Popova was an avant-garde pioneer in Russia in the 1910s and 1920s. Her style combines floating abstract forms inspired in part by Cubist collage (which she encountered on a trip to Paris in 1912–13) and Suprematism, an abstract style developed by her friend and compatriot Kazimir Malevich, together with an assertive color palette derived in part from Russian folk art.
This rare series is an example of what Popova called "painterly architectonics." Her aim was to depict physical and spatial dynamism by layering her shapes so they would seem to be continually shifting and rotating. The portfolio format enhances this effect, as the energy of each sheet seems to influence the push and pull in the others.
Gallery label from Geo/Metric: Prints and Drawings from the Collection, June 11–August 18, 2008.