INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
The Independent October 22, 2004 - by Charlotte Cripps
Brian Eno: the musician on the Russian artist Liubov.
Who was she?
A prolific Russian painter and stage designer who was born in 1889, near Moscow. Liubov Sergeevna Popova was one of the foremost members of the Russian avant-garde. She had a short life and died of scarlet fever, at the peak of her creative career, in 1924. Her work was very important for its radical use of colour for abstract ends.
What did she do?
She was a member of several groups and she was a cubist and a suprematist for a while. She worked in industrial design, fashion design, theatre, and political art. She designed sets and costumes for Meyerhold's production of Crommelynck's The Magnanimous Cuckold in 1922. In 1923, she worked on textile design for the First State Textile Print Factor in Moscow, where she was given a memorial exhibition in 1924.
Why do I admire her?
The amount of work she produced and the vitality of it was astonishing. One of the nice things about Russia then was that there weren't the same gender distinctions. It means a lot to me that she was a woman working at this time. That period of painting in Russia was very fruitful, yet people really only think of a few names like Kandinksky or Rodchenko. I like Popova because she was a real cross- boundaries type of artist. She was typical of that very exciting period when artists thought they were doing something useful and behaved as if they were, which doesn't often happen. That period of Russian painting was really the reason I went to art school. Recently, as I was looking at some reproductions of Popova paintings, I realised that one of the first paintings I did at art school was really a copy of one of her pictures. I wasn't aware of it at the time. I must have internalised her work somehow and regurgitated it.
Brian Eno is a judge at the Alternative Miss World, at Cirque (formerly the Hippodrome), Leicester Square, London WC1 today.