Born in 1892 near Saint Petersburg, Ivan Puni is regarded as one of the founders and leading lights of the Russian avant-garde, alongside Kazimir Malevich and others. He was an organizer of and participant in the legendary futurist exhibitions "Tramway V" and "0.10". In 1918 he started teaching at the State Free Art Workshops (the former art academy) in Saint Petersburg (then renamed Petrograd), before Chagall offered him a post at the art school he was founding in Vitebsk. Puni was one of the first avant-garde artists to realize how difficult it would be to work independently of Soviet propaganda, and in 1919 he decided to go into exile. He lived in Berlin until 1923 before settling permanently in Paris.
This publication offers for the first time a representative cross section of the Berninger Collection and its important works from all periods by this Russian avant-garde artist: cubo-futurist still lifes, suprematist compositions from his Saint Petersburg and Berlin periods, ink drawings, works clearly influenced by Neue Sachlichkeit (New objectivity), and the emphatically painterly works of his later years.