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Vasily
Dmitrievich Ermilov

Russia 
1894−1968
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Vasily Dmitrievich Ermilov (March 21, 1894 - January 6, 1968, Kharkov) - Ukrainian artist, painter, graphic artist, innovative designer, constructivist. Vasyl Yermilov is called the “father of the Ukrainian avant-garde”.

Features of the artist Vasily Yermilov: In addition to vivid and memorable paintings, Vasily Yermilov was a design artist, worked with volumetric forms and created many projects of small practical forms, including kiosks and stands, book and campaign vans. Yermilov worked a lot with industrial graphics, designed packaging, trademarks and even matchboxes, created his own font, painted book covers, and designed magazines. Among easel works he preferred landscape, painted portraits and genre paintings.

Famous works of the artist Vasily Yermilov: “Lady with a Fan”, “Guitar”, relief “Gramophone. Argentine tango ”, relief“ Civil war ”, relief“ Day of art ”, draft monument to Velimir Khlebnikov.

The revolution embodied in art was in every work of Ermilov. "Father of the Ukrainian avant-garde", "Kharkov Picasso"," Ukrainian Tatlin”- what epithets were not attributed to this talented, humble and hard-working Kharkiv artist! There was such a joke among Yermilov's contemporaries - they say that for a full-fledged composition, two sticks will be enough for Yermilov, but Lissitzky you need at least three. This did not prevent Vasily Yermilov from chanting a new time, organizing the urban space of his native Kharkov with a letter and shape, and color. His constructivist decisions were present at all festivals and parades; he created tribunes and posters, painted campaign trains and book vans, making the atmosphere of the capital of the Ukrainian SSR of those times modern and progressive.

The son of a tailor, Vasily Yermilov, began to learn the art of drawing very early. At the age of 11 he entered the art-craft workshop of the Kharkov Literacy Society, where his teacher was a graduate of the Prague Art and Industry Academy. Ladislav Trakal. The first recognition came even then, in childhood: they say that the memorable address that young Ermilov made was recognized as the best and sent as a gift to Leo Tolstoy on the 80th anniversary of the writer.

Having received the certificate of "apprentice decorative painting" at the age of 15, Yermilov began to take orders, began exhibiting and in parallel continued his studies - first at the Kharkov Art School, then at the private "Studio" of impressionist artists Eduard Steinberg and Alexey Grot. Then the young man left for Moscow, where in 1912 he entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, studied with David Burliuk and Vladimir Mayakovsky, worked in studios Ilya Mashkova and Petr Konchalovsky. The collection was a great discovery for the artist. Sergey Schukinand especially the work of Pablo Picasso. In Moscow, the artist did not find himself, and in 1913 he returned to his native Kharkov, where he became a member of the Budyak art group, and a year later received a diploma in decorative painting at the Kharkov art school. Further creative studies of Yermilov were interrupted by the First World War, he was drafted into the army, the artist was wounded in battles, was contused and was awarded the 4th degree St. George's Cross.

Vasily accepted the revolution of 1917 with all his heart, believed in the coming changes and linked his work with the changes taking place around him. The new revolutionary world demanded utilitarian and bright solutions - Yermilov designed the streets and squares of his native Kharkiv, painted the “Red Ukraine” campaign train, worked with the colors that were available. In agitplakaty for the Department of Ukrosta, in the design of books and magazines, he developed his own "Ermilovskiy" font, which later entered the book on graphic design. Yermilov did not forget about folk floral ornaments, the love for which was inspired by his teacher Ladislav Trakal to the artist.

The 1920s and 1930s were very fruitful for Yermilov: he was completely fascinated by the "art of artistic design of things", created design solutions for matchboxes and cigarette packs, participated in international exhibitions in Cologne and Paris, developed remarkable constructivist solutions for the design of the Kharkov Palace pioneers and october. In 1925, the artist became a member of the Association of Revolutionary Art of Ukraine. On his initiative, the Art and Industry Institute was created on the basis of the Kharkov Art School, in which Vasily Dmitrievich headed the graphics workshop. He experimented a lot with various materials - metal, plywood, wood, ropes. The artist recalled: “It was necessary that the material that came to hand be used most fully, because there was no choice. There is red and yellow paint and nothing else, so do it, choose the most appropriate combinations and stains and - hit. "

The Stalinist repressions of the late 1930s put an end to the creative fate of many avant-garde artists. Vasily Yermilov was accused of formalism, the artist had to leave teaching at the institute. In these difficult years of oblivion, he did not lose heart, worked at home, designed red corners in clubs and factories, and after the war he began to teach again. In 1949, new purges began, Yermilov was “added” to the formalism by cosmopolitanism and expelled from the Union of Artists.
During the Khrushchev thaw, they remembered about Yermilov, he was rehabilitated his name and reinstated him in the ranks of the Union of Artists. In 1962, a personal exhibition of the artist. He again began to teach at the Kharkov Institute of Art and Industry. However, the new take-off did not work, and the years took their toll. Vasily Yermilov died in 1968.

The name and creative achievements of the legendary Ukrainian constructivist artist are remembered and honored in his homeland. In 1995, a prize was established for achievements in the field of design named after Vasily Yermilov, and in 2012, the Center for Contemporary Art opened in Kharkov "ErmilovTsentr".
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