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NOZh - New Society of Painters - Novoye Obshchestvo Zhivopistzev - НОЖ - Новое Общество Живописцев

1921 - 1924, Member List

Novoye Obshchestvo Zhivopistzev (New Society of Painters) - NOZh - was created in 1921 in Moscow, at the same time as the Makovetz movement and the "Bytie" (Being) group. Its creators were the young painters S.Adlivankin, who has previously studied in V.Tatlin's workshops, and G.Riazhsky, a student of K.Malevich.

It has appeared as a protest against Constructivism, and made its slogan: "Fighting for real art, real painting". The movement has organized its manifest in 1922, called "Our path" which was presented at their one and only exhibition, held that very year, by the name of "A strike of the knife" (the word "nozh" means "knife" in Russian). The manifest has drawn perhaps even more interest than the paintings, which caused D.Shterenberg to comment during the discussion of the exhibition that it was more a shovel than a knife, digging them all in.

In their opposition to Constructivism, which pronounced "the death of pure art", the NOZh movement have expressed the necessity of the return of fine arts, to the expression of the artist's inner world in his art.

"What should the art to which we are turning be like?" asked themselves the members of NOZh, and answered: "Painting, which is objective and realistic." "We understand Realism not as impersonal, documentary depiction of life, but as its creative reevaluation, with a deeply personal relationship to it. Our path does not originate from an art or socio-economics theory, but is emotional, from within our artistic feeling".

The objective art was being asserted first and foremost in the form of painting of daily life, continuing and developing Primitivism in Russian art, the Lubok style. The artists aimed to find a "primitive tradition, which the masses understand". They have leaned, in their search, on urban folklore and provincial photography. Many works shared the characteristic ironic outlook in the depiction of contemporary life.

In 1924 the Society has ceased to exist. G.Riazhsky has joined the AKhRR movement, and has become on of its key members. A.Gluslin and M.Perutzky have participated in exhibitions of the "Bytie" group. S.Adlivankin has gone to work in cinema, the journal "LEF", the making of posters and advertising, and his paintings reappeared at exhibitions only in the late 1920s.


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