History of the Analytical Art
Pavel Filonov developed the first ideas of his theory
of analytical art and his system called Universal Flowering in1914-1915,
and wrote the first edition of The Ideology of Analytical Art and the Principle
of Madeness, but he was alone for the first few years. The "Collective of
Masters of Analytical Art" was initially set up in the mid-1920s within the framework
of the Academy of Arts in Leningrad. The very core of the group existed around
Pavel Filonov since 1923, his followers, not yet organized, were participating
in the exhibitions of that time. In 1925 they united, and from 1927 to 1932 it
was run as an independent venture, and became the center for Filonov's exploration
of a "Theory of Analytical Art," as well as for his teaching of painting.
At first the members were changing constantly, but by the end of the 1920s the
number had stabilized reaching 30-40 people. In the first years of the Collective's
existence, practically anyone could join it. Only minimal artistic preparation
was needed. After joining the group, the person was taught the
main principles of analytical system, and then the
process of training started.
The greatest event in the group's history
was its exhibition in Leningrad Publishing House in 1927, after which it was to
gain its public authority. The system of hanging, piece selection, rythmical structure
of the exhibition were precisely thought out by the organizers. None of the
pieces was signed to suggest that each work was not the individual effort
by a single painter, but the collective effort of the group. Thus, the exhibition
represented one big perfect picture.
The second largest exhibition in
which the group members shown was at the Academy of Art. Twenty-one artworks were
presented, without the painters' names, yet again.
The next exhibition
in which all fellows took part was the exhibtion of Leningrad's Art Groups, wherein
many other collectives participated. A declaration was revealed at this exhibition,
which was the third most important document published by this group after the
Ideology of Analytical Art and The Group's Constitution. This document explained
the method, the roles of intution and intellect. There was strong stong emphasis
on the space and time parameters of imagery. The importance of the fusion of inner
and outer, and rational with emotional/ intuitive structures was stressed. The
conviction and awareness of its own rightousness permeated the whole document.
In 1930, during the preparations to the First Lenigrad's Artists Exhibition, a
split took place in the group. This exhibition, which was held at the Academy
of Arts, was to be the last one in which they participated, and already, not as
a group, but as individuals. The reasons for the breakup were the quarrels among
the artists, and doubts as to the universaility of Filonov's method. They had
argued about whether their art was understood and wanted. Some members of the
group had had to leave due to their need to financially support their families,
and their inability to do so within the framework of the group. Formally, the
group had broken up in 1930, but some members followed Filonov's school. Eventually, they were the
last to create collectively as Filonov's group. The most well known of their collective
efforts were illustrations of Finnish folktales, titled "Kalevala".
of Pavel Filonov
The majority of the Collective of Masters of Analytical Art had become
respected artists and sculptors of the Soviet Union. Due to political repressions,
none of them were able to continue working as analytical artists (especially openly),
and Filonov's legacy or influence never appeared in their work.
then on, for many decades, this has been an underground effort, done mainly
by two masters; first Pavel Zaltsman, who was Filonov's student, and then Yurii
Tumanian, who, in turn, was Zaltsman's student. Yurii Tumanian lived in Kazakhstan,
where Zaltsman was forced to exile, and the torch was passed to him. When Zaltsman
(by then the only person who knew Filonov personally) had died in 1985, Tumanian remained
the only artist who was an Analytical Art "bearer". Tumanian was not merely a
follower of this art form, but went on to develop it further (e.g., he wrote "manuals"
and teaching aids based on Filonov's own manuscripts). He also organized two Analytical
Art studios the first one was in Alma-Ata, Kazakh capital, in the 1960s,
and there is no information about it since it was illegal and people met in secret, and the official one,
in the late 1980s, in Moldova. Exclusively thanks to his efforts there are nowadays
followers of this art. Thus, thanks to Yuri Tumanian personally, Analytical Art
survived its dark times and exists today.
Biography and work by Pavel Zaltsman
of Yurii Tumanian
Yurii Tumanian became a successful architect of
the former USSR, and when perestroika started and the political repressions were
not a threat anymore, he established The Analytical Art Studio in 1987 in Kishinev
(Moldova). In the year 1990 the studio was disbanded since Tumanian had left for
Russia. During those years, a series of exhibitions was held in Moldova, Romania,
and Russia. There are works in private collections in Italy, Germany, Russia and
Romania. Currently there are several followers of this art form, who may be considered
"4th generation" analytical artists:
Yuri Tumanian's students:
Grigorii Bosenko 1947-2013
Alexander Zorin's students:
Artists who practice analytical art through other channels - studying Filonov's works and writings, meeting his surviving relatives, etc.
available upon request.
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