PRINT February 1979

Painting = Colored Space

PAINTING=COLORED SPACE.1 IN THE history of art, as in life, there are privileged moments when the intensity of the experience that each second brings is worth years. Transferred today into the sphere of romantic idealizations, the birth of Russian nonobjective art in the second decade of this century still conveys a conceptual novelty that obscures understanding. We still find it difficult to become involved with the measured coldness of rational analysis, and, to recall Victor Shklovsky’s words, “To recognize an artist is a means of neutralizing him.” But if the nonobjective art of the years 1915–1922 has begun to be recognized, it is still far from being neutralized. For many questions that it raises have yet to be approached, let alone answered. And if these “stratified heresies” (Shklovsky) continue to be considered as heresies, that is an even greater evidence of their vitality. Russian nonobjective art is certainly one of the keystones of modernity, and that is why any approach to it is always exposed to numerous misunderstandings, to conceptual confusions that result from its constant contemporaneity. The richness of the questions raised in Russia between 1910 and 1920, and the radical nature of the conceptual revolution that took place, are sufficient reason for the resistance to analysis that this art presents to many historians and critics who today try to come closer to the principles of its system of growth.

One reason for this impermeability to analysis is the originality of the system of values erected by the Russian avant-garde, which, from 1910 onward, boldly transgressed the limits of Western esthetics,of neoplatonic mimesis. Emanating from the 15th-century Italian Renaissance, and following in a certain classical vein, the conceptualization of the plastic arts tried to detach itself, with the appearance of Lessing’s Laocoön (1766), from its dependence on literature and philosophy, so as to create an autonomous system of values, a world of pure creation. It is important to stress that the problem at the heart of Lessing’s work is that of time,2 i.e. the fundamental problem of the narrative potential (discourse as a sequence of one or more actions) in the plastic work of art. Thus, as early as 1766, the rejection of the anecdote (the literary subject) led to an awareness of the material originality of the plastic arts and their nonnarrative system of representation.

From a purely historical point of view, we can consider that in 1766 a new epoch begins in the theory of the plastic arts, an epoch in which the arts are no longer solely considered from the point of view of the subject, but from the point of view of their ontological originality—from the point of view of the material.

After Hegel’s evolutionist esthetics (he was passionate about painting), German philosophy came to the same conclusions as those found in Lessing’s Laocoön. Whereas, for Hegel, one day the bell would toll the death sentence of painting as a system of symbolic values, Kant, concluding on similar grounds, demonstrated, for his part, the ontological impossibility of understanding the plastic arts system beyond the limits of its own analytical criteria. From a philosophical point of view, painting was becoming more autonomous, its autonomy, which in Kant’s case gave rise to misunderstandings, being the inevitable conclusion to the dilemma of plastic materials that could not be reproduced in the order of any other discourse (either esthetic or purely categorical—i.e., philosophy).

Nonetheless, it was not philosophy that taught modern painting how to liberate itself. It was an instinct of pure anti-intellectualism that led the Impressionists, and, later on, Cézanne, Matisse and Picasso, to propose a mode of existence for painting that was in violent opposition to a system of cultural references confirmed by centuries of academic codification. Armed with this revolutionary example, the Russian painters appeared in the history of modern art at a time when courage was needed to deny a cultural heritage, detaching the newborn modernism from a past whose qualitative dimension no one could honestly deny. Apollinaire accurately summed up the situation in one of those marvelous metaphors which are the privilege of the poet: “On ne peut pas transporter partout avec soi le cadavre de son père” (You can’t carry your father’s corpse around with you everywhere).

The awareness of living at an exceptional moment in the history of art, a moment of change in civilization,3 was widely shared by the principal artisans of the revolutionary upheaval. For Russian artists “the art of free painting” had ceased to be “the prisoner of literature, politics and the nightmare of psychological effects”; the painter could begin to “speak solely the language of purely plastic experience” (Rozanova, 1913).4 In an extremely important theoretical text on modern painting published at the end of 1912 in the Futurist anthology A Slap in the Face of Public Taste, David Burliuk stressed the rapidity of this revolutionary change: “During the first decade of the 20th century the limits of the art of free painting had been extended by proportions hitherto unknown in the entire history of painting.”5 This awareness of a new kind of autonomy, on which was to be founded the existence of modern painting, is the basis of the conceptual structure which Russian artists were building during the years 1910–1914, the years which, in fact, precede in praxis the final appearance of nonobjective art. Aware that “painting pursues purely painterly goals,” and therefore it had become an end in itself (Burliuk, 1912), the Russian painters turned as early as 1912 toward the theoretical conceptualization of these “purely painterly goals,” that is to say, toward the elaboration of a new plastic grammar, which was to provide a degree of established authority because it was a codification of each step within the “new creation.”

