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Gustav Klutsis (Latvian, 1895-1944)
and Valentina Nikorovina Kulagina (Russian, 1902 - d.?)

Gustav (Gustavowitsch) Klutsis, born in Riga, Latvia, was considered the first Soviet theorist of photomontage. In 1920, he enrolled in the State Free Art Studios (Svomas) of the Vkhutemas (Soviet school of art and architecture), where he began teaching in 1924. As a student he worked on poster design and was influenced by his studies with Lissitsky, Malevich, and Pevzner. In 1918, Klutsis was a founder of the avant-garde group "October," which included Lissitsky, Rodchenko, Senkin, and Stepanova. Many of his works are considered collaborations with his wife, Valentina Nikorovina Kulagina. Gustav stopped exhibiting his work in 1938 and was arrested and sent to a prison camp in central Asia. He died in an unknown location.
- Joyce Roetter

Selected Bibliography
Bowlt, John E. Gustav Klutsis 1895-1944. KØln: Galerie Gmurzynska, 1988.

Bartelik, Marek. "Reframing Russian Art and Culture." Art Journal. New York (Winter 1997).

Gassner, Hubertus, and Nachtigller, Roland. Gustav Klutsis: Retrospektive. Stuttgart: G. Hatje, 1991 (exhibition at Museum Fridericianum).


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