Today we have the birthday of Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova (1881 - 1962) who was a Russian avant-garde artist, painter, costume designer, writer, illustrator, and set designer :-) I am sure that both Cubo-Futurism to which she (mainly) belonged and her work itself is not that well known outside art historical circles, even outside those Russian avant-garde enthusiasts.
Cubo-futurism was developed by Kazimir Malevich by combining Italian Futurism with Cubism, as the name suggests. Malevich later abandoned it for another art movement he founded, Suprematism, but Cubo-futurism lingered on for some time after.
Natalia was studying sculpture at the Moscow Academy of Art, but then turned to painting; she was inspired by the primitive in folk art, combining it with Fauvism and Cubism. Her and her husband Mikhail Larionov were among the main forces behind avant-garde art at that time in Russia; they wanted to establish an art that would be essentially Russian, to break away from European influences. At first, Goncharvova thought about doing this by studying and then taking in the Russian primitive art; later, she turned toward Futurism, for which now she is famous for. In short period between 1912 and 1913 she, along with her husband, belonged to the group Donkey’s Tail; their only exhibition was held in Moscow in 1912 and is famous because of its participants, which included not only Kazimir Malevich, but Marc Chagall and Alexander Shevchenko as well.
Far from breaking from European tradition and influences in modern art - Goncharova later moved to Paris, where she lived for the rest of her life. She designed many stage sets and costume designs for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.
Here she is on photograph and self-portrait painted in 1907. Added to that is her portrait by Mihail Larionov, from 1915.
More about Natalia here : http://nataliagoncharova.herobo.com/nataliagoncharova/index-dispatch-anglais.htm