Aleksandr Drevin, Nadejda Oudaltsova, Moscou, Dom Nachokin, 1991
Amazons of the avant-garde : Alexandra Exter, Natalia Goncharova, Liubov Popova, Olga Rozanova, Varvara Stepanova and Nadezhda Udaltsova, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, 10 July – 1 October 1999 ; Royal Academy of Arts, London, 10 November 1999 – 6 February 2000 ; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 29 February – 28 May 2000, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 21 June – 1 October 2000
From 1905 to 1909, Nadejda Andreevna Oudaltsova trained at the Moscow Institute of Painting, Suclpture and Arcihtecture under the direction of impressionist and symbolist painter Konstantin Iouon. Later, in Paris she enrolled at the Académie de La Palette as a student of the French cubists Henri Le Fauconnier, Jean Metzinger, and André Dunoyer de Segonzac. Their influences were crucial to her practice, as witnessed in her works presented in 1914 at the Jack of Diamonds exhibition in Moscow. After returning to Moscow, she collaborated in the open collaborative workshop The Tower, where she came into contact with Mikhaïl Larionov and began producing Rayonist works while familiarising herself with the Constructivist theories of Vladmir Tatlin. In 1915 she joined the Supremus group founded by Kazimir Malevich and realised sketches for peasant cooperatives, as well as Suprematist pieces. In 1917, under the direction of the Armenian painter Gueorgui Yakoulov, she participated in a project that crystallised the Constructivists’ ambitions of bringing art and life together – the decorative program of the Café Pittoresque in Moscow.
After the October Revolution, she worked in the arts department of the People’s Commissariat for Education until 1920. In 1922, she participated in the first Russian exhibition at the van Diemen gallery in Berlin, followed by the Venice Biennale in 1924. Disapproving of the Productivist orientation of the INKHOUK Constructivists, she and her husband, Alexandre Drévine, returned to a more figurative painting style, using traditional themes – such as landscapes of the Soviet countryside – and audacious colours. Denigrated as “Formalist” by the regime, her works ceased to be exhibited after 1934. She continued to paint until her death, but remains still today in the margins of the official system.
Nadejda Oudaltsova, La cruche jaune, ca. 1913-1914, oil on canvas, 70.7 x 52.3 cm, musée national d’Art contemporain – collection Costakis, Thessalonique
Nadejda Oudaltsova, Selfportrait with palette, 1915, oil on canvas, 72 x 63 cm, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Nadejda Oudaltsova, Violon, ca. 1916, oil on canvas, 70.7 x 53.4 cm, musée national d’Art contemporain – collection Costakis, Thessalonique