Analytical Realism

109 artworks, 13 artists
Analytical realism, “analytical art”, or “Universal Flowering” is the artistic method invented by Russian avant-garde artist Pavel Filonov. He believed that a picture created according to the principles of analytical realism should grow in the same way as any other form of life. Filonov formed his system of creative views in 1913—1915, and it based on cubo-futuristic principles. Analytical realism implied the “organic growth” of an art form.

Filonov began his work from one corner of the canvas and steadily moved up and to the side towards the opposite corner, working from the particular to the general, operating with very dense, fractional surfaces and painstakingly working out the details. There were no specific schemes in the paradigm of analytical realism: each picture had to be created according to its own laws. A brush stroke was considered a “unit of action” and had to carry the simultaneous impact of both form and colour.

The philosophical justification of the method was finally formulated in 1923 in the works “Declaration of World Prosperity” and “Ideology of Analytical Art and the Principle of Madeness”, when Filonov lectured at the Petrograd Academy of Arts.

By 1925, students rallied around Pavel Filonov, and the association “Masters of Analytical Art” (MAI), also known as the “Filonov School”, was formed, which included artists Tatyana Glebova, Alisa Poret, Boris Gurvich, Sofya Zaklikovskaya, Evgeni Kibrik, Pavel ZaltsmanVasily Kuptsov and many others. All of them embodied the principles of “madeness” of analytical realism in their paintings, graphics, theatrical, decorative and decoration works.

In the 1930s, in the wake of the active imposition of socialist realism, the authorities accused Filonov of formalism. Officially, the MAI ceased to exist in 1932, but analytical realism adherents still gathered at the Teacher’s house for classes, exchanged their ideas.

Filonov created his own, very special version of avant-garde. He accepted classical art, introducing its elements into his work. Filonov’s analytical realism easily borrowed some elements of symbolism and modern art, as well as the reminiscences on the Hieronymus Bosch’s style.

The artist never left Russia, and the ban on his art exhibitions lasted for several decades. Filonov’s works were preserved by his sister Evdokia Glebova; in the 1970s she passed them to the State Russian Museum. It was only in 1988 that the first Soviet exhibition was held in the Russian Museum, and then, in 1990, at the Pompidou Centre, Paris, the first foreign exhibition of the artist took place, after which Filonov was recognized as one of the 20th century art classics.

Significant paintings of analytical realism:
Heads”, Pavel Filonov, 1910
“Composition. Ships”, Pavel Filonov, 1913—1915
Animals”, Pavel Filonov, 1930
Udarniks”, Pavel Filonov, 1935
Faces”, Pavel Filonov, 1940

Analytical realist artists:
Pavel Filonov, Tatyana Glebova, Alisa Poret, Boris Gurvich, Sofia Zaklikovskaya, Evgeny Kibrik, Pavel Zaltsman, Vasily Kuptsov, Vladimir Avlas, Nikolai Evgrafov, Pavel Kondratyev, Yuri Khrzhanovsky.