In 1912 a rift appeared between the attitude of the Russian Cubo-Futurist circle and its predecessors in Paris or Munich. For, if the awareness of the emancipation of pictorial language was partly shared in 19126 by a limited number of Western European artists, even those who were in the vanguard of this evolution (Orphism and Analytical or, according to Apollinaire, “scientific” Cubism) were unaware of the need to create an entirely new and a definitely plastic language that was articulated, and therefore precise, thanks to its own intrinsic code. Thus the artist who is rightly considered to be the spokesman for Western abstract art, Wassily Kandinsky, in his Concerning the Spiritual in Art7 (1911), rejected the possibility of an objectively defined, purely pictorial language. Although he felt the need for this new language, based on materially pictorial objectivity, Kandinsky refused to believe in the possibility of its immediate creation. Even worse, he saw the establishment of his code, not in objective, merely plastic terms, but as determined by esthetics, i.e. philosophy, whose creative spirituality he called “inner necessity”: “Such a grammar of painting is a matter of conjecture and should it ever exist, it will not be so much according to physical laws (which have often been tried and which the Cubists try today) as according to the laws of internal necessity, which is of the soul.”

For the first Western theoretician of abstract esthetics, Cubism ran the risk of limitation through its systematization of the language of forms (the problems of dynamic construction based on contrast, opposition of straight line and curve, etc). From the point of view of the Munich observer of 1911, Parisian Cubism seemed to be involved in one of the most resolute efforts of pure formalization—“Works of pure conception,” which Apollinaire sensitively classified under the definition of “scientific Cubism,” i.e. “the art of painting new ensembles with elements taken not from reality as it is seen, but from the realities of knowledge.”8 Nevertheless, this possibility was quickly discarded in Paris, for Apollinaire and his Cubist friends, whose spokesman he was, were afraid to go too far down the road leading to a painting composed entirely of objective plastic signs (a kind of geometric abstraction). It seemed to them that such a plastic art would lack that polyvalence of meaning, that metaphysical thrill of the undefined, which gave painting a moral dignity and roused the anxiety of philosophical questioning. As Appollinaire clearly stated in the introduction to Les Peintres Cubistes, painting reduced to mere “plastic writing” would simply be destined “to facilitate relations between people of the same race”; it would therefore cease to be Art with a capital “A,” for “today it would be easy to invent a machine to reproduce such signs rapidly and without understanding” (paragraph II). This very fear of reducing painting to a kind of functional code existing solely on the level of affirmative information—the material banality of daily existence—caused the Cubists to turn down the possibility of pure painting and persuaded Apollinaire to suppress from the manuscript of his “Méditations esthétiques” the happy phrase “a universe which they [the Cubists] have entirely created from scratch,” and even to deny that Cubism has any “systematic spirit.” For him, “systematic” meant limited and reductive, and therefore indicated spiritual poverty.

As for Kandinsky, he was always aware of the facile decoration that in his opinion (and in this case rightly so) lay in wait for geometric abstraction. For Apollinaire, the ultimate sphere of action of pure painting was that of orphic sensation,9 exalting the spiritual self, a register of lyrical emotion diametrically opposed to cold, reasonable and systematic calculation. In the light of an aspiration toward the “highly spiritual,”10 we can understand the fear of theoretical systematization, which Kandinsky considered to threaten sterility. Thus in Concerning the Spiritual in Art, he announced a rule that went against the aspirations of his Russian colleagues, as these appeared as early as 1910. For the Munich artist “in art, theory never precedes practice, neither does it guide it.”

