Russian Avant-Garde Art

Russian avant-garde art is a broad term, encompassing many art movements, thriving in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century. The history of Russian avant-garde was intricate and full of mergers and break-ups of various, and sometimes contradictory, styles. Among them are cubism, futurism, neo-primitivism, constructivism and suprematism.


So, it makes the task of determining some common artistic features of this style virtually impossible. But what can be said for sure is that Russian avant-garde art was aiming to go beyond the accepted norms and conceptions of art and set the imagination of the author and the viewer of the artwork free. Works of a great line-up of Russian avant-garde artists reveal an infinite variety of ideas and forms of expression—from abstract-expressionist pieces by Mark Rothko and primitive paintings by female artist Natalia Goncharova to suprematist compositions by Kazimir Malevich, whose “Black Square” has become the symbol of the Russian avant-garde art.


The freedom-loving art of Russian avant-garde artists, who were in constant search of new forms and ways of expression, has left many of the painters in poverty during their lifetime and made them subject to repressions after the October Revolution in Russia in 1917. Today their art works are claiming record sums at art auctions and enjoying recognition around the world.