Deineka Alexandr Alexandrovich
1899–1969

DEINEKA Alexander Alexandrovich

May 8, 1899 (Kursk) — June 12, 1969 (Moscow)

Painter, graphic artist, sculptor, monumental artist

  • Deyneka Alexander Aleksandrovich

Deineka was born to a family of railroader in Kursk. He studied at the railway college, at the same time attended art workshop. In 1915 Deineka moved to Kharkov, entered Kharkov Art College, where he studied under M. P. Pestrikov and A. M. Lyubimov. In 1918 Deineka returned to Kursk. For some time he worked as a photographer in the Criminal Investigation Department, headed the section of the Art at the Regional Educational Department. In 1919–1920 he served in the Red Army, where he headed art studio in Kursk Political Department and Windows of ROSTA (Russian Telegraph Agency): he painted posters, designed campaigned trains. In 1921 Deineka was sent to Moscow in order to continue his art education at the faculty of printing art at the Higher State Artistic and Technical Workshops (VKhUTEMAS). In 1921–1925 he studied under V. A. Favorsky and I. I. Nivinsky. At the same time he met V. V. Mayakovsky. In 1924 Deineka as a participant of the Group of Three (A. A. Deineka, Y. I. Pimenov, and A. D. Goncharov) took part in the First discussion exhibition.

Since mid 1920s Deineka worked a lot in the field of magazine and poster graphic art, collaborated with magazines Bezbozhnik u Stanka (Atheist at the Machine), Projector, Krasnaya Niva (“The Red Field”). In 1925 Deineka was one of the organizers of the Society of Easel Artists (OST). The participants of the society were Y. I. Pimenov, A. D. Goncharov, P. V. Williams, A. A. Labas, D. P. Shterenberg, N. F. Denisovsky and many others. From 1925 till 1928 Deineka participated in four exhibitions of this society in Moscow, in international   exhibitions in Dresden (1926), Leipzig (1927), Cologne (1928), and New York (1929).

In 1929 Deineka left the Society of Easel Artists and joined art society Oktyabr (“October”). In 1931–1932 he became a member of the Russian Association of proletarian artists. Since 1928 Deineka lectured at the Higher Art Technical Institute (VKhUTEIN, 1930) and Moscow Polygraphic Institute at the department of poster art (till 1934). Deineka was engaged in book graphic art; in particular he drew illustrations to the books Bustle by N. Aseev, Fire by A. Barbus and Through the pole to America by G. F. Baidukov.

In 1934 Deineka visited Sevastopol; in 1935 he was sent to the USA, to France, Italy. In 1937 he was awarded a gold medal at the World Exhibition in Paris for the panel The noble people of the Soviet Union. One year later he created a mosaic series Twenty-four hours of Soviet sky for the metro station Mayakovskaya by L. M. Kaganovich in Moscow. In 1939 Deineka painted the plafond of the restaurant in the Central Theatre of the Soviet Army.

Since 1934 (till 1946) Deineka lectured at Moscow Art Institute named after V. I. Surikov. In 1942 he went to the front, drew a series On the roads of war. In 1943 Deineka created mosaics for the metro station Novokuznetskaya in Moscow. In May 1945 he made a trip to Berlin in order to gather material for his creative work. After the war Deineka was elected a member of the USSR Academy of Arts. In 1945–1952 he lectured at Moscow Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts, in 1953–1957 — at Moscow Architecture Institute. In 1956 Deineka returned to Moscow Art Institute named after V. I. Surikov, where he headed the workshop of monumental painting.

In late 1940s — early 1950s Deineka sculptured in wood, majolica, bronze, porcelain, cement. He created mosaics for the foyer of the lecture hall at Moscow University (1956), the foyer at the Kremlin Palace of Congresses (1961). In 1964 Deineka was awarded the Lenin prize for his mosaic works Good morning and Ice-hockey players.

In 1962–1966 Deneka served as a vice-president of the USSR Academy of Arts. In 1965 he travelled to Italy. In the same year he designed with mosaic the façade of the sanatorium in Sochi. In 1969 Deineka was conferred the title of the Hero of Socialist Labour. In June 5, 1969, shortly before his death, the personal exhibition of works of the artist was held in the halls of the USSR Academy of Arts.

Deineka died in June 12, 1969 in Moscow; he was buried at the Novodevichie cemetery.

In 2001 large retrospective exhibition of Deineka’s works was held in the State Tretyakov Gallery.

Deineka was a great master of Soviet art. His works of 1920s were close to the ideas and art principles of the Society of Easel Artists (OST). His individual style was characterized by a dynamic rhythm, emphasized objectivity and love of sharp angles. Deineka added to his painting the graphical interpretation of forms, that is why his easel paintings were close to the art of the poster.

In his creative works there was a spirit of Soviet history of 1920s–1950s, Soviet slogans and appeals. The main themes of Deineka’s creativity were industrialization, sport, and revolutionary history. In 1930s–1940s he left principles of the OST; his works became less constructive. But sometimes the painter returned to his manner of 1920s (for example the painting The defense of Sevastopol).

Works by Alexander Deineka are in many museum collections, including the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, and Kursk Regional Art Gallery named after A. A. Deineka and others.

Articles about the artist:

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