World of Art


Also found in: Wikipedia.

World of Art

 

(Mir Iskusstva), a Russian art association that was formed in St. Petersburg in the late 1890’s (officially in 1900). It emerged from a circle of young artists and art patrons, whose leadership included A. N. Benois and S. P. Diaghilev. Until 1904, the World of Art association was an exhibiting alliance affiliated with the journal Mir iskusstva. Between 1910 and 1924 the movement became more diffuse, having lost its artistic and ideological unity. From 1904 to 1910 most of the masters of the World of Art association became members of the Union of Russian Artists. In addition to the initial circle of members (L. S. Bakst, M. V. Dobuzhinskii, E. E. Lansere, A. P. Ostroumova-Lebedeva, and K. A. Somov), the World of Art movement included many St. Petersburg and Moscow painters and graphic artists (I. la. Bilibin, A. la. Golovin, I. E. Grabar’, K. A. Korovin, B. M. Kustodiev, N. K. Roerich, V. A. Serov). The artists M. A. Vrubel’, I. I. Levitan, and M. V. Nesterov, as well as a number of foreign artists, participated in World of Art exhibitions.

The world view of the leading figures of the World of Art group was based on the unacceptance of the existing antiaestheticism of contemporary society, a foreboding of social upheavals, and a desire to juxtapose age-old spiritual and artistic values with disturbing reality. The proclaimed goal was the consolidation of artists who opposed positivism in the guise of the revival of the ideas of romanticism. Consequently, the World of Art theorists advocated the aestheticization of reality, thus assigning to art the role of a transfigurer of life. The members sought to arouse general interest in the art of the past (particularly the art of the 18th and early 19th centuries), to protect the masterpieces of antiquity, and to better acquaint the public with the newest trends in art. At the same time, the recognition of the active social role of art was combined paradoxically with the slogan of “free” or “pure” art. Proclaiming the independence of art and denying its biased nature, the World of Art group repudiated both academicism and the work of the peredvizhniki (the “wanderers,” a progressive art movement), acknowledging, however, the past historical significance of the latter. They criticized the aesthetics of the Russian revolutionary democrats (first and foremost, N. G. Chernyshevskii) and the ideas of V. V. Stasov.

Despite a certain inconsistency in the views of its members, the World of Art group was initially to a large degree ideologically and stylistically similar to the Western European groups that comprised the theorists and artists of art nouveau. As in the work of Western European art nouveau artists, the imagery used by the World of Art artists was based on symbolism and, more broadly, on neoromanticism. Yet, at the same time, historical and cultural reminiscences played a larger role in the imagery of the World of Art group than in that of art nouveau artists. It is important to note, however, that the retrospection of the World of Art masters was frequently imbued with a spirit of irony and self-parody and was, in essence, contrary to the principles of the traditional historical genre. Also characteristic of the World of Art artists was the frequent use of both the historical landscape and the “composed,” sometimes fantastic, landscape. The artists extensively used devices of the grotesque; elements of the game, carnival, and theater; the motifs of the mask and marionette; and the imagery of dreams, and apparitions. They were also attracted to fatalistic symbols, to the fantastic, and to the erotic.

Neoclassical tendencies were characteristic of the work of a number of World of Art’s members, including Bakst, Serov, and Dobuzhinskii. Dobuzhinskii also was noted for his predilection for urban motifs. Bilibin and Roerich displayed a passion for medieval Russian art, folklore, and ancient Russian history.

The search of the masters of World of Art for a distinctive style was reflected in their attempts to produce works designed according to the laws of “integral art,” that is, the synthesis of the arts. This search was most fully realized in book design, theater design, and, to some extent, interior design; it was also reflected in painting and the graphic arts. The works of the World of Art painters (primarily in watercolor or gouache) and graphic artists were characterized by refined decorativeness, stylization of rococo and Empire motifs, combination of two-dimensional and three-dimensional elements, elegant linearity that sometimes gave way to the ornamental, and combination of muted, as it were artificial, tones. The World of Art artists greatly influenced the development of book design in Russia. (In addition to the principal members of the association, representatives of the “second generation” of World of Art, such as G. I. Narbut, D. I. Mitrokhin, and S. V. Chekhonin, worked fruitfully in this field.) The World of Art group also contributed to portraiture.

