(an abbreviation of Institut Khudozhestvennoi Kulturi, ‘Institute of Artistic Culture’)
An organization set up in Moscow in 1920 to determine the course of artistic experiment in post-Revolutionary Russia. Its first director was Kandinsky. Further sections were formed in Petrograd under Tatlin and in Vitebsk under Malevich. Kandinsky's ideals soon proved uncongenial to the more widespread desire to create an art suitable for a Communist utopia. After Kandinsky was voted out of office, two different programmes emerged. ‘Laboratory art’ involved a rationalizing, analytical approach often using traditional artistic materials (such as paint and canvas); ‘production art’, as its name implies, placed the emphasis more on designers and craftsmen working for machine production. The latter group proved the more influential of the two, contributing to the development of Constructivism.