Natalia Goncharova

Rayonist Composition


Not on display

Natalia Goncharova 1881–1962
Original title
Composition rayonniste
Pastel on paper
Support: 314 × 222 mm
frame: 524 × 413 × 24 mm
Presented by Eugène Rubin 1969

Display caption

Goncharova held a major exhibition in Moscow in 1913 and was immediately recognised as one of the key figures of the new generation of Russian artists. By that stage she had already passed through an early primitivist style, rooted in local folklore, before developing an abstract style featuring linear forms derived from rays of light. She and her partner Mikhail Larionov called this style Rayonism (or Rayism). The energetic rendering of this drawing captures a sense of dynamic force.

Gallery label, November 2012

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Catalogue entry

Nathalie Gontcharova 1881-1962

T01119 Composition rayonniste (Rayonist Composition) c.1912-13

Inscribed 'N.G.' t.r.
Pastel on paper, 12 1/2 x 8 1/2 (31.5 x 21.5)
Presented by Eugène Rubin 1969
Prov: Eugène Rubin, Paris (purchased from the artist)

Gontcharova inscribed a photograph of this work on 12 August 1961: 'I certify that the drawing reproduced on the reverse: "Rayonist Composition", 31.5 x 21.5cm, was executed by me in 1912 or 1913 and signed today.' It is very similar in style to a drawing called 'Head of a Clown' reproduced by Eli Eganbury, Nathalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov (Moscow 1913), with the date 1912 and probably made towards the end of that year. The composition looks in this case as though it may have been based on landscape forms.

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.296, reproduced p.296


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