Emanations for All: Solomon Nikritin‘s Theory of Painting as the Fuel of Socialism

Angelina Lucento
Higher School of Economics Moscow

26. Juni 2018
10:15 Uhr

Solomon Nikritin:
Man and Cloud. (1930)

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Solomon Nikirtin has increasingly been recognized as a major, yet understudied contributor to the Russian avant-garde. Scholars and curators such as Irina Lebedeva and Liubov’ Pechelkina have offered into the scope of his influence both as an artist and as a theoretician. To date, however, has elucidated his particular theory of painting or described its significance within the broader avant-garde context. As Nikritin was a painter above all else, the scope of his influence on the evolution of the avant-garde cannot be understood without a careful examination of his perspective on the medium.

My paper begins to describe Nikritin’s theory of painting through its specific examination of artist’s understanding of energy. The artist’s sustained interest in energy is evident in his extensive theoretical writings on the nature of color, light, and rhythm, as well as in his intense study of these concepts in his paintings. Through an analysis of both Nikritin’s texts and his visual works, I argue that he developed a theory of painting as fuel for the development of the socialist collective. I also begin to show how this theory and practice influenced the evolution of the Russian avant-garde in the aftermath of October.