Yuri Pavlovich Annenkov (July 23, 1889, Petropavlovsk, Russian Empire - July 12, 1974, Paris) - Russian and French painter, graphic artist, theater and film artist, critic, writer (literary pseudonym - Boris Temiryazev).
Features of the artist Yuri Annenkov: Studying in Paris in 1911-1912 made it possible for Annenkov to plunge into the thick of newfangled artistic movements, among which Cubism and Futurism were closest to him. He developed his own graphic style, combining academic drawing with cubic elements, which is remarkably reflected in a series of famous portraits of famous personalities, published as a separate edition of "Portraits" in 1922. Annenkov's works have always been distinguished by great improvisational freedom and skillful plastic solutions. Since the 1950s, the artist has practically abandoned figurativeness, turning to pictorial abstraction and assemblage, using rags of fabric, metal and wooden details glued to the canvas in his works.
Famous works of the artist Yuri Annenkov: portraits of prominent figures of culture and art of the Silver Age - Anna Akhmatova, Boris Pasternak, Alexander Blok, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Korney Chukovsky and others; illustrations for the poem of Alexander Blok "The Twelve"; "Adam and Eve," "Bathers."
Yuri Pavlovich Annenkov was born in Petropavlovsk, where his father, Narodovolets Pavel Semenovich Annenkov. served the term of exile for participating in the preparation of the assassination attempt on Emperor Alexander II The family moved to St. Petersburg when Yuri was 5 years old. Soon, another son appeared in the family - Alexander.
Yuri entered the 12th St. Petersburg State Gymnasium, from which he was expelled for political cartoons for an illegal school journal. Since 1906 he studied at the Stolbtsov private gymnasium, which he graduated in 1908 and entered the law faculty of St. Petersburg University.
The Annenkov family had a summer house in the village of Kuokkala, where they often lived in the winter, and their neighbors were Korney Chukovsky and Ilya Repin. Acquaintance and frequent communication with Repin only strengthened Annenkov in the desire to become a professional artist: at the same time as the university, he began to take lessons in the studio Savely Zeidenbergwho studied at the same time Mark Shagal. A year later, Annenkov passed the exam at the Academy of Arts - alas, unsuccessfully. But he did not lose heart and continued his studies - in the workshop Jan Zionglinsky, and also began to attend the Stieglitz school.
In 1911, on the advice of Tsionglinsky, Annenkov went to Paris. He takes lessons in workshops.Maurice Denis and Felix Vallotton, visits the Academy of La Pallette and Grand Chaumiere. In 1913, Annenkov made his debut in the Salon of Independents with the paintings “Evening” and “Landscape”.
Upon returning to St. Petersburg, Yuri Annenkov plunged into theatrical activities, making friends with the infamous director Nikolai Evreinov, who was working at the Crooked Mirror Theater at that time. For the next 4 years Evreinov lived in the Annokovs cottage in Kuokkal, joining the friendly circle of St. Petersburg creative intelligentsia. In “Crooked Mirror”, working on the design of the play “Homo sapiens”, Annenkov met his first wife, Elena Borisovna Halpern (1897–1980), a ballerina, a student of Isadora Duncan, who later opened her own dance school in Russia.
Annenkov became interested in graphics, and Korney Chukovsky recommended the young artist to the Satyricon magazine; his drawings began to appear in the magazines Argus, Lukomorye, and Fatherland. He created paintings, in 1916-17 he designed the performances of the artistic cabaret "Comedians' Halt", became a member of society "World of Art". Annenkov’s first work as a book designer was “Samovar” by Maxim Gorky, published in 1917.
Annenkov accepted the revolution positively, participated in many artistic endeavors of the Soviet government, created a number of portraits of political figures - Alexander Kerensky, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin and others. In 1918, in an artistic alliance with Alexander Blok, the artist created famous illustrations for the poem "The Twelve."
On November 7, 1920, director Nikolai Evreinov performed a grandiose theatrical production of The Capture of the Winter Palace, filmed on film. Annenkov created the scenery and costumes for this action, which was attended by about 9 thousand actors and extras. Annenkov entered the board of the Petrograd House of Arts, became one of the organizers of the OST. In the same year, Annenkov was elected professor of the Academy of Arts, where he was not accepted at one time.
