Ivan Kliun (1873-1943)
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Ivan Kliun (1873-1943)

Relief

Details
Ivan Kliun (1873-1943)
Relief
painted wood and paper collage assemblage mounted on panel
13½ x 8 x 1½ in. (34.1 x 20.2 x 3.4 cm.)
Executed circa 1916-1917
Provenance
Radack collection, by whom acquired in Germany in the 1930s.
Galerie Jean Chauvelin, Paris.
The Sackner Archive, Florida, by whom acquired from the above in 1982. Property from the Sackner Archive, Christie's, London, 8 February 2005, lot 374.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Literature
Exhibition catalogue, The Russian Avant-Garde and American Abstract Artists, The Lowe Art Museum, Miami, March - April 1983, no. 11, illustrated p. 25.
Exhibition catalogue, Culture of Materials: The Russian Avant-Garde and Counter-Cubism, Stux Gallery, New York, May - June 1991, no. 2, illustrated.
Exhibited
Miami, The Lowe Art Museum, The Russian Avant-Garde and American Abstract Artists, March - April 1983, no. 11.
New York, Stux Gallery, Culture of Materials: The Russian Avant-Garde and Counter-Cubism, May - June 1991, no. 2.
Special notice

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Lot Essay

Ivan Vasilevich Kliun, a contemporary of Kazimir Malevich, worked on the boundaries of Suprematism and early Constructivism. Like Malevich, he was interested in the problem of colour in a flat art composition, as in a multi-dimensional work.

The son of a carpenter, Kliun paid particular attention to the rich texture and shades of colour of different types of wood. Kliun shared the Tatlinian veneration for 'materials' by which found objects are considered to have an intrinsic meaning due to their unique form and texture. Following this line of reasoning, their creative assemblage emphasises each object's pure and raw strength, independently and as a whole. The refined simplicity of this assemblage pays homage to Kliun's explorations into the rendition of space through the weaving of abstract planar surfaces. The academically-established genre of sculptural relief is revived with a radical Cubo-Futurist twist.

Kliun experimented with an 'assortment of materials' in the spirit of Tatlin right up until 1916. Kliun, the Suprematist did not accept the the transition from construction to the creation of utilitarian objects and the appearance of Constructivism. For him, a painting was always a pure, artistic experiment, and never a technical project.

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