Mikhail Matiushin

Born: 1861, Nizhny Novgorod
Died: 1934, Leningrad

Painter, graphic artist, composer, art theorist, teacher. Illegitimate son of an accountant (N. A. Saburov) and a serf woman (1861), who was rejected by his father and took his mother’s surname. Studied music at Nizhny Novgorod Conservatoire (1869–75) and Moscow Conservatoire (1876–81), played the violin in the Imperial Court Orchestra (1881–1913). Married a Frenchwoman called Marie Patiak (1885), who introduced him to artists in St Petersburg. Took up painting and studied at the School of Drawing of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1894–98). Travelled to Paris, where he visited the Louvre and Exposition Universelle (1900). Studied at Jan Ciagli?skj’s studio (1903–05), where he met Elena Guro. Married Elena Guro (1904) and studied with her under Léon Bakst and Mstislav Dobuzhinsky at the Elizaveta Zvantseva School of Painting and Drawing (1906–08). Joined the avant-garde movement (1908–10), cofounding Wreath (1908) and the Union of Youth (1909) with Elena Guro and publishing twenty Futurist booklets (1910–17). Wrote the music for the Futurist opera Victory Over the Sun (1913) and Alexei Kruchenykh’s play Conquered War (1916). After Elena Guro died of leukaemia (1913) married his student Olga Gromozova (1913) and lived with her in a wooden house at 10 Sandy Embankment in Petrograd, which is now a museum of avant-garde art. Headed the studio of spatial realism at the State Free Art Studios (1918–26), department of organic culture at the Institute of Artistic Culture in Petrograd/Leningrad (1923–26) and the physico-physiological laboratory at the Institute of the History of the Arts (from 1927). Developed the concept of “extended vision” under the influence of Peter Ouspensky’s theory of the fourth dimension and founded the Zorved (“see and know”) group (1919–26). Published the results of his research into colour in his Reference Book on Colour (1932). Died in Leningrad and buried in Martyshkino (1934). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1908). Contributed to the exhibitions of Modern Trends in Art (1908), New Society of Artists (1909), Impressionists (1909), Triangle (1910), Union of Youth (1911–14), First State Free Exhibition of Works of Art (1919), Exhibition of Artists of Extended Vision (1930), Die erste russische Kunstausstellung in Berlin (1922) and international exhibitions in Venice (1924) and Paris (1925).

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