In 1920, the book of Yuri Annenkov “Portraits” was released, which was composed of sharp-characteristic images of famous cultural figures of the Silver Age, solved in the Cubist style, as well as articles dedicated to Annenkov himself. Among the most famous books designed by Yuri Annenkov is Moidodyr by Korney Chukovsky, which he illustrated in 1923, and which has been reprinted more than 30 times.
In 1924, Yuri Annenkov and his wife Elena Halpern left for Venice to participate in the XIV International Art Exhibition, the first for the Country of Soviets. Here he made the final decision not to return to Russia. He lived and worked in Germany for some time, and later moved to Paris, where in 1925 he took part in the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts. He regularly went to mark the passport to the Soviet embassy, fulfilled orders for registration of exhibitions, which the Soviets arranged abroad, agreed with everything, but decided everything for himself.
In the French capital, the artist met all those whom he had met during his training in the workshops of Maurice Denis and Felix Vallotton, renewed relations with fellow practitioners at the Academy of La Pallette and Grand Schaumiere. Annenkova’s talent flourished - he was in demand not only as a portrait painter, but also as a book graphic artist, painter, theater artist, collaborated with George Balanchin, Leonid Myasin, Bronislava Nizhinsky. A special place in his work was occupied by The Queen of Spades - Annenkov created the sets and costumes for the play The Queen of Spades for the Bat Theater (1931), then to the opera The Queen of Spades by Tchaikovsky (1942), and he completely designed it in 1960 The Queen of Spades ballet directed by Serge Lifar.
In the late 1920s, there was a break with his first wife Elena, who soon returned back to Russia. The second wife of the artist was Valentina Motyleva, a former Moscow Art Theater actress. In Annenkov’s studio in Ryu Boileau, guests from Soviet Russia often visited - Pasternak, Babel, Ehrenburg, Slonimsky, Alexei Tolstoy ... Georges Annenkoff, as he was called in the French style, despite his great demand in theatrical life, and later in cinema, he never did not give up painting. His paintings regularly appeared in galleries and salons, and today many of them are kept in private collections in Europe and America.
Annenkov was fluent in the word, wrote under the pseudonym Boris Temiryazev. Even before he left, he published a number of critical articles on the theater in the Life of Art newspaper. In 1934, his novel The Tale of Trivia was published in Berlin. And in 1966, his book "Diary of my meetings. The cycle of tragedies" was published in New York, in which Annenkov describes his meetings with many remarkable personalities - Korney Chukovsky, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Ilya Repin, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Isaac Babel, By Alexandre Benois,Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova, Anna Akhmatova, Vsevolod Meyerhold and many others.
The rapid development of the cinema fascinated Annenkov: for example, in 1938 he took part in the creation of the film German drama director Georg Pabst's "Drama in Shanghai", later collaborated with him in the film "Mademoiselle Docteur", where the main roles were played by Louis Jouvet and Pierre Frenet. He was invited to collaborate with film studios in France, Germany, Italy ...
The years of the German occupation Annenkov spent in Paris, worked on theatrical productions. From 1945 to 1955, he was president of the French syndicate of filmmakers. In 1955, Yuri Annenkov and his colleague Rosin Delamar were nominated for an Academy Award Academy Award for costumes for the film "Madame de ..." directed by Max Ofyuls, with whom the artist was connected by friendship and cooperation in four films. In total, the artist created costumes for more than 50 films, in 1951 his book "Dressing Up Movie Stars", published in 2004 in Russian by the MIK publishing house, was released.
In the last years of his life, Yuri Annenkov collaborated with television channels in western Germany and France, still engaged in graphics and painting, and created illustrations for French magazines. In 1969-70 he designed the books of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Mikhail Bulgakov, published by YMCA-Press.
Yuri Annenkov passed away at the age of 84 and is buried in Paris.
In 2014, at a Christie's auction, the portrait of the writer Alexander Tikhonov, director of the Soviet publishing house World Literature, created by Annenkov in 1922, was sold for $ 6,268,000.