Vera Pestel was born in Moscow in 1887. In 1902-1903 she takes lessons at A. Falize’s studio. In 1903-1905 she goes to the Central Strogonov School of Technical Drawing. Later she pursues her lessons under K. Yuon at the School of Painting and Drawing. In 1911-1912 she attends Tatlin’s The Tower studio in Moscow. She visits Rozhdestvensky’s studio and meets Larionov, Kuznetsov, Shevchenko and Udaltsova among others. In 1912-1913 she travels to Paris and works with Udaltsova and Karetnikova at the Free Art Studios. She practices sketching and “fast drawing”. In 1915, under Tatlin’s influence she experiments with Futurism. A dedicated Cubo-Futurist who joins Malevich and his followers into the Suprematist field, Pestel cannot sustain the intellectualizing principles and ultra-revolutionary abstraction that is at the core of the movement. In 1916, she tells Tatlin and Malevich that what they, and she, are doing is wrong, and will never be recognized.
She becomes a member of Makovets group – which strives to preserve the spiritual continuity in artistic tradition and opposes the left avant-garde and the primitive verisimilitude of the Revolutionary Russia’s Artists Association. In 1926 she resigns from Makovets and together with Lev Zhegin founds the Path of Painting group. Between 1918 and 1930 she teaches at IZO Narkompros at the Historical Museum. She also teaches at the Children’s Creativity School (Moscow). Around 1930 Pestel reverts to traditional figurative painting. Pestel dies in Moscow in 1952.
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