The opposition between the Expressionist esthetic and that of the Cubists is explained a posteriori by Albert Gleizes. In a belated commentary (1945) on the text Du Cubisme (1912), he stressed this new and premeditated attitude of the Cubists, who wanted to create a total painting in conflict with the presumptions of the late Romantics and Symbolists, who had substituted the myth of intuitive or unconscious genius for the insensitive rationality of the Academy. Gleizes wrote: “Today [1945] the writers who were born at the time when our works were shaking up the sacred attitudes still tend to hold this against us. In their opinion there can be no pact between the painter and what they pejoratively call theory.”11 What Gleizes and Metzinger boldly attacked as early as 1912—“the dominance of the retina over the brain”—was to become the stumbling block for the Russian Futurists. As of the spring of 1913 they attacked “The Much-Used Chromotherapy” (the title of an article), that “chemist with its constantly changing prescriptions . . . . From the sensitive Monet to the Fauve Matisse, yesterday’s painting was precisely the same chromotherapy”12 (see the third issue of their magazine Union of Youth). But in their view it had already been overthrown, and “We no longer need Matisse’s outrageous enamels.”

We can note from 1910 in the Russian manifestos, those of the Cubo-Futurists in particular, an imperative demand for the theoretical foundations that were to permit the blossoming of the new pictorial language. Thus, for Nikolai Kulbin, “Theory is the key to art . . . it is the philosopher’s stone”; and, further on in the same text, he refers to a quotation from Roger Bacon, which we could well have found ten years later in texts of Constructivist theoreticians: “Roger Bacon wonders which is better, to be able to draw a perfect straight line freehand or to be able to invent a ruler with the help of which everyone can draw a straight line?” Kulbin concluded that “the theory of art today seems to be that very invention.”13 David Burliuk also insisted on the need for theoretical conceptualization, for “today, not to be a theoretician of painting is the equivalent of a refusal to understand it . . . . The centre of the art [has been] shifted thanks to the magic spectacles of Superior Visual Analysis.”14

In her extremely important theoretical article “The Foundations of the New Creation and the Reasons for Its Being Misunderstood,” published in the third issue of the Union of Youth for March 1913, Olga Rozanova clarifies the need for theory on the part of the innovative painter of this generation. For her, the notion of “abstract creation” involves a “creative calculation, a conscious and motivated attitude toward the [particular] pictorial problems.” Thus she comes to the conclusion that “it is only now that the painter creates his work in full awareness.” Two years later we find the same affirmation in Kasimir Malevich’s manifesto From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism (1915): “Nowadays the painter must know what is happening in his paintings and why.”

For the Russian artists, this demand for a conscious mastery of the formal material laws of plastic creation did not remain at the level of a generalization, but is confirmed by numerous details in a series of studies dating from 1912. This theorization rapidly reached the level of an operational codification, and as Rozanova says, in as many words, in 1913, it “elaborates a code of artistic formulae.” In his text on Cubism David Burliuk proposed a list of analytic concepts, rigorously based on primary material: (1) Line; (2) Surface; (3) Color; (4) Texture. Thus he brought to the fore this “capital discovery” of the new pictorial analysis, “the flat surface.” In his article Burliuk also establishes several “canons” or devices that make up the range of the formal modes of creation of the new painting. For him all these considerations had only one goal, the elaboration of purely pictorial boundaries that would enable the new painting to become its own yardstick. Just as the old painting was a means, the new painting was an autonomous end, and this does not justify any comparison. What Gleizes foresaw in 1912—“The picture carries within it its own raison d’être” (Du Cubisme)—became a fundamental part of the Cubo-Futurist credo. It was from this point of view that in March 1913, Olga Rozanova praised contemporary art as “undeniably alone in having proposed the principles of dynamism, of volume and of balance, of independent weight, of linear permutation, of the flat surface, of rhythm as a systematic organization of space, of flat and linear calculation, of texture, of the relationship between the intensity of colour and that of mass and many other principles.”

Another brilliant theoretical mind of this generation, Waldemar Markov Matveis, began in 1912 a deep analysis of the different “principles of the new art.” His first enumeration of these principles consisted of texture, weight, flat surface, consonance and so on.15

But Malevich provides the most authoritative affirmation of pictorial elements superior to any need for expression or for style (in the sense of a mode of imitative representation). This can be seen in 1915 in his Black Square on a white background, which he called “the first step toward pure creation in art” adding the following comment in From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism: “If the Renaissance artists had discovered the pictorial flat surface, this would have been a far more important and far more precious event than any Madonna or Mona Lisa. Any well-made pentagon or hexagon would have been a greater sculpture than the Venus de Milo or Michelangelo’s David.”

