Mikhail Larionov was born in Tiraspol in 1881. In 1898 he enters the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. In 1900 he meets Natalia Goncharova. In 1910 he joins the Union of Youth. His first paintings are Impressionist with a Symbolist touch. Later he experiments with post-Impressionism, Russian primitive and religious art. In 1906 he participates in an exhibition organized by S. Diaghilev in Paris. In 1908, he is among the organizers of The Golden Fleece exhibition. In 1910 he participates in the Jack of Diamonds exhibition. A rift develops between the followers of the Munich School and those led by Larionov. The dissidents form the Donkey’s Tail group dedicated to Russian inspired avant-garde art.
In 1912, a second Donkey’s Tail exhibition takes place. Shortly afterwards the group breaks up. In 1913 he participates in Target exhibition and in 1914 in N° 4 – Futurists, Rayonists, Primitives exhibition. Larionov’s Rayonist theory dealt with reflected and refracted light. In an attempt to capture the space between the viewer and the object, he chose to paint the rays emitted by the object, thus connecting art to a fourth dimension. In 1915 Larionov and Goncharova accompany Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes to Switzerland where they create stage and costumes design. Later they move to Paris and continue to work with ballet troupes. Larionov dies in 1962 in Paris.
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