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CIRCLING THE SQUARE: AVANT-GARDE PORCELAIN FROM REVOLUTIONARY RUSSIA
Tamara Kudryavtseva

Fontanka
Hardcover
192 pages
Illustrated in colour throughout.
ISBN: 0954309510

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In the years immediately following the Russian Revolution of 1917, St Petersburg's former Imperial Porcelain Factory entered an entirely new and unexpected phase in its illustrious history: inspired by contemporary events and radical artistic trends, the Factory (re-named the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory in 1925) started to produce porcelain that was a remarkable synthesis of the revolutionary and the avant-garde. Certain artists, including Kazimir Melevich and his fellow Suprematists, Nikolai Suetin and Ilya Chashnik, devoted themselves to the task of applying an entirely new approach to porcelain decoration based on abstract geometric forms. The Suprematists came to work at the factory in 1923, and in just under a year they created a new porcelain language, their famous deconstructed teapots, jugs and half-cups revealing their interest in exploring forms in space rather than the design of functional objects.

Published to accompany an exhibition at the Hermitage Rooms, Somerset House, this book offers a rare look at the work of these and many other artists. Some 300 pieces of porcelain from 1918 to the mid-1930s are shown as well as drawings that offer insight into the artists' working methods. Many of these drawings are previously unpublished, and include examples of Wassily Kandinsky's designs for porcelain.

 

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