The Jack of Diamonds (Russian: Бубно́вый вале́т; botanical transliteration: Bubnovyj valet). Transliteration Bubnovyj valet; German also Karobube) was a group of artists that existed in Moscow from 1910 to 1917 and named itself after the 1910/1911 art exhibition of the same name in Moscow. It is considered an essential part of the Russian avant-garde in the first two decades of the 20th century.
The name of the artists' group, which refers to the playing card Jack of Diamonds, was provocative because of its connotation of "knave of clubs": in Tsarist Russia, for example, prisoners' clothing was marked with a sewn-on black square, and in French card-playing jargon the Jack of Diamonds was associated with the cheat. Jack of diamonds can also be understood as a symbol of youth and enthusiasm.
The Jack of Diamonds
The artists of the Jack of Diamonds took their cue from Paul Cézanne's Post-Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism, but also from the traditions of Russian Lubok and the design of folk toys.
The first members were Moscow painters, later joined by artists from St Petersburg and other Russian cities, as well as from Germany and France. In 1912, the brothers David and Vladimir Burlyuk, who tended towards Primitivism, Cubo-Futurism and Abstract Painting, as well as Nataliya Goncharova, Kazimir Malevich and Mikhail Larionov left the group to found the independent association Donkey's Tail.
The Jack of Diamonds group existed until December 1917, holding a total of six exhibitions, including a travelling exhibition, plus three lecture events, the Dispute, at the Polytechnic Museum, Moscow. In March 1927, a retrospective exhibition of the group's artists was held at the Tretyakov Gallery.