Olga Rozanova

Olga Rozanova was born in 1886 in the province of Vladmir. She is known as a painter, poet, graphic designer, and illustrator.

From a young age she was trained in the arts, attending Bolshakov Art School and the Stroganov School of Applied Art in Moscow.   In 1911 she moved to St. Petersburg where she attended the Zvantseva School of Art from 1912 to 1913. She became an active member of the Union of Youth Group, exhibiting with them regularly from 1911 to 1914.

In 1912 she met Russian Futurist poet Aleksey Kruchonykh and they began collaborating. Olga illustrated the first of his Futurist poetry books, which is how she was first exposed to the Futurist movement. They were married in 1916. She and her husband belonged to the group of Russian avant-guard artists called Supremus, and from there she collaborated with other colleagues. Supremus was intended to be a magazine about Suprematism, a style of art created by Kazimir Malevich, however no editions were ever published.

Her art started in the styles of neo-primitivism, Futurism and Cubism, but as she experimented it became more abstract, eventually morphing into a style all her own. She attended the lectures of the Italian Futurist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in St Petersburg, which undoubtedly inspired some of her work. Shortly after meeting him, her work was shown at La Prima esposizione libera futurista internazionale in Rome.

Through her art she expressed her support for the Bolshevik Revolution. Following the revolution she became involved in social movements, such as the Proletarian Cultural Organisation.

She died in 1918 of diphtheria. She was 32 years old.  After her death in 1918 a major exhibition was staged in her honor in Moscow.


Illustration to the book of Kruchenykh Duck’s Nest.

Self portrait, painted in the neo-primitivist style.

To view more of her work, including illustrations for various poetry books, follow this link to her page at the Museum of Modern Art. Olga Rozanova–MOMA

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