Menkov Mikhail

Head 21,5x23,5 cm, oil on canvas, 1921
About work

(Українська) До наших днів дійшло лише невелика кількість робіт Михайла Менькова, одна з них – картина під назвою “Голова”, датована 1921 роком.

Робота невеликого розміру, на якій зображений чоловічий портрет, написаний яскравими і контрастними фарбами. У цьому творі видно вплив К. Малевича і схожість з його “головами”. Також як і у нього Михайло Меньков розділяє обличчя на чотири контрастних між собою частини. Але все-таки в цій роботі М. Меньков відходить від кубофутурістского стилю, роблячи кордони між частинами картини нерівними, в експресивній манері, створюючи портрет, що викликає сильний емоційний вплив за рахунок незвичайного зіставлення барвистих площин і співвідношення величин.

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Mikhail Ivanovich Menkov (1885-1926) is one of the followers of Kazimir Malevich, having practically gone with the great master through numerous searches for the “new style”, at first it was cubo-futurism, which later grew into Suprematism. Mikhail Menkov participated in the world’s first suprematist exhibition entitled “0.10” in 1913 in Petrograd and Moscow. The exhibitions were held until 1916, and in addition to K. Malevich and M. Menkov, such famous masters as I.A. Puni, N.I. Altman, C.L. Boguslavskaya, M.M. Vasiliev, V.V. Kamensky, A.M. Kirillova, L.S. Popova, O.V. Rozanova, V.E. Tatlin and N.A. Udaltsova. Almost all of these artists, subsequently, are members of the Supremus society, which arose in 1916 in Moscow. The idea of ​​creating a society and the magazine of the same name belongs to K. Malevich. It arose as a result of the last futuristic exhibition of paintings “0.10”, which marked the transition to a type of non-subject art – Suprematism. It was assumed that the core of society would be M. Menkov, N. Davydova, I. Yuon, V. Pestel, L. Popova, O. Rozanova, N. Udaltsova and A. Arkhipenko. M. Matyushin and R. Jacobson were supposed to participate in the publication of the magazine. Plans for the activities of the company were discussed until the spring of 1917, but were never implemented. In the fall of 1917, K. Malevich’s group entered the Jack of Diamonds society, took a leading position in it, and participated in the last exhibition.

Together with K. Malevich, I. Puni, K. Boguslavskaya, I. Klyun M. Menkov wrote a declaration, which was included in their joint manifesto and brochure, where the artists explained the meaning of their work. The declaration was the introduction to a new brochure – “From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism. New Pictorial Realism.” In it, Kazimir Malevich, Mikhail Menkov and Ivan Puni wrote: “Our world of art has become a new, pointless, clean. Everything has disappeared, there remains a mass of material from which a new form will be built. In the art of Suprematism, forms will live, like all living forms of nature ” Two foreign exhibitions are known where the works of M. Menkov were presented: an exhibition of the works of K. Malevich and his followers in Wiesbaden (1924), an exhibition “Supremus” in Paris (1926).

Only a small number of works by Mikhail Menkov have survived, one of them is a painting entitled “The Head”, dated 1921. The work is small in size, which depicts a male portrait painted in bright and contrasting colors. In this work one can see the influence of K. Malevich and the similarity with his “heads”. Like him, Mikhail Menkov divides his face into four contrasting parts. But nevertheless, in this work M. Menkov deviates from the cubo-futurist style, making the boundaries between the parts of the picture uneven, in an expressive manner, creating a portrait that causes a strong emotional effect due to the unusual juxtaposition of colorful planes and ratio of values. Having absorbed and developed the achievements and developments of the avant-garde movements of the beginning of the 20th century, M. Menkov created his own new and unique artistic style, which distinguished the master from his contemporaries, and which for almost 100 years has remained avant-garde in our modern time.

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