Pair of children’s collages, from the first futurist exhibition ‘Mishen’ [i.e. The Target] showing the landscape and the flower. 11,5x19,5 cm and 18x11,5 cm.
Provenance: from the collection of architect Nikolay Vinogradov (1885-1980). Both are reproduced in Anthony Parton’s ‘The Art and Life of Natalia Goncharova’ (London, 2010).
The famous Mishen exhibition took place in April and March of 1913 was organized by Mikhail Larionov. The meaning of the name was explained, that the artist considered themselves a target, in which the public is ready to aim. Alongside with Larionov and Goncharova, in exhibition participated Mikhail Le Dantu, Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Shevchenko, Marc Chagall, Kirill Zdanevich and others. For the first time ever Niko Pirosmani’s works were included in the exhibition.
Along with the affection of the organizers for the primitivism, some lubok prints and children’s drawings entered the exhibition including these two collages.
The influence of the children’s art on Russian avant-garde is well-known. Alexander Shevchenko, who has supplied some of the children’s drawings for the exhibition alongside with Vinogradov, have underlined the connection in his works and in his theoretical manifesto on neo-primitivism, that came out in 1913. In 1914 Alexei Kruchonykh has published a book on the children’s drawings and was interested in the matter as well.
In these two particular examples the similarities between the collages and the collage pages in some of Kruchyonikh’s avant-garde books are striking. Different types of paper were used, including the rough peasant cloth on the flower and the green paper from a book with different fonts.