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Andreenko, Mikhail Fedorovivh, (Later) Michel  

Russian, 20th century, male.

Active also active throughout Europe.

Born 1894 or 1895, in Kherson; died 12 November 1982, in Paris.

Painter. Stage sets.


Mikhail Andreenko studied at the Imperial School of Fine Art in St Petersburg. He devoted himself very early on to stage sets, first in Russia and then in various other European countries. He also painted abstract geometrical paintings from a very general design, with emphatically determined plans and signs. In 1915, at the age of 15 or 16, he participated at the exhibition ...


Exter, Aleksandra Aleksandrovna  

or Ekster; maiden name: Grigorovich

Russian, 20th century, female.

Active in France from 1924.

Born 1882 or 1884, in Bielostok (Kiev); died 17 March 1949, in Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.

Painter, decorative artist. Stage sets, stage costumes.

Symbolism, Futurism, Constructivism.

Groups: Golubaya Roza (Blue Rose), Bubnovy Valet (Jack of Diamonds).

A student at the school of fine art in Kiev, Aleksandra Exter exhibited for the first time with the Blue Rose ( Golubaya Roza ) group in Moscow in 1907. The following year, in Kiev, she organised one of the first exhibitions of the Russian avant-garde, The Link (Zveno), which brought together Baranoff-Rossine, the Burlyuk brothers, Larionov, Goncharova, and Lentulov.

Between 1903 and 1914, Exter travelled extensively between Paris, Rome, Genoa, and Florence. The artist however spent long periods in Paris beginning as early as 1908. While in Paris, Exter joined the Cubist circle. In 1908, she married her cousin Nicolai Eugenovitch Exter, a wealthy lawyer. In Paris, she met Picasso, Apollinaire, and Max Jacob and came under the influence of first Herve Léger and then Sonia and Robert Delaunay....


Goustierina, Larissa  

Russian, 20th century, female.

Born 1943, in Leningrad (now St Petersburg).

Painter, designer. Stage costumes.


Larissa Goustierina studied at the academy of theatre arts in Moscow. A stage and costume designer for the theatre, she draws her inspiration from 1920s Constructivism. Since the 1980s, she has devoted herself to painting. Her Abstract compositions are inspired by the Mechanist style and lean towards the geometrics of the Constructivist period. Her works have been exhibited in France, Denmark, Italy and Switzerland....


Klien, Erika Giovanna  

Austrian, 20th century, female.

Active from 1929 in the USA.

Born 1900, in Borgo (South Tyrol); died 1957, in New York.

Painter. Figures, still-lifes. Stage sets, theatre decoration.


Erika Giovanna Klien trained at the school of applied arts (1918-1922) under Franz Cisek, and then became a teacher in Salzburg ...


Medunetsky, Konstantin  

Christina Lodder

[Kazimir] (Konstantinovich)

(b Moscow, 1899; d c. 1935).

Russian sculptor and stage designer. He studied at the Stroganov School in Moscow from 1914 to 1918, specializing in stage design, and then at the State Free Art Studios (Svomas). He was involved in decorating Moscow for May Day 1918 and for the first anniversary of the October Revolution and became a founder-member of the Society of Young Artists (Obmokhu) in 1919. His contributions to the group’s exhibitions included a series of abstract constructions at the third show of May 1921.

Medunetsky was one of the original members of the First Working Group of Constructivists, founded in March 1921, which inaugurated Constructivism in Russia. The following January he displayed six sculptural works entitled Construction of a Spatial Structure in a joint exhibition with Georgy and Vladimir Stenberg. The artists’ declaration in the catalogue was the first publication of the principles of Constructivism and was elaborated in their paper to the Institute of Artistic Culture (Inkhuk), in February. The only extant example of Medunetsky’s sculpture, ...


Petritsky, Anatoli Galaktionovich  

20th century, male.

Born 1895, in Kiev; died 1964, in Kiev.

Draughtsman. Stage costumes.


Anatoli Petritsky studied at the art institute in Kiev and in the studio of A. Murashko between 1912 and 1917. From 1922 he was at Vkhutemas (the Higher Art and Technology Workshops) with Aleksandr Drevin and Nadezhda Udaltsova. He was one of the avant-garde Ukrainian artists who published a pamphlet entitled ...


Popova, Liubov Sergueievna  

Russian, 20th century, female.

Born 1889, in Ivanovskoje; died 25 May 1924, in Moscow.

Painter (including gouache/mixed media), collage artist, designer, potter. Nudes, figures. Stage sets.

Suprematism, Constructivism.

Bubnovy Valet (Jack of Diamonds) group.

Liubov Sergueievna Popova came from a cultivated family. She studied in the studios of Stanislav Zhukovsky (...


Pronaszko, Zbigniew  

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Derpeczyn, Podolia, May 27, 1885; d Kraków, Feb 8, 1958).

Polish painter, sculptor and stage designer. In 1906–11 he studied painting at the studio of Teodor Axentowicz (d 1938) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, and he also visited France and Italy where he came into contact with the latest artistic currents. He began exhibiting, often abroad, in 1907, and from 1945 he had a painting studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.

Until c. 1922 Pronaszko was one of the main organizers and exponents of modern art in Poland. In 1917, along with his brother Andrzej Pronaszko (1888–1961) and Tytus Czyżewski, he staged in Kraków the first exhibition of Polish Expressionists (later the Formists) and was one of the chief theoreticians of that tendency. The influence of Cubism is clearly evident in his pictures from that period (e.g. Act, 1917; Kraków, N. Mus.). At this time Pronaszko also made sculptures, producing one of the most celebrated Formist works, the wood monument to ...


