Concepts of Analytical Art


Main Concepts

Highlights of Filonov's system

Ideology of Analytical Art written by Pavel Filonov

Principles of working on an Analytical painting written by Yurii Tumanian


The very main concepts of the Analytical Art

• From particular to whole

• From occasional to regular

• From flat to 3-dimensional

• From non-objective (abstract) to objective

• Non-programmed method of form-creating (support is on intuition -- conscious limitation of rational fantasies).

• Picture is constant flow of highest number of shapes.

• The image is constructive/meaningful conclusion or emergence made out of suprematist "atoms".

• In any object the inner phenomena define outer (superficial) appearance and meaning.




Highlights of Filonov's system:


1. The state of tension of analytical intuition.

2. The tension in the picture's consistency to the state of biological connection of particles in nature.

3. Working with the point as a unit of action (although tension can be achieved using any size of unit).

4. The ability to work from the particular to the general.

5. Work with the clear shape or form.

6. Working by the emergence, which means understanding of the main concept and finishing it by the ultimate improvment of parts of the picture.

7. Colorful emergence, which is a tension of the whole painting by the sudden appearing of the new color.

8. Free treatment of time and space.

9. Paint any color using any color and any form, using any form.

10. Every master may work using systems: realistic; "made" primitive; abstract; using invented forms and combination of all of them.

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Ideology of Analytical Art by Pavel Filonov (extract), 1930

A work of art is any piece of work made with the maximum tention of analytical madeness. The Russian is sdelannost, a noun that Filonov formed from the verb sdelat - "to make/do."

The only professional criterion for evaluating a piece of work is its madeness.

In their profession the artist and his disciple must love all that is "made well" and hate all that is "not made".

The more consciously and forcefully the artist works on his intellect, the stronger the effect the finished work has on the spectator.

Each brushstroke, each contact with the picture, is a precise recording through the material and in the material of the inner physical process taking place in the artist, and the whole work is the entire recording of the intellect of the person who made it.

Art is the reflection through material or the record in material of the struggle for the formation of man's higher intellectual condition and of the struggle for existance by this higher psychological condition. Art's efficacity vis-a-vis the spectator is equal to this; i.e., it both makes him superior and summons him to become superior.

The artist-proletarian's obligation is not only to create works that answer the demands of today, but also to open the way to intellect into the distant future.

The artist-proletarian must act on the intellect of his comrade proletarians not only through what they can understand at their present stage of development.

Work on content is work on form and vice versa.

The more forcefully form is expressed, the more forcefully content is expressed.

Form is made by persistent line. Every line must be made.

Every atom must be made; the whole work must be made and adapted.

Think persistently and accurately over every atom of the work you are doing. Make every atom persistently and accurately.

Introduce persistently and accurately into every atom the color you have studied -- so that it enters the atom just as heat enters the body or so that it is linked organically with the form, just as in nature a flower's cellulose is linked with its color.

Painting is the colored conclusion of drawing.

Taken from Russian art of the avant-garde: theory and criticism, 1902-1934 / edited and translated by John E. Bowlt.

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This document, the spiritual and ideological "manual" accompanying contemporary Analytical Art is the Canon of Analytical Abstractionism, which is a collection of principles and rules of work on analytical compositions. It was developed and written by Yurii Tumanian using the experience of abstractionism as practiced by Pavel Filonov. Below you can read the simplified version of this work:

Principles of working on an Analytical painting

1. The principle of the plastic value of the picture
The artistic value of the analytical work is completely determined by visual perfection of the created forms and composition from them. The content of analytical work is the plurality of meaningful or imaginary associations which are spontaneously invoked when perceived by prepared viewer.

2. Analytical principles

To analyze and to research
Non-programmed principle of form-creating
Support is on intuition and conscious limitation of rational fantasies

3. Constructive principles
Creation of complete mutual dependency of shapes
Unity of all the consecutive elements

4. The principles of color harmony
The interconnection and unity of all color components of work
Maintaining the dominance of form over color (color is not an independent means of expression, but is one of the characteristics of form)
The use of permanent harmonized color palette

5. The Principle of Maximalism
The work is formed as an uninterrupted flow of maximum number of different shapes
All parts of the work have an equal visual value, different parts of work have an independent visual value
The achievement of illusory fusion of color layer and shape

6. The Principle of Standardization
The canvas of all the students in one group is of the same size to begin with
A standard technique of painting is utilized, which is tested prior to being used based on the principles of analytical form-creation.


The following consequence is being held in the process of analytical form-creating:
Introspective searching shape-creating > understanding, interpreting, and finding the order > constructive/meaningful conclusion > volumetric transformation of picture > all of these lead the painting to the "absolute madeness".

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Some Filonov's metaphors are circulating to explain his method:

Look and have an understanding of art not as to What, but How it is done.What is interesting is not the face of the clock, but the movement of the inner mechanism and progression of time.

In order to explain the processes taking place in an object, the next example is given:
It is possible by just watching the trunk, branches, leaves and flowers of the tree, at the same time to know, or, by analyzing, at least try to figure out how the tree's juces are sucked out from the soil by its roots, then moved up and spread out according to the reaction on light and warmth.



As an illustration of not being familiar with these concepts while trying to judge this art you can read about a complete misconception of Filonov and his School. The evaluation of Analytical Art was put forward after merely superficial examining some of Filonov's work and the opinion was formed on the base of their appearance, not on the creative process employed.

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