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Varvara
Fedorovna Stepanova

Russia 
1894−1958
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Painter, graphic artist, theater. the artist. Since 1910 she studied in the hood. school in Kazan, in 1913-14 - in the thin. studios of I. Mashkov and K. Yuon and at the Stroganov School in Moscow. Wife and colleague A. Rodchenko. The representative is thin. avant-garde, constructivist artist, prominent figure in "production art". In 1920-24 sotr. Mosk. INHUK. In 1923 he was an artist at the Meyerhold Trade Center, then a designer at the 1st State. textile f-ke. In 1924-25 she taught at the textile faculty of Moscow. VKHUTEIN. She worked as a graphic designer in a number of Muscovites. g. Paintings and monumental paintings, landscapes - “Figure” (1921), “Musicians” (1920), “Dancing figures on a white background” (1920), wall panel of the Mosselprom House (1925, with Rodchenko), “Russian landscape with houses and trees "(1935)," View from the window (with an airship) "(1938)," Arbat "(1939) and other works. The author of easel and Prince. graphics, works of applied art.

Born in Kovno (now Kaunas, Lithuania) on October 23 (November 5), 1894 in the family of an official. From 1910 she studied at the Kazan Art School, where in 1914 she met A.M. Rodchenko, her future husband and ally in art. Without graduating from school, she left for Moscow; In 1915–1917 she worked as an accountant and typist in a factory, while simultaneously painting in the studio of K.F. Yuon.

The beginning of her independent path in art coincided with the revolution. She lived in Moscow. In 1917-1919 she was fond of visual poetry, composing graphic compositions from “abstruse” lines (handwritten books by Rtna Homle, Zigra ar, Globolkim). In 1919 she provided illustrations for the book by A.E. Kruchenykh Gly-Gly. Over the years, she became one of the most active avant-garde artists - “social activists”. She served in the department of Fine Arts (College of Fine Arts) of the People's Commissariat for Education (1919–1922), collaborated with the Institute of Artistic Culture (Inuk, 1920–1923), taught at the Studios Studio of the N.K. Krupskaya Academy of Communist Education (1920–1925) and in Vhutemas (Higher art and technical workshops, 1924-1925). She was constantly engaged, as an artist and art editor, in mass media design: in the magazines Kinofot (1922), LEF and New LEF (1923-1927), Soviet Cinema, Contemporary Architecture, Change , “Book and Revolution” and others (1926–1932), “Soviet Woman” (1945–1946). In 1933-1934 she served as art editor in Partizdat. In the 1930s – 1950s, she often made, in collaboration with Rodchenko, many campaigning and political albums (Lenin’s Testament to women of the whole world, The First Five-Year Plan, The First Horse, Soviet Aviation, State Farms, 25 years of the Kazakh SSR, Moscow Metro, etc.) .

The free futuristic “zaum” was successively supplanted in her work by a strict socialist-realist propaganda propaganda, was supplanted by censorship and autocensorship. The most bizarre-playful, anarchist-spontaneous remained Stepanova’s early creative flowering, embodied in visual poetry and in a series of graphic and pictorial compositions of the Figure (1919-1920) - a series of sharply rhythmic and, as it were, “dancing”, and needlework, not designed for mass circulation posters and collages of those years.

A little later, an important field of the avant-garde experiment was its scenography, combining constructivism with the grotesque poetry of the absurd (the scenery and costumes for the play Death of Tarelkin A.V. Sukhovo-Kobylin in the theater of V.E. Meyerhold, 1922). Stepanova also acted as a radical innovator in textile design, performing 150 drawings (for the First Print Factory, 1924-1925), where the light and elegant image of the artist invisibly excels, as if radiating her creative energy in geometric patterns. In her best theoretical speeches of the 1920s, she defended the independence of new art, understanding it as a “miracle” that cannot be comprehended in a narrowly utilitarian, purely functional sense.

In the late period, her editorial activity (mainly for the publishing house "Art") completely dominated the art. Stepanova died in Moscow.

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