Shchuko, Vladimir  

A. V. Ikonnikov


(b Berlin, July 17, 1878; d Moscow, Jan 18, 1939).

Russian architect, graphic designer and stage designer. He studied (1896–1904) in the architectural faculty of the Academy of Arts, St Petersburg, under Leonty Benois, through whom he became acquainted with the World of Art circle. He also studied painting, graphic art and sculpture at the Academy, in the classes of Il’ya Repin, V. V. Mate (1856–1917) and Vladimir Beklemishev (1861–1920). For his diploma work he was awarded a gold medal, giving him the opportunity to travel to Italy, Greece and Turkey. After his return from a second visit to Italy, made in 1906, an exhibition of his architectural drawings and stage designs enjoyed great success (St Petersburg, Academy of Arts; 1907). In 1907 he made his début as a stage designer with a reconstruction of medieval scenery in morality plays for the Starinnyy Theatre of N. N. Yevreinov (1879–1953) in St Petersburg. In his first architectural works, for example the design of café interiors (...


Stenberg family  

Christina Lodder

Russian family of sculptors and designers. Vladimir (Avgustovich) Stenberg (b Moscow, 4 April 1899; d Moscow, 2 May 1982) and his brother Georgy (Avgustovich) Stenberg (b Moscow, 20 March 1900; d Moscow, 15 Oct 1933) were encouraged by their father, a painter, and worked closely together until Georgy’s death. They trained first at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, then continued their studies at the Free State Art Studios (Svomas) under Georgy Yakulov. They were founder-members of the Society of Young Artists (Obmokhu), which produced propaganda posters and urban decorations for revolutionary festivals. They contributed collaborative works to all four of the group’s exhibitions (1919, 1920, 1921, 1923); at the 1921 show they exhibited their three-dimensional constructions alongside Rodchenko’s hanging works. The Stenbergs joined the Institute of Artistic Culture (Inkhuk) in January 1920, becoming members of the First Working Group of Constructivists in ...


Stenberg, Vladimir Avgustovich  

Russian, 20th century, male.

Born 1899; died 1982.

Sculptor, graphic designer, poster artist, photomontage artist. Stage sets.


Vladimir's path is inseparable from that of his brother Georgiy, up until the latter's death in 1933. They were the sons of a Swedish painter who took on Russian citizenship. From ...


Tatlin, Vladimir Levgrafovich  

Ukrainian, 20th century, male.

Born 16 December 1885, in Kharkov; died 31 May 1953, in Moscow.

Painter, sculptor, assemblage artist. Stage sets.

Constructivism, Kinetic Art.

Groups: Bubnovy Valet (Jack of Diamonds), Soyuz Molodezhi (Union of Youth), Oslinyy Khvost (Donkey's Tail).

Vladimir Tatlin's father was an engineer and his mother a poet. He dropped out of school to join the navy, travelling to Egypt and the East. On his return, he gave private lessons while studying at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, and the Penza Institute. In 1909 or 1910, he spent the summer at Tiraspol with Larionov, whom he had already known for a time, but was so short of money that he had to join a local circus as a wrestler. In 1913 he toured Paris, Morocco, Syria, Turkey and Berlin, where he took part in the Russian folklore festival, singing Russian popular songs and accompanying himself on the bandura, a stringed instrument of Tatar origin. (Many years later, in 1962, Pavel Mansurov told Michel Seuphor that the famous bass Fedor Shaliapin had tears in his eyes when listening to Tatlin.) With the money he made in Berlin, Tatlin went to Paris to see the Cubists, and above all Picasso, whose work he had already seen exhibited in Moscow. He then returned to Moscow, where he joined the Jack of Diamonds group (1912-1913) and the Union of Youth (1913-1914). He left Moscow for Leningrad in the 1920s....


Valmier, Georges  

Daniel Robbins

(b Angoûleme, April 4, 1885; d Paris, March 25, 1937).

French painter, collagist, draughtsman and stage designer. A few years younger than most of the Cubists with whom he became associated, he received a traditional art education at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1906 to 1910. He did not participate in any of the manifestations of Cubism that took place before World War I. His interest in the movement appears to have developed under the influence of Albert Gleizes, who painted his portrait while both served near the front in the 167th regiment at Toul in 1914–15. By 1916 Valmier was making small and very delicate collages markedly different from those of Picasso, Braque or Gris, composed of minutely fragmented surfaces.

In 1919 Valmier signed a contract with the dealer Léonce Rosenberg, for whose Bulletin de l’effort moderne he later designed a cover. Rosenberg gave him his first one-man exhibition at his Galerie de l’Effort Moderne, Paris, in ...


Vesnin, Alexander  

Russian, 20th century, male.

Born 1883, in Jurevec; died 1959, in Moscow.

Painter, draughtsman, architect. Stage costumes and sets.


Alexander Vesnin worked as an architect with his two brothers. Some of his achievements include the Drieproghes dam and projects for the Pravda buildings in Leningrad (now St Petersburg). He was also an important theoretician of 'non-objective design' and taught in the Vhutemas....


Yakulov, Georgii Bogdanovich  

Armenian, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 2 January 1884, in Tiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia; died 28 December 1928, in Erevan, Armenia.

Painter. Stage designs.

Symbolism, Constructivism.

Born into an Armenian family, Georgii Bogdanovich Yakulov attended the Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages in Moscow from 1893 to 1899...