While the best-known lines of Russian avant-garde artistic
development passed through Malevich
and Tatlin, Pavel
Filonov (1883-1941) worked slowly and painstakingly to develop
a highly personal style. Although he started his career
in the Futurist camp (and contributed to the design of Mayakovsky's
A Tragedy" in 1913. Like most of the Futurists, Filonov
welcomed the Bolshevik coup. Throughout the 1920s, Filonov
developed a school of what he called "analytical art" which
he practiced and taught to a devoted band of followers.
His paintings, like this "Head" (1925) are distinguished
by great delicacy and minute brushwork. Every inch of the
painted surface is filled with an abundance of detail which
flows together to create the whole. Filonov was fascinated
by the grotesque, by the art of children and the insane.