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Perfected Portrait of Ivan Kliun. 1913

Malevich Kazimir,
Oil on canvas
111,5 x 70,5

State Russian Museum


Ivan Vasilievich Kliun (1878–1942): Artist, friend and follower of the artist.
Perfected Portrait of Ivan Kliun embodies one of the constant motifs in the oeuvre of Kazimir Malevich and is traditionally associated with one of his closest friends and followers, the artist Ivan Kliun.
Perfected Portrait of Ivan Kliun was first shown at the Union of Youth exhibition (1913–14) and is one of the most typical examples of Cubo-Futurism, both in Malevich’s oeuvre and the Russian painting of the period in general. Wholly in the spirit of its time, Perfected Portrait of Ivan Kliun pays tribute to the theomachist moods of these years, which were particularly widespread among the artistic youth of Russia. Malevich makes a “preparation” of the iconic prototype — the image of the Saviour Not Made by Human Hands — and imparts special expression to the enormous cleaved eye, which becomes an original paraphrase of the All-Seeing Eye. Testimony that Kliun also identified himself with this image is his Self-Portrait (1914–15, Boris Kustodiev Pict. Gal., Astrakhan).

Author's Biography

Malevich Kazimir

Malevich, Kazimir Severinovich (1878, Kiev - 1935, Leningrad)
Painter, graphic artist, writer on art, portraitist, landscapist, abstractionist. Studied at the Kiev School of Art (1895-1896) and Fyodor Roehrberg's studio in Moscow (1906-1910). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1905). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Moscow Fellowship of Artists (from 1907), Donkey's Tail (1912), Target (1913), Der Blaue Reiter (1912), Salon des Independants (1914), Tramcar V. First Futurist Exhibition (1915) and 0,10. Last Futurist Exhibition (1915-1916). Designed the sets and costumes for the Futurist opera "Victory Over the Sun" (1913). Member of the Union of Youth (1910) and Jack of Diamonds (1910, 1916). Founded the AFFIRMES OF THE NEW ARTgroup (1920). Worked for Department of An People's Commissariat of Education (1918-1919). Director of the Museum/Institute of Artistic Culture in Petrograd/Leningrad (1923-1926).

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