fusion of modern art originated in France and Italy. She referred to this fusion as "painterly architectonics." Later, she would work in Constructivism. (One of the Bauhaus in Germany was known to teach until the Nazis closed the school in 1933)

She was always evolving and seeking a way to explore art outside of the strictures of the academies. In that regard, she is quoted as saying about the avant garde artists:"We are breaking with the past, because we cannot accept its hypotheses." 


 Over time, Popova taught art classes and helped design for the theater. She would go on to generate the first designs for textiles to be manufactured in the First State Textile Printing Works in Moscow. Her contributions for the avant garde artists was very important. She could see that the revolution was changing Russia and she was showing a path to survival as artists. 


Her death came at the peak of her artistic powers, but she left an abundant legacy with 77 paintings, textile designs, posters and line engravings.


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