Fundamental changes in the ideological and aesthetic views of the leading artists of the World of Art movement occurred after 1905. During the Revolution of 1905–07, a number of the group’s members, such as Dobuzhinskii, Lansere, and Serov, emerged as masters of political satire. The new stage in the development of the World of Art movement was also characterized by its disassociation from extreme left-wing currents in Russian art and its affirmation of the possibility and usefulness of regulation of art (the idea of the “new Academy” proposed by Benois). During this period, the movement was involved in stimulating theatrical activity and promoting contemporary Russian art abroad. Many members of the World of Art group worked with Diaghilev from 1905 to 1920 in organizing the Russian Seasons Abroad and the Ballets Russes—theatrical events that were models for the synthesis of the arts. In 1917 a number of exponents of World of Art, such as Benois and Grabar’, became active in museum organization and restoration work.

REFERENCES

Benois, A. N. Vozniknovenie “Mira iskusstva. “Leningrad, 1928.
Sokolova, N. ”Mir iskusstva.” Moscow-Leningrad, 1934.
Petrov, V. N. “’Mir iskusstva’.” In Istoriia russkogo iskusstva, vol. 10, book 1. Moscow, 1968.
Lapshina, N. “’Mir iskusstva.’ “In Russkaia khudozhestvennaia kul’tura kontsa XIX—nachala XX veka (1895–1907), book 2. Moscow, 1969.
Sternin, G. Iu. “O rannikh godakh ’Mira iskusstva.’ “In his book Khudozhestvennaia zhizn’ Rossii na rubezhe 19–20 vekov. Moscow, 1970.
Gusarova, A. P. ”Mir iskusstva. “Leningrad, 1972.

T. I. VOLODINA

References in classic literature ?
She knew, too, that he was really interested in books dealing with politics, philosophy, and theology, that art was utterly foreign to his nature; but, in spite of this, or rather, in consequence of it, Alexey Alexandrovitch never passed over anything in the world of art, but made it his duty to read everything.
Strickland felt a certain embarrassment about him; he was scarcely a credit to a woman who wanted to make herself a position in the world of art and letters.
Some retrospective perception of this came long afterward when I read his essays, and after I knew all of his poetry, and later yet when I read the 'Vicar of Wakefield'; but for the present my eyes were holden, as the eyes of a boy mostly are in the world of art.
Already Puvis de Chavannes, by one of his superb panels in the Boston Library, has admitted the telephone and the telegraph to the world of art.
New Delhi, July 11 ( ANI ): President Pranab Mukherjee has condoled the passing away of veteran actress Zohra Sehgal, saying that her death leaves a void in the world of art and creativity which will be difficult to fill.
com)-- The World of Art Showcase (WOAS), an international art show dedicated to exhibiting talented artists and creating a community where artists have direct access to their market, has announced that ArtistsNetwork has donated $5,000 to sponsor the event, which will be held Friday, Nov.
Born in 1969 in Dubai, Kazem entered the world of art when he was 14 years old, working with the first generation of Emirati artists, including his mentor, the veteran master Hassan Sharif.
VETERAN actor and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shatrughan Sinha went to his native place, Bihar, to thank his fans and well- wishers for praying for his well- being at a time when the world of art and culture had lost many luminaries.
Sajidas debut into the world of art was no coincidence, but a phenomenal feat towards her new arcade of creativity.
She has held a variety of roles in the world of art and journalism, including as Art Consultant for Art House, a boutique hotel and gallery in Damascus, Syria.
Changes in policies, opinions, and conflicts between trustees of the arts and the general public are chronicled in chapters surveying the wild world of art history.
A film of work by the youngsters, who are staying at the NCH's Tudor Close Unit, is exhibited under the Art Matters initiative which brings the world of art to vulnerable youngsters.

Full browser ?