Larionov M. Barber. 1907 Barber
Oil on canvas. 77.5 x 59.5
Mikhail Larionov’s Barbers series (1907–09) reflects his fascination with the art of urban folklore, which seemed to him refreshingly free of any schooling. Lightly parodying the urban signboard, this genre painting humorises a scene in a barber’s shop. Larionov simplifies the subject and primitivises its artistic structure, incarnating the concept of Everythingism. One of the many avant-garde ideas of the early twentieth century, Everythingism or vsyochestvo proposed the free usage of various subjects and language stylistics in a work of art.
Larionov M. Venus. 1912 Venus
Oil on canvas. 68 x 85.5
Mikhail Larionov painted Venus in 1912, when he was working in parallel on lithographic books, applying deliberately archaic, “homemade” stylistic devices and addressing the expressive possibilities of handwriting. Like his paintings of this period — the unfinished Venus series and the Seasons cycle — the artist creates something akin to an “instantaneous stroke of the pen”. Larionov was interested in such diverse manifestations of folk creativity as the art of ancient cultures, children’s drawings and graffiti.
Rebelling against “Greco-Roman sanctimoniousness”, he painted his very own series of Venuses. While this particular Venus lies in a classical pose, the element of amour introduces a note of parody. Other associations, however, link the work to primeval images. The painting represents a simplified and generalized drawing; it is virtually a symbol.
Larionov M. "Happy Autumn". 1912 “Ha[p]py Autumn”
Oil on canvas. 53.5 x 44.5
In 1912, in parallel to his work on his Rayonist compositions, Mikhail Larionov painted several pictures in the spirit of “Infantile Primitivism”.
Among them and affiliated to the Seasons cycle is the canvas “Ha[p]py Autumn”. The artist was captivated by children’s drawings and collected them over the entire course of his lifetime. A spontaneous naivety, borrowed by the artist from these same drawings, is reflected here in the expressive “simplicity” of the colour and the “clumsy” ungrammatical inscriptions. At the same time, the natural drawing of the lips, earrings and letters anticipates Larionov’s later work on Futurist books, where he achieved a similar union of word and image.