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Painterly Architectonic

Reference URL

Painterly Architectonic 1916

On Display Modern One

This is one in a series of abstract paintings Popova produced in 1916, called 'Painterly Architectonics'. These works are characterized by dynamic, overlapping planes which seem to float in space. In creating these paintings, Popova was influenced by the work of the Russian artist Kasimir Malevich, who had reduced the cubist style to a basic language of squares and rectangles. The coloured diagonal shapes in this painting suggest movement but also a sense of balance. The modelling of the shapes suggests a light source from outside the frame.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.


A style of painting originated by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the first two decades of the 20th century. Instead of painting a figure or object from a fixed position they represented it from multiple viewpoints.


This can mean the representation of three-dimensional forms in two dimensions so that they appear solid, or it can refer to the practice of creating a three-dimensional form out of a malleable substance such as wax or clay.

Abstract art, Cubism , Modelling


  • Acc. No. GMA 2080
  • Medium Oil on board
  • Size 59.40 x 39.40 cm (framed: 75.50 x 55.50 x 8.50 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1979