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This style attempted to create what the Rayonists termed as “non objective” art; depictions of images and objects that don't try to look as they do in reality, and are not meant to be immediately recognizable. It first began with the Russian artists Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova in 1911. Larionov basically believed that Cubism would not be enough of an artistic revolution, that it perhaps replaces the old vocabulary of art with an alternate bank of images to work with, but that finally light, and not shape, would be the real innovation of the century. The interplay of light from one object to the next, the reflection of it as it follows the natural curve of every contour in nature- these would be the prime interest of Larionov and the others for the few years that this style survived. The Rayonists meant to distort the visual reality that they saw through use of light- hence the name 'ray-onism', as in ray-of-light. Light was an obsession with this group, as well as the qualities of texture and color. The result is amorphous and indistinct and would subsequently influence the Constructivist group.

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