Working in Kiev independently of all the Moscow and St. Petersburg groups, the Ukranian Futurist Alexander Bogomazov (1880-1930) wrote a remarkable theoretical treatise entitled Painting and Its Elements16 during the spring of 1914. In his analysis of flat surface and line, he came to conclusions of surprising precocity, which were even more surprising because they were accurate. Besides stressing the many “laws” which at the time preoccupied the imagination of the Russian theoreticians, Bogomazov forced himself to isolate the pictorial elements conceptually by reducing them to a minimal unit of value—the point. Dynamic manipulation (Futurist principle) allowed the development from the point to the line, the movement of the line creating the flat surface. This dynamic vision of the material led Bogomazov to conceive form as deriving entirely “from the movement of the primary element,” a notion which Kandinsky was only to reach in the autumn of 1916 and which he subsequently tried to conceptualize during the winter of 1918–1919. His first short texts on the point and on the line were published in Moscow in the winter of 1919.17 The final treatise was published in 1926 by the Bauhaus as Punkt und Linie zu Fläche (Point and Line Towards Plane). It is sometimes astonishing what a high degree of awareness of new plastic problems Bogomazov had reached before Kandinsky.18 Armed with this notion of the dynamic existence of material, a conception which automatically rejects passive mimesis in favor of an infinite number of transformations, Bogomazov saw as early as 1914 the theoretical implications of a confrontation with dynamic problems that risked questioning all the representational possibilities, and therefore the very existence, of painting as a system. He foresaw the drama of an oppositional juxtaposition of the plane (surface) and the line that would, he thought, inevitably lead to “a struggle in which total victory is impossible, for this would mean the destruction of the pictorial plane, and we cannot eliminate the pictorial plane, for every representation which lays claim to the status of plastic art is bound to the pictorial plane.” Those prophetic words the productivist critic Nikolai Tarabukin was to repeat in 1921, in his commentary on the “last paintings” by Rodchenko, shown in September 1921 in Moscow in the exhibition “5 x 5 = 25”: “Whenever a painter has really tried to rid himself of representation he has been able to do so only at the expense of the destruction of painting itself and his own suicide as a painter.”19

Must we conclude that the condition of painting necessarily implies a representation (whether in a figurative or a nonobjective mimesis) and thus irremediably conveys a static constant—the temporal unity which Lessing had already exposed and which was to be taken up again in Strzeminsky’s theory of Unism in the mid-1920s? This question remains unanswered, despite the last reply given by Strzeminsky. The notion of a dynamic existence of the material, of an autonomous organism “which the new plastic art was to become” was in itself a crucial feat whose implications go far beyond the destruction of contemplative mimesis.

Composition, which in 1921 Stepanova accusingly identified with the “contemplative approach to creation” (catalogue of the “5 x 5 = 25” exhibition), was abolished in a single stroke, in favor of its dynamic counterpart, construction. From there it is only one step to rouse the virtual activism of representation into a kind of real activism which we would call “functionalism” in Western Europe and “productivism” in Russia. Beyond the philosophical20 implications, and the historical origins, of this notion, its closest link is to the Expressionist vision of a new spirituality of existence, an idea which Apollinaire shared with the German Expressionists (Worringer’s and Kandinsky’s “Einfühlung”) and the Italian Futurists, and which he scarcely even dared to mention in paraphrase21 in his text on Cubism (1913). Giving life to plastic form as an independent unity conferred upon it an unprecedented freedom. This new ontological condition of the form, which, thanks to its energy-charge, is suddenly released from dependence on the surrounding world (thus transgressing the old status of reference to the subject, of the extra-pictorial object), stands as the greatest achievement of Russian nonobjective art. In this way we can more fully understand Malevich’s demand “that forms should be given life and an individual existence,”22 for in his conception of nonobjectivity in painting “each form is free and individual . . . In supremacist art forms will live as all the living forces of nature live. . . . Each form is a world, a colored plane is a real living form” (From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism).

