Wednesday, July 21, 2010

natalia goncharova & lill tschudi

I just stumbled on the image at left, The Cyclist (1913) by Russian futurist (amongst other things) artist, Natalia Goncharova. I love the palette, the graphic text and the subject matter but as an image, well, it is not a favourite. The cyclist isn't moving — it is more like I am looking across from a vantage point on my own bike at a fellow rider as the two of us struggle along a section of pavĂ© – the viewer is being jiggled around.

Still, it is terrific to find such an image by a female artist. I am aware of another image by a woman on which I am more keen. It is the Tour de Suisse (1935) linocut by Swiss artist Lill Tschudi.

Whilst it contains static elements the overall effect is of dizzying, sweeping curves. Tschudi's image captures the craziness of a descent. She has forced the tight bends and insane cornering forces into a tiny space as if the riders and their machines are threatening to miss a turn and careen through the edges of the paper. This latter image is quite terrific and, I think, superior to the earlier work by Goncharova.

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