Nadezhda Udaltsova

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In front of her painting Restaurant, 1915, Moscow.
Born December 29, 1885(1885-12-29)
Orel, Russia
Died January 25, 1961(1961-01-25) (aged 75)
Moscow, Soviet Union

Born Nadezhda Andreevna Udaltsova in 1885 in the village of Orel, to Vera Nikolaevna Udaltsova (nee Choglakova) and Andrei Timofeevich Prudkovsky. 1892 the Udaltsova family moves to Moscow. 1905 graduates from a women's school, and enrolls in the art school of Konstantin Yuon and Ivan Dudin in September; 1907 meets Vera Mukhina, Lyubov Popova, and Alexander Vesnin there. 1908 visits the Shchukin collection; travels to Berlin and Dresden in May-June; fails entrance exam for the Moscow Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. 1910-11 studies at various private studios, including the Tower (1911). 1912-13 with Popova studies under Henri Le Fauconnier, Jean Metzinger, and Andre Dunoyer de Segonzac at the Académie de la Palette in Paris, quickly assimilating the principles of Cubism. The two artists' shared commitment to Cubism is exemplified by a comparison of two 1913 works: Udaltsova's Composition and Popova's Composition with Figures are both precise interpretations of the Cubist syntax. Cubism remained paramount for Udaltsova and even though she studied the constructive art of Vladimir Tatlin and recognized the stature of Kazimir Malevich, she gave comparatively scant attention to the possibilities of abstract painting. 1913 returns to Moscow, and works in Tatlin's studio on Ostozhenka Street, with Alexei Grishchenko, Popova, Vesnin, and other artists. 1914 makes her debut as a professional artist at the fourth Jack of Diamonds exhibition in Moscow, together with Popova. 1915-16 contributes works to the Futurist exhibition Tramway V in Petrograd, to the 0.10 exhibition in Petrograd, and to the exhibition The Store (1916) in Moscow. 1916 breaks with Tatlin; is commissioned by Natalia Davydova to design textiles; shows works at an exhibition at the Unicorn Art Salon. 1916-17 contributes to the last Jack of Diamonds exhibition; that winter, she and her colleagues begin referring themselvs as Suprematists and work on preparations for publishing a new journal, Supremus, which never appears. 1917 is elected to the Club of the Young Leftist Federation of the Professional Union of Artists and Painters; collaborates on the decoration of the Cafe Pittoresque; contributes to the Second Exhibition of Contemporary Decorative Art. 1918 collaborates with Alexei Gan, Alexei Morgunov, Malevich, and Alexander Rodchenko on the newspaper Anarkhiia [Anarchy]; works in various institutions, including the Moscow Proletcult. 1918-20 teaches at Svomas, codirecting a studio at Malevich's invitation. 1919 contributes eleven pieces from 1914-15 to the Fifth State Exhibition; marries Alexander Drevin. 1920-21 member of Inkhuk. 1920-30 teaches textile design at VkHUTEMAS-Vkhutein, and at the Textile Institute in Moscow; 1922 contributes to the First Russian Art Exhibition in Berlin. Although she did some work with Suprematist fabrics and taught textile design, Udaltsova's primary interest continued to be painting throughout her artistic career, despite the Post-Revolutionary pressure to adapt the fine arts to utility. 1923-24 begins to paint Fauvist landscapes and portraits, some of which she shows at the Vkhutemas Exhibition of Paintings in 1923, and then at the Venice Biennale in 1924. 1927-35 contributes to many national and international exhibitions, including joint exhibitions with Drevin at the Russian Museum in Leningrad in 1928 and in Yerevan in 1934. 1932-33 contributes to Artists of the RSFSR Over the Last Fifteen Years in Leningrad and Moscow, and is criticized for formalist tendencies. 1938 Drevin is arrested during the night of January 16-17. 1945 solo exhibition at the Moscow Union of Soviet Artists. October 1958 contributes to a group exhibition at the House of the Artist in Moscow. 1961 dies in Moscow.



  • Miuda Yablonskaya, "Nadezhda Udaltsova", in Yablonskaya, Women Artists of Russia's New Age, 1900-1935, trans. Anthony Parton, New York: Rizzoli, 1990, pp 157-172. (English)
  • Vasilii Rakitin, "Nadezhda Udaltsova", in Amazons of the Avant-Garde, eds. John E. Bowlt and Matthew Drutt, New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2000, pp 270-295. (English)