The Village in Brown and Black: Rayonist composition, c. 1950
Oil on board
10.6 x 8.7 in.
b. 1881, Tula, Russia
d. 1962, Paris, France
Natalia Goncharova was a Russian artist known for her Cubist and Futurist paintings. She began her artistic career at the Moscow Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, where she met her lifelong partner and collaborator Mikhail Larionov. Goncharova established herself early on as one of the leaders of the Russian avant-garde movement, becoming a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter along with Gabriele Münter, Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, and Paul Klee. She participated in several significant exhibitions of new art in Moscow, including Donkey's Tail (1912), and a retrospective in 1913 that showed more than 800 of her works.
Goncharova and Larinov also coined several styles of their own, such as Neo-Primitivism and Rayonism. The Rayonist movement in particular synthesized the contemporary movements of Cubism, Futurism, and Orphisim in order to depict a single site from multiple perspectives. Throughout the course of her career, Goncharova also designed sets and costumes for the ballets of Sergei Diaghilev and Igor Stravinsky. Following the Russian Revolution in 1917, Goncharova and Larionov permanently settled in Paris where they remained involved with the theater. She became a French citizen in 1938 and remained there until her death in 1962.