ALEKSANDRA BELCOVA'S (1892-1981) WORKS OF HER ABSTRACT MODERNIST PERIOD (Aleksandras Belcovas (1892-1981) abstrahejosa modernisma posma darbi)
The artist Aleksandra Belcova was born in the small Russian town of Surazh in 1892 but spent the most part of her life in Latvia. In 1919 she came to Riga to marry the Latvian artist Romans Suta and stayed in her second homeland till her death in 1981. Belcova's name is mentioned in Latvian art history not just in relation to Romans Suta but as an artist in her own right. Belcova was an outstanding representative of 1920s art along with other members of the Riga Artists Group (the name has become synonymous with Latvian modernism). After graduation from Penza Art School in 1917, Belcova set off for Petrograd to enter the Free State Art Studios headed by Natan Altman. Belcova's 'Self-Portrait in a Blue-Rimmed Hat' (canvas, oil, 43 x 44.5 cm, SBM) offers a deep insight into the inner world. The young, beautiful woman (as Belcova was at the time), is depicted as a fragile, spiritual being of an indeterminate age with a pale face and large, dark curves beneath the eyes. Belcova continued to search for solutions in composition and form in her series of decorative panels for the interior of the 'Sukubs' cafe. Suta devised this peculiar name for the eatery run by his mother (opened in summer 1919) by combining the names of the two most popular art movements - Suprematism and Cubism. Interpreting Belcova's art of the early 1920s, it is difficult to spot consistent development of picture form. 'Constructive Composition' (early 1920s, canvas, oil, 76.5 x 60 cm, SBM) is one example demonstrating the possible appropriation of some artistic means from Fernand Leger. Acquiring the methods of construction of the modern painting, Belcova oriented herself towards certain models - Juan Gris and Albert Gleizes in particular.
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