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 Vladimir Tatlin


Born:   December 28 [O.S. December 16] 1885
Deceased:   May 31, 1953

Russian and Soviet painter, graphic artist, designer and stage designer. One of the prominent figures of Russian avant-garde, th

      

Vladimir Tatlin was born in Kiev on December 28, 1885. The future artist run away from his home at the age of 13 and so started independent life early. To make his living the boy assisted theater designers and icon painters, served as a cabin boy in ships traveling to Turkey and did some other odd jobs. Vladimir Tatlin depicted this stage of his biography in the Self-Portrait as a seaman.

Vladimir Tatlin never got full-fledged art education. He studied by fits and starts, first in the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, and then in the Penza Art School. He was expelled from art school in Moscow in 1903 for unseemly behavior and poor progress.

Till 1914 the artist participated in exhibitions of various art associations (Jack of Diamonds and The World of Art among them). At that time Tatlin’s art manner was greatly influenced by Mikhail Larionov. The artist created paintings about the life of fishermen and seamen, so well-known to him. The famous paintings Model, Lying Model, and Kitchen Garden also belong to that period. In those works Vladimir Tatlin paid special attention to spatial composition and color.
 
In spite of the fact that Vladimir Tatlin travelled abroad quite often, he did not get any education there. When visiting Paris for the first time in 1914, he communicated with Picasso on equal footing. Researchers assume that this meeting played an important role in making up of the artist and gave impetus for his shifting from the manner associated with Cubism and Larionov’s influence to the so-called "counterreliefs". These works were wood and iron constructions. For the first time Vladimir Tatlin displayed them at an exhibition in 1914. These were the compositions that formed the basis of Constructivism in Russian avant-garde.
 
The artist dedicated some time to scenography, in particular the operas Life for the Tsar and Flying Dutchman. The theater turned to be very captivating for artistic Vladimir Tatlin. He took the stage as an actor, stage director and stage designer with the Zangezi play based on the same-name work by Velimir Khlebnikov.
 
Public work became the artist’s main occupation in revolutionary years. He was into promoting and protecting monuments. 
In 1923 Vladimir Tatlin started working on the Letatlin project. Public worked organically fitted into his art activities. Vladimir Tatlin always considered alive connection of art with life to be the most important criterion of its artistic value.
In the last years of his life Vladimir Tatlin worked on theatre scenery and chamber canvasses and tutored students of the Moscow Architecture Institute.
 
Vladimir Tatlin died in Moscow on May 31, 1953.


Tags: Vladimir Tatlin Russian painters    




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