THE GREAT EXPERIMENT: RUSSIAN ART 1863-1922 by Camilla Gray

THE GREAT EXPERIMENT: RUSSIAN ART 1863-1922

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Modern art's sally into the abstract real of ""pure"" painting owes an extra ordinary, and often overlooked, debt to the pioneer avant-gardism of early twentieth century Russian artists in whose care a violently original artistic revolution became the handmaiden of a revolutionary society. From 1860 to 1910, its group beginnings (the ""Wanderers"", the ""World of Art"", the ""Golden Fleece"", the Primitivists) cleared the traditional area for the entrenchment of Goncharova, Larionov, Kandinsky, Malevich, Tatlin, and Gan with their doctrines of Rayonnism, Cubo-Futurism, and, most important of all, Suprematism and Constructivism. Every convention was attacked as the aesthetic battles raged and iconoclasm flourished. Until 1923 when Communist control extinguished the conflict between technical and spiritual art, the artist-engineers of the Constructivist persuasion remained secure in their identification of art as an active social force. In an adequate and extensive critico- historical text, the author documents the exciting panorama previously unavailable to Western scholars. Personal manifestos, brief biographies, Russian and English bibliographies complete a large task excellently executed. Indispensable for the active archives of modern art and its adherents.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1962
Publisher: Abrams