While vivid, decorative colors and joyful subjects were Maliavin’s trademark, he also created fine portraits of contemporaries. The model in this portrait, Aleksandra Balashova, was a principal dancer at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow until she immigrated to Paris in 1921. Maliavin connected the elegance and sensuousness of turn-of-the-century art with blotchily applied paint and energetic brushstrokes. On his canvases, the color splotches have a powerful expressive force, a quality characteristic of the avant-garde, although the artist remained true to figurative art throughout his career.
portraits; sitting; benches; dancers
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