Matiushin, Mikhail Vasilevich (1861–1934) By Wünsche, Isabel
The musician, painter, and theoretician Mikhail Matiushin is best known for his music for the Cubo-Futurist opera Pobeda nad Solntsem (Victory over the Sun), which he wrote in 1913. Together with Elena Guro, he founded the artists’ group Soiuz Molodezhi (Union of Youth), in December 1909, and was one of the main organizers of the publications, exhibitions, and events of the St. Petersburg avant-garde in 1912–13. Matiushin stands at the center of what we today refer to as the Organic School of the Russian avant-garde. He developed the concept of Organicheskaia Kultura (Organic Culture), first with his students at the reformed Petrograd Art Academy (SVOMAS), from 1918 to 1926, and then in his research groups at the State Institute of Artistic Culture (GINKhUK), from 1923 to 1926, and the State Institute of Art History (GIII), from 1926 to 1929. In the late 1920s and 1930s he worked on a color theory, parts of which were published in 1932 as Zakonomernost izmentaemosti tsvetovykh sochetanii: Spravochnik po tsvetu (The Laws Governing the Variability of Color Combinations: A Handbook of Color). Matiushin was an influential teacher; among his students were the Ender siblings, Nikolai Grinberg, Valida Delakroa, Elena Khmelevskaia, and Nikolai Kostrov.