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CONSTRUCTING A REVOLUTION A BRIEF EXAMINATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDE AND THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION The Russian Avant Garde began in Russia in about 1915 It was the year that Malevich revealed his Suprematist compositions that reduced painting to total abstraction and rid the pictures of any reference whatsoever to the visual world He is credited with being the first artist to do this that is forsake the visual world for a world of pure feeling and sensation This was the first movement originated by Russians and the birth of several other Avant Garde movements Probably the most popular piece at his 1915 exhibition was BLACK SQUARE real name suprematist composition Its basically a black square on a slightly larger white square that forms a border around it It was hung in the exhibition in the way an icon would be hung in a peasants home ie top corner of the room Malevich saw Suprematism as representing a yearning for space an impulse to break free from the globe of the earth It a spirit a spirituality that went beyond anything before it Among Malevichs students and contemporaries were such names as El Lissitzsky Alexsandr Rodchenko and Vladimir Tatlin who were of course to lead the Constructivist movement which started in the same year as Malevichs exhibition Tatlin had returned from studying art in Paris in 1913 where he had seen a series of relief constructions by Picasso Tatlin became very interested in form and message rather than representation and so he himself made a series of constructions They were in the same vein as Picasso but they were framed within a space and jutted out of the picture plane into the space of the observer They created a lot of interest and he coined the term Constructivism Tatlin and Malevich who had been friends up until this point started to be competitors over art ideology and this continued for
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