Cubo-Futurism in Russia, 1912-1922 : the transformation of a painterly style
Cubo-Futurlsm is defined both in terms of the development of Cubist and Futurist styles of painting by the Russian avant-garde artists Liubov Popova, Nadezhda Udaltsova, Olga Rozanova and Ivan Puni between 1912 and 1915, and in terms of the reworking and transformation of' these two movements against the unique Russian cultural background into a new non-objective art after 1915. The Russian artistic and cultural context, including Ouspensky and the fourth dimension and the linguistic theories of the Futurist poets Alexei Kruchenykh and Vellmlr Khlebnikov concerning a transratlona]. language (zaum), played a vital role for a number of artists in their move into non-objective painting and construction. Zaum influenced the reworking of Cubist collage by Malevich, Puni and Rozanova, and the abstract collages and reliefs of Rozanova and Puni are defined as visual equivalents to the new logic "broader than sense" envisaged by zaum. As part of the Russian cultural context, indigenous art forms also acted as possible stimuli for the development of a non-objective painterly style. The abstract potential which artists saw in the icon was exploited by Puni in his non-objective reliefs of 1915-c1919, and the principles of decoration in Islamic Architecture may be seen as an important source for Popova's painterly architectonics of 19 16-18. After 1916, the principles of non-objective painting, established fran an examination of Cubism and Futurism, were applied to tasks of design and the theatre. Puni, Rozanova and Udaitsova designed household and fashion items, and Alexandra Exter and Alexandr Vesnin completed set and costume designs for several productions in the Moscow Kamerny Theatre between 1916 and 1922. In their attempt to articulate a dynamic spatial environment, the principles for these designs derived from earlier Cubo-Futurist experiments in painting.