At the same time, this newly developed vitality encouraged painters to contemplate each form separately, as a kind of living being with its own physiognomy, with a kind of autonomous character. Although this element is undeniably present in Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art, the discourse there is of a different order, and even in 1911 Kandinsky treated the elementary forms—circle, square, triangle—with all the existential and dynamic implications that could result from them. We find Bogomazov in 1914 concerned with the same kind of questions. In his treatise Painting and Its Elements he described the black square as the “sum of all pictorial signs” and explained the “superior” qualities of this form, which, through its proportions exists “in direct relationship with the plane of the canvas.” That, in turn, suggests inevitable parallels of meaning: isn’t the square the sign which is closest to the pictorial plane; isn’t it its most immediate symbolic substitution? A contemporary comment by Ivan Kliun, an artist of second rank, yet nevertheless representative and significant, can enlighten us about the intensity of the questioning guiding the painters of his generation in their research and their manipulation of the primary elements. This distinguishing feature of Russian nonobjective art, which is only found in the first stage of its development, made such an impression on the minds of successive generations, especially the generation of “Minimal art” in the 1960s, that it became the famous tree that prevented them from seeing the forest of innovations. In 1916, Kliun wrote in one of the last Futurist anthologies, The Secret Vices of Academics: “We have reached the ideally simple form—rectangular and circular planes. The simplicity of form is (for us) conditioned by the depth and the complexity of the tasks we have undertaken.”

But, despite the great difficulties suggested by Kliun’s text, the plastic unities of primary meaning obviously needed a grammar and some kind of syntax in order to function at all, or else nonobjective painting would have to be content with a simple statement of its alphabet. This is why, when they introduced these elementary forms as operational units of the new painting, the same artists questioned their manipulation. Thus in a theoretical text that was of crucial importance for nonobjective art, a text drawn up in the summer of 1913 by the poet Kruchenykh, in collaboration with Malevich and Matyushin, we discover the fundamental demand for the elaboration of a code of artistic formulae, which Olga Rozanova had already made several months prior to the publication of Kruchenykh’s resolutions. For this poet the new formulae (Burliuk’s “canons,” 1912) would be achieved in the form of devices: “A new content is only obtained when new devices and new form have been created. The new form therefore implies a new content; in this way it is the form that defines the content” (“The New Baths of the Word,” in the anthology TROE.) This last phrase, which, at first, seems reassuring, is of the utmost importance for understanding the new role in the intellectual edifice of modernity played by plastic nonobjective art.

The total autonomy acquired by the “organisms” that Gleizes already defined in 1912 as “carrying within them their own raison d’être” gives them the status of autonomous universes. But, once nonobjective art has been assimilated, thanks to its independent existence, to a universal category, it can give rise to a complete investigation, becoming a model of knowledge with a capacity equal to any other intellectual activity or order. As early as 1912 David Burliuk proposed the theory of knowledge as a criterion for the new creation, whereas in a manifesto by the group Union of Youth, of March 23, 1913, Olga Rozanova triumphantly announced: “In the art of our times, painting plays the dominant role.”23 Convinced of a similar idea, Burliuk concluded part of his discussion, presented in A Slap in the Face of Public Taste, with these words: “Painting has transformed itself into a prophet, proudly gazing on the entire world. It finds its force and its meaning within itself.” Considering similar postulates, we can understand the demand for a “high degree of technicity” that Kulbin launched in 1910, as well as the inclination toward specialized technical jargon which would begin to infiltrate the commentary on painting to the point of transforming itself (much later) into mannerism, a development that was less likely between 1912 and 1922, thanks to the ultra-rapid development of the plastic arts at that time.

The tendency to assimilate artistic experience to knowledge of a specific kind had a long way to go, from 1913 onward, before it attained the “workshop” conception of the Moscow Constructivists (1918–1921) and the Suprematists in Vitebsk, who together formed Malevich’s “Unovis” (1919–1922). In Ivan Aksionov’s text Picasso and Environments (Moscow, 1917) the “art of the future” is conceived in terms of “mathematical formulae” that can be worked out according to a formal analytical method, based on a workshop analysis of constituent elements. This (purely conceptual) art of the future would be concerned with “rhythmical needs which will be achieved in the contemplation of mathematical formulae that establish the functional interdependence of random rhythmical process.”24

Andréi B. Nakov



1. Subtitle of the article “Cubism” by D. Burliuk, published in the Futurist anthology A Slap in the Face of Public Taste, 1912.

