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Maker(s):Puni, Ivan Al'bertovich
Culture:Russian (1892-1956)
Title:The Station at Vitebsk
Date Made:1917-1919
Materials:Color crayons, pencil and india ink on heavy paper
Measurements:Sheet: 12 31/32 x 8 7/16 in.; 32.9 x 21.4 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2001.242
Credit Line:Gift of Thomas P. Whitney (Class of 1937)
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
In January 1919 Marc Chagall invited Puni to teach in his recently founded art school in Vitebsk, Chagall’s home city in present-day Belarus. This drawing dates from the brief period Puni spent there. In the fall, he returned to Petrograd, and that winter he emigrated via Finland to Berlin.

Puni valued artistic independence above all else. He therefore refused to associate with any one movement or artist and sought new ways as soon as a program, such as Suprematism or Constructivism, became canonical in avant-garde circles.

The generous use of black ink and color crayon in "The Station at Vitebsk" is a feature of Puni’s drawings from this period. The elements of the composition seem to fall apart in a manner typical of Russian Futurism. Yet Puni’s work is not about velocity or progress. Over time he looked for ways to “humanize” art and render emotions, rather than explore new ways of abstraction.
BJ, 2014

stations; abstract; towns

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