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Happy 129th birthday, Pavel Filonov

Artsy Editorial
Jan 8, 2013 9:39PM

Born this day in 1883, Russian Futurist painter and philosopher Pavel Filonov was known for the stringent aesthetic theories he developed and clung fiercely to throughout his life. Chief among them was the concept of sdelannost, a term he invented, meaning “madeness” or “craftedness”; the theory extolled unrelenting hard work until each painting was “extraordinarily detailed, crystalline, iridescent,” and bore an “apparently unstructured painterly texture” [Source]. Another important tenet of his beliefs was that art belonged exclusively to the people, and as a result he eventually ceased to display, sign, or sell his artworks. Filonov would become increasingly militant about his ideas; a fellow Futurist, the writer Velimir Khlebnikov, once described Filonov as “at war, only a war to conquer time, not space.”

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