Woman With Pails: Russian Avant-Garde Painting


6776856031_78ac24531aThe Russian avant-garde was a movement during the Soviet Union from the period of 1890-1930. While this movement doesn’t correspond with any particular style, there were many sub-movements under the Russian avant-garde era that took on their own unique artistic programs. For example, Suprematism was a movement which is characteristic of Kazimir Malevich’s Woman With Pails painting.  This work of art was intriguing to me in that the female figure is still vaguely identifiable, as are the pails she carries, for the artist has not abandoned representation completely.

Invented by Malevich himself, Suprematism derives its name from the idea that Suprematist art would be superior to all art of the past and that it would lead to the “supremacy of pure feeling and perception in the pictorial arts.” Suprematism focuses on the use of basic geometric forms including circles, cones, squares, and triangles. There is also typically a limited range of colors utilized in this style. This movement was criticized from authorities as Social Realism was the official policy at the time. Abstraction was prohibited in artistic expression, and Malevich and other Suprematist artists of the time consistently fought for freedom in unobjective art.


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