Period: 1910s – early 1920s

Mikhail Matiushin ensured his place in the history of Russian art when he wrote the music for the revolutionary opera Victory Over the Sun. Victory Over the Sun destroyed all classical notions about opera as a union of music, performance and design. The sets and costumes were designed by Kazimir Malevich.

Later, in the late 1910s and early 1920s, Matiushin spent much time researching the relationship between the senses of vision, hearing and touch. Two of his pictures are called Movement in Space and represent painterly incarnations of sound waves, which Matiushin believed man could discern in colour images.

Mikhail Matiushin created his own school. The movement to which he and his students belonged was known in Russia as Zorved (see-know). The essense of Matiushin’s theory is that there is a single space in which there are no sides and directions, only one sensation of organic depth.

Matiushin and his students, Boris and Maria Ender in particular, painted abstract canvases without subjects or figures. The colour patches and stripes occupying the planes of the canvas create depth and an original space. The musical nature of their painterly resolutions is evident. The pictures of the Zorved group can therefore rightfully be called colour music on canvas.

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