Art Investment

Artist of the week. Yuri Annenkov

Life Annenkov — solid adventure novel length in ' 84. With the intrigue, unexpected twists, chases, tragic accidents, lucky escapes, and heroic victories

Yuri Pavlovich Annenkov (1889-1974) — George Annenkoff — artist interesting fate. A descendant of the founder of pushkinistics Pavel Vasilyevich Annenkov, the son of an exiled for involvement in plotting the assassination of Emperor Alexander II by Narodnaya Volya, after 1917, the predictable became one of the main artists glorifying life in the new revolutionary Russia, which in 1924 he fled to Paris, where since the late 1960-х illustrated banned in the USSR "heart of a Dog" Mikhail Bulgakov, "Cancer ward" and "the first circle" by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

in 1909, the future of an outstanding artist of the XX century, masters of international fame, included in the top-20 the most expensive Russian artists... is not accepted into St. Petersburg Academy of arts.

failed. Okay. Très bien.

the St. Petersburg Times does not take, then, nothing to do, — remains only to go to Paris.

a Few years, teach in private studios, 22-летний Yuri Annenkov went to France. His informal teacher becomes Montparnasse with Amedeo Modigliani, Ivan Puni, with Marc Chagall, Osip Zadkine, Alexander Archipel and other old and new friends. Key lessons of skill, an understanding of the principles of futurism and cubism in the early 1910-х were obtained from French teachers of Maurice Denis and Felix Valloton. Annenkov studied quickly. In 1913, already a Mature 24-летний the artist has participated in the first important exhibition of paintings — French salon "Independent". In the same year, after returning to Russia, he will debut as a theater artist in the production of Homo sapiens legendary Evreinov.

In 1917-м hereditary rebellious Annenkov enthusiastically welcomed the Revolution. Ahead — sea job, ocean opportunities, few years cards-бланша for artists from working-крестьянской power. In those years full of energy and enthusiasm Annenkov creates masterpieces in the visual arts and implements innovative projects in experimental theatre. So, in 1918, he makes the famous cycle of illustrations for the poem by Alexander Blok "the Twelve". The poet himself is involved in their creation along with the artist. This design became canonical, and the poem was many times reprinted with illustrations by Annenkov, not only in the USSR but also abroad.

a year later, in 1919-м, despite the blows history of theatrical set design, to realize his idea of "rhythmic scenery." In the performance of Comedy by Leo Tolstoy "the First distiller, or How an imp earned a hunk of bread" (Hermitage theater, Petrograd) Annenkov first made abstract dynamic scenery: instead of static backdrops he hung from the ceiling of a trapezoid, in which the "background" worked as circus acrobats, showing tricks. And in the performance together with the actors involved clowns. Annenkov just loved the movement, the dynamics — in the chart, and on the stage. Then, performances of experimental theatre is not recorded on film, but judging by to the description of eyewitnesses, in spirit it was supposed to be similar to the set design of "Formula of love" and other innovative productions by Mark Zakharov.

In the early 1920-х Annenkovcreates a series of cubist drawings of portraits of the first persons of the Revolution — Lenin, Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinoviev and others. But, I will assume that-настоящему favorite hero Annenkov in these years was the legendary Chairman of the revolutionary military Council, the Creator of the red Army, led it to victory in the Civil war, Leon Trotsky. This is indicated by his numerous portraits made by Annenkov, — inspirational, atmospheric, nature, in almost every picture — masterpiece.

With the death of Lenin in January 1924-го struggle for leadership in the party broke out with unprecedented power over Trotsky began to thicken the clouds, Annenkov started what-то also to guess and managed to get out of the game. He occasionally went to the Venice Biennale, then traveled to Paris and return were in no hurry. In my pocket, ironically, was the fee for winning a competition for the canonical portrait of Lenin on the order of Goznak.

