Cyclist, Natalia Goncharova, Oil on canvas, 1913, Russian Futurism
This painting really sums up Russian Futurism as a movement. The use of typography reflects the Futurists fascination with words and symbols as a part of the painting. Inspired heavily by ‘Dog on a Leash’, she used heavy motion blur around the wheels and spokes of the bike as well as the figure having a repeated image as he speeds past the viewer.
She keeps the colors subdued with cool blues, greys and browns and keeps the color palette to a minimum. The man-made bicycle shows off the Futurist strong belief in machinery and how it can advance human beings as they constantly look toward the future. It also represents the fast paced urban life of the city. Cyclist has become one of the most iconic images of Futurism and stapled Goncharova as one of the biggest artists of the movement.