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Natalia  Sergeevna Goncharova  was born on June 21

The  Cyclist - oil on canvas - Post-Impressionism -1913  

Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova  (1881 - 1962) was a Russian avant-garde  artist,  painter, costume  designer, writer, illustrator,  and set designer.

In  1901 she began her studies at the Moscow Institute of  Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.  By 1903, she exhibited in  major Russian salons.  She was awarded a silver medal for sculpture in 1903-04.  It was at the Moscow  Institute that Goncharova met Mikhail  Larionov.

Natalia Goncharova  and Mikhail Larionov, led the charge in Russian Futurist painting, or  Cubo-Futurism, in the early twentieth century. While her early work was heavily  influenced by the French Post-Impressionists, Goncharova went on to help develop  Primitivism, Rayonnism  and various Futurist theatrical experiments.

The years 1906 through  1914, witnessed in Russia an extraordinarily rapid series of artistic shifts and  turns, and Goncharova was at the forefront of many of the major ideas and  innovations.

She withdrew from the  Moscow  Institute  in 1909, and in 1910,  after a number of students were expelled from portrait class for  imitating the contemporary style of European Modernism.  Goncharova, Larionov  and others formed Moscow's first radical independent exhibiting group, the Jack  of Diamonds'.

The Jack  of Diamonds' first exhibition  included  Primitivist and  Cubist paintings by  Goncharova, and in the later Donkey's  Tail exhibition organized by Larionov,  more than fifty of her paintings were on display. The Jack of Diamonds shows in  1912 brought Goncharova and Larionov in contact with Wassily Kandinsky and  Kasimir Malevich.

Goncharova drew  inspirations for primitivism from Russian icons and folk art, otherwise known as  luboks. The Donkey's  Tail was conceived as an  intentional break from  the European art influence and the establishment of an  independent Russian school of modern art.

Initially preoccupied  with icon painting and the primitivism of ethnic Russian  folk-art, Goncharova became famous in Russia for her Futurist work such as The Cyclist and her later Rayonist works.

Goncharova was a member  of the Der  Blaue Reiter avant-garde group from its founding  in 1911.
En 1915, she began to  design ballet costumes and sets in Geneva. She also started work on a series  of designs for a ballet  commissioned by Sergei  Diaghilev.   Between 1922 and 1926  she created fashion designs  for a Paris fashion shop.

In  1938 Goncharova became a French citizen. On  June 2, 1955, four years after Larionov suffered a stroke, the two artists got  married in Paris to safeguard their rights of inheritance. Goncharova died, on  October 17, 1962 in Paris after a  debilitating struggle with rheumatoid arthritis.

In 2008 Goncharova’s  painting Les  Fleurs (c. 1912) sold for $10.8 million,  and in 2010 Espagnole (c. 1916) sold at auction for $10.2  million, setting new records among women artists.

Goncharova on You  Tube


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Last update: April 11  2018

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