Studied in school of painting, drawing and sculpture of M. Bernstein and L. V. Sherwood. He graduated from the Archaeological Institute. Party "Union of youth". In 1918 he founded the artel artists "Today" has released a series of books with prints. In 1919-23, the rector of Vitebsk artistic-practical Institute, one of the organizers UNOVIS. Since 1923 worked in Ginhuke, where he headed the laboratory of color. One of the leading members of the children's sector of Giza, illustrated "Siskin" and "Hedgehog", as well as
the book of z's "Good boots" harms "Ivan Ivanych Samovar" and others Arrested in early 1932, was soon released. In December 1934 he was arrested in "Kirov flood", together with M. B. Kazan, Vladimir Sterligov, Alexander Baturin and Oleg Kartashov. Received 5 years sent to the camps near Karaganda. At the expiration of the term for another 5 years. According to the testimony of Vladimir Sterligov, together with a batch of prisoners put on a barge and landed on a sandy island in the Aral sea. Cm. about her: "the avant-garde stopped on the run". -- L., 1990; Kovtun, E. F. Artist books V. M. Ermolaeva //
The art of the book. Vol. 8. M., 1975. S. 68-79.
Art education V. M. Ermolaeva got engaged at a private school-the Studio of M. Bernstein in St. Petersburg (early 1910s). Having become acquainted with the artists and innovators United in the "Union of youth", especially Malevich, which had a strong impact, it became one of the active figures in the Russian avant-garde. In 1919 Yermolayeva moved to Vitebsk, where he headed the people's art school, soon transformed into practical art Institute. Together with Malevich and his students, also found themselves in Vitebsk, she participated in the organization UNOVIS ("Affirmative new art"), which aims to develop and promote the principles of Suprematism. In 1922 returned to Petrograd, and continued the research started by UNOVIS in Ginhuke, where he led the lab colors (1924-26). Pictorial works Ermolayeva still almost unknown. She started out as a faithful follower of Malevich, but in the second half of the 1920s, began to develop a method of transmitting objective form. A significant role was played by a trip in the summer of 1928 on the shore of the White sea, from where she brought a series of landscapes, very beautiful expression and increased the power of color. In the early 1930s, Ermolaeva worked on the series "the Village", ensuring it is a monumental enlargement of the depicted, and in 1934 wrote a number of polyexponentially still lifes, in which, abandoning color, successfully operated on pictorial and plastic interpretation of the items. Much better known for the activities Ermolayeva as an Illustrator of children's books. In 1918 she, along with a group of artists organized in Petrograd publishing artel "Today", which was produced in tiny print runs of children's books, decorated with engravings on the linoleum, and she performed the illustrations for three of them: "Mice" and "Cock" of N. Vengrova, "Pioneers" Whitman. After returning to Petrograd Ermolaeva collaborated with the magazines "the New Robinson" and "Sparrow", then with the Department of children's and youth literature of the State publishing house and quickly became one of the leading artists of children's books. Given its scenic experience, she has created a personal style in which the important role played by strong color and sharp, sometimes grotesque plastic. She was one of the first illustrated works of D. I. Kharms ("Ivan Ivanych Samovar", 1929-30), N. A. Zabolotsky ("Nice boots", 1928), A. I. Vvedensky ("Fishermen," 1929-30; "the Heroism of pioneer Machine", 1931) and she was the author of the witty books, pictures- "a Grief-the driver" (1928), "Dog" (1929), "masks of animals" (1930). At the turn of the 1920s and 1930s came a small series of books by Ivan Krylov's fables, accompanied by its expressive black and white drawings. In 1933-34 he Ermolaeva, on its own initiative illustrated the works of the world classical literature - "Reynard the Fox" J. W. Goethe (color lithograph), "don Quixote" of Cervantes and "On the nature of things" Lucretius Kara (gouache). This work was left unfinished. At the end of 1934, during the campaign of terror launched in the Wake of the assassination of S. M. Kirov, Ermolaeva (after a serious illness move only with crutches) was arrested and exiled to Kazakhstan. Neither the exact date of her death nor place of burial is not known.