Pavel Filonov
Russian, 1883-1941
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Russian modernist Pavel Filonov is known for founding “Analytical Realism,” a detail-oriented style of painting developed largely in response to Cubism. While Filonov’s imagery contains the sort of deconstructed forms and compressed pictorial spaces associated with Cubism, his main objective was to represent the inner being of the subject, a concern he found sorely lacking in Cubism’s rigid focus on physical characteristics. Filonov’s dynamic style reflects that of his Russian Futurist contemporaries, and his oftentimes systematic application of paint echoes the Divisionism of Georges Seurat. The artist was also an educator, insisting that his students build their pictures as he did: bit by bit, detail by detail, using small brushes to make fine marks. While a keen observer of the modern art movements of his time, Filonov’s subject matter owes to Russian folklore and his own imagined …

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