Ivan Vasilyevich Klyunkov (1873-1943), known in the history of Russian art under the pseudonym Klyun, was born in the family of a carpenter in the village of B. Gorki, Vladimir province. In 1881, he moved to Ukraine with his whole family. After 10 years, he settled in Warsaw, where he studied at the Drawing School at the Society for the Encouragement of Arts. The artist worked for some time in the field of accounting, which later served as the appearance of the motif of an “arithmometer” in his work. In 1898 he moved to Moscow, where in the early 1900s he visited Moscow private studios F.I. Rerberg, V. Fisher, I.I. Mashkov. It was at the school of F. Rerberg in 1907 that Ivan Klyun met Kazimir Malevich, who, in turn, had a strong influence on the further creative development of the artist. K. Malevich introduced him to the artistic twists of the Russian avant-garde. In 1916, I. Klyun joined the Supremus society founded by K. Malevich. Despite the general idea of developing new Suprematist forms and motives, K. Malevich’s comrades-in-arms and students, among whom was I. Klyun, later went on their own. Already at the beginning of the 1920s they were completely independent masters, each working in their own styles and manners, not limited to suprematism. In the years 1917-1921. I. Klyun worked in the exhibition department of the College of Fine Arts of the People’s Commissariat for Education and was a professor at the Higher State Art and Technical Workshops (VKHUTEMAS). He was an employee of the Institute of Artistic Culture. In 1918, together with A. Lentulov, he took part in the festive decoration of the Theater Square in Moscow. He also performed theater designs, costumes, designed books, and developed the design of dishes.
The mid-1920s is a period of pointless art in the work of I. Klyun – he creates many color compositions from geometric shapes. But soon after this, the artist begins to get involved in French art. A strong impression on him was made by the paintings of P. Picasso, J. Braque, X. Gris. Until the mid-1930s, he created still lifes in the spirit of purism, the best representatives of which were Le Corbusier and Ozanfan. Purism as a current is outwardly close to synthetic cubism. For purists, painting is a creative laboratory where things are studied, their physical properties are investigated. Objects on the canvases of purists are structurally clear, rational, and stable. In the early 30s, like most Soviet artists, he was forced to switch to traditionally figurative painting. Unlike many avant-garde artists of his time, I. Klyun did not leave Russia; he lived, created and taught in Moscow until the end of his days.
The presented work is part of a whole system, the so-called theoretical material of Suprematism, one of the developers of which was I. Klyun. This system of non-object geometric shapes was described by the artist in the watercolor drawing ‘Table I. On the Problem of Composition: Building according to Decorative and Organic Principles’, dated 1942. This table is in the private collection of The George Costakis Collection, a well-known European collector. In his collection, the work of I. Klyun is widely represented.As well as the table indicated above, this work is a designated system for constructing geometric figures that interact with each other compositionally and using color.
I. Klyun, a famous Russian artist, master of the Russian avant-garde, along with like-minded people, was one of the creators of Suprematism at the beginning of the 20th century. He was one of the leading theorists of this trend, together with K. Malevich he developed a number of suprematist systems, the main ideas of which were picked up by the next generations of artists around the world. The clear geometry of I. Klyun’s compositions originates in the idealistic artistic utopia founded by Kazimir Malevich in the mid-1910s. “The style of a particular era never arises spontaneously. It is the result of a thorough study of the existence of the whole, the styles of previous eras, and no one can predict which direction the embryo of the future style of the coming era contains,” – said I. Klyun about the eternal problem of finding and developing artists more and more new ways of expression. Living in Moscow, the artist participated in exhibitions since 1910 (Moscow Salon – one of the founders, Youth Union, Jack of Diamonds and many others). As a painter I. Klyun evolved from landscapes and still lifes of an impressionistic nature to suprematist compositions, in the later period he again turned to realism.
Since 1913, during the search and development of suprematist forms, he performed “sculptural paintings” and “picto-reliefs” – prefabricated structures made of wood, metal, glass and other materials. The presented work belongs to one of the best periods of the master. It contains the achievements and developments begun by the Supremus society, in which a lot of pointless color compositions from geometric shapes and associations are created. Paintings Created