Vladimir Tatlin

Vladimir Tatlin
Born Dec. 28 [O.S. Dec. 16], 1885
Died May 31, 1953
Nationality Russian, Soviet
Movement Russian avant-garde
Field Painting, Architect
Works View Complete Works

Moscow, Russia was the birthplace of Vladimir Tatlin in 1885. His father worked on railroad as a railroad engineer and his mother was a poet. Much of his early life was spent in the Ukraine where he moved with his family in 1890. As a sea cadet in the merchant force he spent much time abroad in locales such as Greece, Italy and Egypt. Upon his return from the military, he took up painting. His beginnings were mostly that of an icon painter.

He studied in Moscow at a famous institution specializing in architecture, sculpting and painting. He was, in fact, an architect as well as an artist. His most famous architectural endeavor was the attempt to build a tower to rival the Eiffel itself. Unfortunately, financial restrictions blocked its construction. He also exhibited his creative nature as a musician and at the age of 20 performed musically before an audience at the World Fair of Paris.

Art Style

the-sailor-self-portrait-1912Mr. Tatlin is regarded along with Kazimir Malevich as a founder of the avant-garde movement of Russian art. His influence’s included Picasso’s Cubist style and Futurism, the prevailing art form of Russia at the time. Later in life, he also displayed Constructivist art styles. He created wall hangings constructed of iron and wood. It is believed that these structures represented Tatlin’s rejection of traditional paintings and even the Constructivist movement itself, which he was associated with, but never accepted on his own. Tatlin seemed to be infatuated with curves as evidenced through his nude works and architectural designs.

Later Life

woman-s-portraitDue to his influence, contemporaries of Tatlin and artists of the future introduced atypical mediums and objects of everyday use into art. Mr. Tatlin died in Moscow, the place of his birth, in 1953 at the age of 67. His body lays at rest in Moscow’s Novodevichy Cemetary.

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