In Saratov passed the childhood and youth of the artist. Here was the first personal exhibition, followed by the second post-mortem. In Radischevskaya Museum the most complete collection of his works, and almost all of them were donated by the author. In 1926 he graduated from the painting Department of the Saratov art College and entered the Moscow Vhuteine in the painting Department, but from the second year moved to graphics, where his mentor was Vladimir Favorsky. He felt a strong impact of the system of teachers, but did not become an imitator. By the beginning of 1930-ies M. Polyakov is a separate master, capable of solving complex tasks of designing and illustrating the book.
Among his early works are illustrations for books by Gogol, Hugo, Pushkin, Tynianov, and others. Interestingly, Tynyanov, who believed that illustrations only hurt the text, was kindly treated polakowski engravings: they conveyed the expression of the text, its generic essence.
During these years he designed the book Heinrich Heine's "Germany. The winter's tale". The poem is imbued with contempt for the ranks of life in which rise the nightmarish ghosts of the middle ages, where the atmosphere of smug stupidity, forced enthusiasm, aggressive chauvinism. The top pre book graphics Polyakova was the design edition of the novel of Victor Hugo "Notre Dame Cathedral". Historical knowledge and artistic flair of the wizard helped him to solve the most complex sequence of tenses / time depicted in the novel, the time of its creation and the time of its illustration.
The artist remains committed to literary classics and in the postwar years. By 1948, he prepared an album of illustrations to the works of A. S. Pushkin....
In your graphic you read the book the artist has always sought to preserve it feeling and spiritual meaning. It ultimately strengthens the role of the entire books decor: letters, epigraphs, headpieces, vignettes, endings it is always meaningful. It's not just the elements of book decoration, but visual cues accompanying the literary narrative, which merge into a single end-to-end the narrative, arranging the composition of the book to complete the whole ensemble. This assures his work on "the Queen of spades" by Pushkin, "Faust" of Goethe, a collection of "Late Greek prose." Reasoning and the semantic validity of each element of the book of the decoration contributes to the reading that corresponds to the letter and spirit of the text.
The poles wanted to be a real designer book. Aspiring to the expression of the book of forms and not always having the opportunity in publishing, he creates unique books of a single poem. Most often it is a poem by Pushkin, or françois Villon, but there are other authors, for example, it is long before the first publications issued and manuscripts "published" in 1967, "Requiem" by Anna Akhmatova. In this exciting new book is a tangible concern about a passionate bibliophile, connoisseur present cultural work books.
About the book says the master, and in his bookplates, which he created about 30. There is always something going on: the Venetians in cloaks fence on the background of the Doge's Palace, the ancient sailboat soars on the crest of the mighty waves, the soaring Muse is crowned with the head lying in the grass of a poet, storks mold nest on the ruins of a triumphal arch, in the middle of a performance of Italian folk Comedy. Without abandoning the traditional book mark support for heraldry and symbolism, the Poles tends to simple and easy to read solutions. His images internally associative: metaphor, allusion substitute for detailed narrative.
Portrait interesting task is solved by the artist in his series of easel engravings, dedicated to the great composers. How would the poles shifts the music to the language of visual images, passing and the tragic pathos of Beethoven, and complex clarity of Mozart, and the inspiration Chopin, and Rachmaninoff's gloomy expression.
Associative installation of Mikhail was used in a series of his "Memories". This narrative prints with a variety of characters and situations. The timeline in them, as if crushed, it splits into many episodes are primarily important biographically: father's house, the Wharf of the shipping company "Caucasus and mercury" - fashioned paddle steamer, the old Cathedral, the Seminary, the organ grinder with a monkey and a girl-dancer, Gleboki ravine, Radischev Museum, and classes Bogolyubovka, soldiers going to the front with the song "Writes, PI Sheth king of Germa-and-aligned writes of ru-u-ossamu the king...", Conservatory, scenes from Queen of spades and Rigoletto, concert singer Zoe People, Krasnogvardeyskiy patrol on the streets of Saratov and dancing anarchists, students, local Workshops, and overcome the legacy of academic painting plaster "Apollo" and "Venus", they're digging trenches, preparing to repel the offensive of Denikin, the lessons of acrobatics in theater workshops and beloved artists of the Saratov circus, the station with the speculators, carrying in the capital of salt... And finally, the last window of the apartment overlooking the Moscow state University and the stadium "Dynamo". Not accidentally appear in these engravings symbolic icon: hourglass with wings - time flies...", These prints were born from an irrepressible desire to recall his past life, which beset every man, approached the famous turn of the age," wrote Mikhail Ivanovich. "Memories" is a memoir told with the help of the graver.
In one of his letters, in answer to questions, Mikhail Polyakov has clearly stated his artistic credo: "the Immutable principles? - Do not lie in art, not to think about the moments of the current. Favorite techniques of illustration? - Actually, no tricks. Techniques too, because "from the evil one" and the reading of the text, the answer is, sometimes the accompanying text, add to text about text."
(From the article Yefim Pitcher "M. Polyakov," the publication "New Times")