Union of Youth

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An association of Russian avant‐garde artists founded in St Petersburg in late 1909; it was established formally in February 1910 and broke up in 1914. The Union, which was sponsored by the businessman and collector Lerky Zheverzheyev (1881–1942), existed primarily as an exhibition society and to promote public discussions and spectacles relating to modern trends in the visual arts. Most of the leading members of Russia's avant‐garde were associated with it in one way or another. It held six exhibitions between 1910 and 1914, the first put on in St Petersburg and Riga, the others either in St Petersburg or Moscow. Various styles were represented at these exhibitions, but the Union became principally a centre of the Russian Futurist movement. On consecutive evenings in December 1913 at the Luna Park Theatre in St Petersburg it staged two works that were remarkable for their Futurist decor: Vladimir Mayakovsky's first play Vladimir Mayakovsky: A Tragedy, with a backcloth by Filonov and Iosif Shkolnik (1883–1926) assisted by Rozanova, and the Futurist opera Victory over the Sun, for which Malevich designed the sets and costumes. It was to these designs that Malevich traced the beginning of Supermatism.

Subjects: Art.

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