"Cow and Violin"
Avant-garde: 1 2
3 4 5
and Violin" (1913)
By 1913, Malevich
was experimenting with cubist compositions clearly inspired by
Picasso, whose early cubist work was well known to Russian artists
through the impressive holdings of the Moscow collector Sergei
Shchukin as well as through numerous reproductions in the leading
Russian journals. As always, however, the Russian avant-garde
artists did not merely imitate their French contemporaries. The
Russian avant-garde painters of this inclination called themselves
cubo-futurists, to signify their synthesis of cubist technique
and futurist ideology. Malevich's composition in "Cow and Violin"
(1913) differs sharply from Picasso's work both in its more colorful
palate and in its playful use of an entire miniature cow superimposed
on the fragmented instrument. The latter lends Malevich's painting
a humorously grotesque note absent in Picasso's more analytic
canvases. In this same year, Malevich designed his pathbreaking
sets and costumes for the futurist opera Victory
Over the Sun.