As is now clear, going to Venice in 1924-м, year the artist jumped if not the last, in the penultimate car and most likely dodged a bullet in the woods or in the basement. For example, the same Mayakovsky in 1930-м abroad is simply not allowed. Annenkov was done with your check-out very wisely. To flaunt his act did not. No disloyalty was not expressed. On the contrary. Behaved flexible and modest. Wore a Soviet passport, went to report to the Embassy, he received orders to design the Soviet exhibitions abroad. He managed for a long time led by the nose of the Soviet regime, nod and pretend that-вот return. But his true intentions known mostly friends and some trusted colleagues. For Example, Mayakovsky. In memories Annenkov described their last meeting in nice in 1929: "In his last visit we chatted, as always, a little about everything and certainly about the Soviet Union. Mayakovsky, among other things, asked me when at last I return to Moscow. I replied that I don't anymore, because I want to remain an artist. Mayakovsky tapped me on the shoulder and, from the gloomy, uttered in a hoarse voice: I — are back... since I ceased to be a poet. Then came a truly dramatic scene: Mayakovsky burst into tears and whispered barely audible: I Now... official..." And again: "Mayakovsky realized that it is possible to be a "pure" Communist, but — at the same time — is completely at odds with the Communist party and remain in a helpless isolation".

Who in his youth was not a radical has no heart. Who in adulthood did not conservative — that have no mind.

In exile the end is not lost. On the contrary, his talent bloomed again. Of course, the revolutionary subjects of his work are almost gone, but he was in high demand as a theater artist, as a book designer, as a painter. With the advent of cinema in Moscow has become a useful professional, film industry, talented costume designer. In 1955 our George Annenkoff almost not even received the "Oscar": the artist was in the short list of nominations prestigious American Academy for the film "Madame de...", butin that year, an award he stole the Comedy "Sabrina" with Audrey Hepburn. In General Annenkov worked on many films. They were almost 45. The earliest — Faust (1926). Last time — "Saturday — is impossible" (1965), which was nominated to "Golden globe".

And in between these — dozens of plays, hundreds of decorated books, their literary work under the pseudonym Boris Temiryazev.

Annenkov died on 12 July 1974 at 84 years old. At a safe distance he survived the Stalinist repressions, the murder of Trotsky, but he was in occupied Paris, lived to see the dethronement of the personality cult, saw the success of advanced Soviet science in space and at the same time intense political persecution of dissent in the USSR. Completing a remarkable turn of fate in the end of his life, a former revolutionary artist Annenkov became an Illustrator of forbidden books by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, which is secretly a huge risk was taken to the Union. On the Tomiki "the first circle" and "Cancer ward" — its distinctive cover, with the font just like on "Mojdodyra" 1935 his neighbor on the dacha of Kornei Chukovsky.

Perhaps readers will have realized that Pro-life Annenkov can tell and research endlessly. In this sense, can only envy the owners of his works. However, even in this brief excursus is quite possible to imagine the scale of the figure.

as for the market of his works, such statistics. the Maximum auction result of creativity of Yuri (Georges) Annenkov was installed in 2014 at Christie's. Then the portrait of the writer Alexander Tikhonov, Director of the Soviet publishing house "world literature", was sold for $6 268 000. Interestingly, these above records Aivazovsky, Borovikovsky, Rodchenko, and Nesterov. Most expensive at auction is portrait painting and graphics in the style of the new synthesis (cubism with an expressionist character). For example, a gouache portrait of Anna Akhmatova in 2013 sold at Christie's for $1 382 000. And black-белый reference quality "synthetic" pencil drawing of Meyerhold in 2012, at Sotheby's, bought for $1 680 000. The usual picturesque still lifes with a size of about a meter today is estimated at around $40 000-100 000 (highly depends on quality). Graphics voluntarism more: large gouache can cost $4 000 and $40 000 depending on the plot and excitement of the auction of players. There were cases when the price schedule drove much above $100 000. But this is an exceptional situation which should not rely as a rule, but take note of you.


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