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Rayonism


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(Russ., ‘Luchism’).

A type of abstract or semi-abstract painting practised by the Russian artists Goncharova and Larionov and a few followers from about 1912 to 1915 and representing their own adaptation of Futurism. Rayonism was launched at the Target Exhibition in Moscow in 1913. In the same year Larionov published a manifesto on the subject, stating that ‘Rayonism is a synthesis of Cubism, Futurism and Orphism’, and Rayonist pictures do indeed combine something of the fragmentation or splintering of form of Cubism, the dynamic movement of Futurism, and the colour of Orphism. The style was bound up with a very unclear theory of invisible rays, in some ways analogous to the ‘lines of force’ that were postulated by the Futurists. In early Rayonist paintings an underlying subject is broken up into bundles of slanting lines, but in later ones the lines take over the picture completely, so that there is no discernible naturalistic starting point and the work becomes completely abstract. Rayonism was short-lived, as both Goncharova and Larionov virtually abandoned easel painting after they left Russia in 1915 and they had no significant followers.

Subjects: Art.


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