2. It would be difficult to deal with such an important question within the limits of this essay. The subject preoccupied creative spirits before 1915 (the famous question of the “fourth dimension,” as well as numerous commentators of the 1920s (Moholy-Nagy, Lissitzky and others). However, it is surprising to note that in all the critical attention that the “fourth dimension” received, there was never any questioning of the philosophical and esthetic basis of the problem. The question of time as a ground for judgments of value in the plastic arts has reappeared in contemporary criticism; see R. Krauss, Passages in Modern Sculpture, London 1977, which, however, does not take into account some cornerstones of the history of nonobjective art, such as the theory of sculpture of Kobro-Strzeminski.

3. This subject is dealt with in A.B. Nakov, Malevitch Ecrits, Paris 1975, Part 1.

4. Unpublished manifesto of the group Union of Youth. St. Petersburg, dated March 28, 1913 and edited by Olga Rozanova (Archive of the Russian Museum, Leningrad).

5. D. Burliuk, “Cubism: Surface and Plane,” in the Futurist anthology A Slap in the Face of Public Taste, St. Petersburg, 1912, pp. 95–110.

6. For example. R. Delaunay, F. Kupka and F. Léger. Léger’s lectures at the Académie Russe in Paris in the spring of 1913 have been published as “Les Origines de la peinture et sa valeur representative,” in Montjoie (Paris), 1913, trans. in Léger, Functions of Painting, New York, 1973, pp. 3ff.

7. The book is dated 1912, but came from the press of the publisher Piper in Munich in December of 1911; it was already partly written in 1910.

8. G. Apollinaire, Les Peintres cubistes (1913), ed. L.C. Breunig and J.A. Chevalier, Paris, 1965, p. 57.

9. According to Breunig and Chevalier (op. cit.) Apollinaire intended to write about the new “orphic” painting to follow up his Méditations ésthetiques, the original title of Les Peintres cubistes, Apollinaire, op.cit. p. 22.

10. S. Ringbom. “Art in the Epoch of the Great Spiritual—Occult Elements in the Early Theory of Abstract Painting,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes (1966), pp. 386-419; also The Sounding Cosmos, Stockholm, 1970.

11. Gleizes and Metzinger, Du Cubisme (1912), ed. Compagnie des Arts Graphiques, with preface by Gleizes (dated 1945), Paris. 1947.

12. This is the title of an article by A. Ball’er in the third issue of the Union of Youth (St. Petersburg), March 1913, pp. 23–24.

13. N. Kulbin “Free Art as the Foundation of Life” in the almanac Studia impressionistov (St. Petersburg), 1910. p. 8.

14. D. Burliuk, p. 99.

15. Union of Youth, No. I, April 1912. For the ideas of Markov-Matveis see A. B Nakov in Change (Paris), 26/27 (February 1976), pp. 209–38.

16. This treatise remains in manuscript. The quotations are from a duplicated copy kindly given to me by the artist’s widow, whom I wish to thank warmly here.

17. Published in Moscow by the newspaper Iskusstvo on February 1st and 22nd, 1919, respectively.

18. It should not be forgotten that Kiev and Odessa were active centers before 1914, with exhibitions on a high level—such as the “Salon of lzdebski” in 1910. At Kiev, Bogomazov was mainly in contact with Alexandra Exter, the Russian painter, who was among the best informed about Parisian Cubism as well as Italian Futurism.

19. Cf. Nikolai Tarabukin, From the Easel to the Machine (Moscow. 1923, French trans. in N. Tarabukin, Le Dernier Tableau, ed. A.B. Nakov, Paris, 1972. On August 20, 1921, at the Institute for Artistic Culture in Moscow, Tarabukin gave a lecture entitled “The Last Painting Has Been Painted,” which was developed and incorporated in his book of 1923.

20. Cf. A. B. Nakov, ed., Malevitch Ecrits, Paris 1975, Part I, chapt. II.

21. That is how I would interpret some implications of Apollinaire concerning “intuitive cubism” as the poet doesn’t develop this subject. See G. Apollinaire, op. cit., p. 58.

22. From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism, 1915. The quotations used here are from the edition Champ Libre, Paris, 1975.

23. Rosanova, op. cit. (note 4).

24. This text was written, for the most part, in Paris in 1914. Its publication was delayed until 1917 on account of the war. See A. B. Nakov, op.cit., note 13, and A. B. Nakov, Alexandra Exter, Paris, 1972, pp. 11–12.