Lyubov Popova

Russian (1889 - 1924)
Lyubov Popova Painterly Architectonic 1916

Biography

Born 1889
Died 1924
Nationality Russian

Popova was born near Moscow, where she studied painting from 1907 to 1908. She was based in Paris from 1912 to 1913, studying under the cubist painters Jean Metzinger and Henri Le Fauconnier. She began painting in a cubist style around this date and on her return to Russia in 1914 exhibited and associated with Russian avant-garde groups. As one of the most innovative of early twentieth-century Russian abstract artists, Popova saw abstract, 'constructive' art as a metaphor for construction in the modern industrial city and referred to herself as an 'artist-engineer'. In the early 1920s Popova was also involved in textile and theatrical design.

Glossary terms

  • The term refers to cultural practices that challenge tradition through experimentation and innovation, and is used in the context of modern and particularly twentieth-century art. From the French for ‘vanguard’ or ‘advance guard’ it dates back to the Middle Ages and was strictly a military term referring to those on the front-line, closest to conflict.

  • A geometric, abstract style founded in the early twentieth century in Russia by Vladimir Tatlin. The movement reflected the machine age through its use of new technology and materials and applied its theories to architecture and design as well as fine art. Exiled artists such as Naum Gabo helped to spread Constructivist ideas into the West.