Catalogue entry

Michel Larionov 1881-1964

T01325 Rayonist Drawingc.1911-12

Inscribed 'HAUT' and 'BAS' at top and bottom of verso
Charcoal on paper, 9 1/2 x 6 1/4 (24 x 15.8)
Presented by Eugène Rubin 1971
Prov:Eugène Rubin, Paris (acquired from the artist c.1962)
Exh:Gontcharova - Larionov, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, September-November 1963 (125) as 'Rayonnisme' c.1910

Larionov told the donor that this drawing was done about 1910 and that it was one of his first experiments with the 'looch', which in Russian means 'a ray', and which became a sort of handwriting in his and Gontcharova's abstract work. However he tended consistently in his later years to pre-date his works of this period and a dating as early as 1910 seems impossible. Eli Eganbury, Natalie Gontcharova - Michael Larionov(Moscow 1913) reproduces a Cubist-type drawing of a head said to have been made in 1911 which has very similar stylisations, but which is still clearly figurative. The Tate's drawing, which appears to be abstract (though possibly also based on the image of a head), would appear to be later and probably dates from 1912, the year in which Larionov seems to have painted his first true Rayonist pictures.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.407, reproduced p.407