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Artists Olga Rozanova
Olga Rozanova Photo

Olga Rozanova

Russian Painter, Poet, and Designer

Movements and Styles: Cubo-Futurism, Neo-Primitivism, Suprematism

Born: June 22, 1886 - Melenki, Russia

Died: November 8, 1918 - Moscow, Russia

Olga Rozanova Timeline

Quotes

"The world is a piece of raw material - for the unreceptive soul it is the back of a mirror, but for reflective souls it is a mirror of images appearing continually."
Olga Rozanova
"I would like to paint big pictures, but I am waiting to get the time, for there is no point in painting in fits and starts. I only like doing things if I enjoy them! And unexpected, accidental interruptions in my work torment me and disrupt the integrity of my ideas. Speaking generally, I want to be an artist first and only then all the rest [...] I want as soon as possible to paint pictures and write articles, and I am absolutely convinced that this is what I must do!"
Olga Rozanova
"We propose to liberate painting from its subservience to the ready-made forms of reality and to make it first and foremost a creative, not a reproductive, art [...] The aesthetic value of the non-objective painting lies completely in its painterly content."
Olga Rozanova
"We express ourselves at a time which is so unusual and extraordinary!"
Olga Rozanova
"The artist must not be a passive imitator of Nature. He must actively express his attitude to it."
Olga Rozanova
"Presently I can only paint things that are either entirely realistic or abstract. I can't allow anything in between, since I think that there are no links connecting these two arts, no comparisons and nothing in common...I now profess that objectness and non-objectness (in painting) are not two different tendencies within a single art, but two different arts - I even think it sensible to substitute projections on a screen for paint in non-object art. No connection at all!"
Olga Rozanova
"...white is fullness, black is negation..."
Olga Rozanova

"Don't complain of anything; complaining is a return to the past, while the future is bright..."

Synopsis

Olga Rozanova was a member of many of the most important art groupings and movements in early-20th century Russia, while the development of her work across the 1910s represents in microcosm the evolution of the Russian avant-garde over the same period. In this sense, she is significant as an exemplary artist of her era, but in many ways, Rozanova was also an exceptional figure: not just as one of few women attached to movements such as Cubo-Futurism and Suprematism, but in bringing her individual theories of spiritual energy and color interaction to bear on those movements, resulting in a unique and emotionally dynamic body of work. Had she not died of diphtheria in 1918 at the age of just 32, she might well be placed alongside Kazimir Malevich as one of the pioneers of 20th-century abstract painting.

Key Ideas

Rozanova was at the center of the artistic debates and experiments in Russia leading to the conception of Suprematism in 1915. This movement is now associated with Kazimir Malevich's iconic reduction of the picture plane in works such as Black Square, but Rozanova's abstract collages and paintings were equally vital exemplars of the pure abstraction which defined the style. Indeed, she spoke of such work as an unacknowledged precursor for Malevich's characterization of Suprematism.
Rozanova's Cubo-Futurist and Suprematist paintings were set apart from those of her peers, including Malevich and El Lissitzky, by her emphasis on the interplay and vibrancy of color, visual exercises in exploring the emotional and conceptual effect of interacting tonal groups. She linked these experiments to her attempts to express an inner spiritual energy through her work, and the resultant body of paintings and collages makes a unique contribution to movements otherwise defined by more purely geometrical forms of abstraction.
The term Cubo-Futurism is applied to a range of Russian art seen to have synthesized the influences of French Cubist and Italian Futurist painting. However, some critics have pointed out that the influence of Italian Futurism was relatively slim, and have instead emphasized the importance of prior developments in Russian art such as Neo-Primitivism and Rayonism to the conception of Cubo-Futurist style. Amongst the various painters associated with the movement, however, Rozanova was uniquely indebted to Italian models, including the work of Umberto Boccioni and Giacomo Balla. This connection was reflected in the display of her work in an exhibition of international Futurism in Rome in 1914.

Biography

Olga Rozanova Photo

Childhood

Olga Rozanova was born in the small town of Melenki in Russia, near the city of Vladimir, about 200 kilometers east of Moscow. Her father, Vladimir Iakovlevich Rozanov, was a district police officer, while her mother, Elizaveta Vasilevna Rozanova, was the daughter of an Orthodox priest, educated to a high level for a woman of her generation. Olga was the couple's fifth child, though only three of her siblings survived infancy. In 1903, Rozanova's father died, leaving Olga's mother as the head of the household. From 1896 to 1904 Rozanova studied at the Vladimir Women's Gymnasium, before leaving her home-town to train as a painter in Moscow, where her brother was already based as a law student.

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Olga Rozanova Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Olga Rozanova
Interactive chart with Olga Rozanova's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Mikhail LarionovMikhail Larionov
Natalia GoncharovaNatalia Goncharova
Henri MatisseHenri Matisse
Umberto BoccioniUmberto Boccioni
Giacomo BallaGiacomo Balla

Personal Contacts

Mikhail Matyushin
Elena Guro
Nikolai Kulbin
Vladimir MayakovskyVladimir Mayakovsky

Movements

CubismCubism
FuturismFuturism
Neo-PrimitivismNeo-Primitivism
RayonismRayonism
FauvismFauvism

Influences on Artist
Olga Rozanova
Olga Rozanova
Years Worked: 1910 - 1918
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Kazimir MalevichKazimir Malevich
Aleksander Rodchenko
Varvara StepanovaVarvara Stepanova
Lyubov PopovaLyubov Popova

Personal Contacts

Aleksei Kruchenykh

Movements

Cubo-FuturismCubo-Futurism
SuprematismSuprematism
ConstructivismConstructivism

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Elizabeth Berkowitz

Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Greg Thomas

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Elizabeth Berkowitz
Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Greg Thomas
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