Russia • 1897−1954

Biography and information

Nikolai Mikhailovich Suetin (November 6, 1897, the village of Myatlevskaya station, Kaluga province — January 22, 1954, Leningrad) - Russian and Soviet artist, painter, graphic artist. Together with Ilya Chashniki was the closest student, friend and follower Kazimir Malevich. The representative of the avant-garde, suprematist, chief artist of the State Porcelain Factory (1932-1952).

Features of Nikolai Suyetin's work: One of the two closest pupils of Kazimir Malevich, Nikolay Suetin, fully accepted the Suprematist theory of his teacher, subsequently transforming it into post-superematic figurative paintings. He was looking for the development of his ideas in complex multi-color compositions, on contrasts of color and shape, working with the expansion of the suprematic palette (black, white, red). Suetin's Suprematism is a geometric conjugation of not only simple shapes, but also color planes. Since 1932, Suetin became the chief artist of the State Porcelain Factory, where he worked until the end of life.

Famous paintings and works by Nikolai Suetin: “Suprematist composition with black rectangle”, "Woman with a white saw", "Scarecrow", "Suprematic inkwell", service "Tractor", service "Baba".

Childhood and youth
Nikolai Mikhailovich Suetin was born in 1897 in the family of an impoverished nobleman. Suetin's father worked as head of a small railway station Myatlevskaya in the Kaluga province.

After graduating from the Kaluga gymnasium, Nikolai Suetin entered the cadet corps in St. Petersburg. In the cadet corps, he fell in love with drawing lessons, which developed in him curiosity and interest in painting. His favorite artists were Vrubel and Churlionis.

In World War I Nicholas Suetin mobilized; He served in the Caucasus, and since 1915 - in Vitebsk. Here at that time there was the only Jewish private School of drawing and painting. Udel panwhich after the revolution was transformed by his pupil, Marc Chagallin the folk art school. Vitebsk becomes the capital of Russian revolutionary art. In 1918, Suetin makes the final choice in favor of painting and becomes a student of the National Art School, and a year later he moves from the workshop of Chagall to the studio El Lissitzky. In 1922 he was demobilized from the army.

Meeting with the Master
Kazimir Malevich arrived in Vitebsk in 1919: this moment became a turning point in the fate of Nikolai Suetin. Assessing the talent of the young artist, Malevich carefully and persistently "led" him towards avant-garde art, starting with an acquaintance with Cubism and Sezanism. Using the examples of the works of Chyurlionis, loved by Suetin, Malevich tried to show the student the processes of constructing space, "introduced" him to Suprematism. Having developed his own understanding of Suprematism, Suetin began his experiments with color and composition.

A group of devoted students of Malevich in 1920 formed the society "Confirmations of the New Art" - UNOVIS. In addition to the Master, it included El Lissitzky, Lazar Khidekel, Ilya Chashnik, Nina Kogan, Nikolay Suetin other. Together with his teacher and colleagues in UNOVIS, Suetin took part in the decoration of Vitebsk for the third anniversary of the October Revolution, then for the May Day holidays. With his friend Ilya Chashnik, Suetin became the leading artist of UNOVIS.

Moving to Petrograd
In 1922, the Director of the State Porcelain Factory invites Malevich, Suetin and Chashnik to take part in the development of new forms of porcelain and its design. Nikolay Suetin engaged in painting. Malevich designs porcelain products using his designs for creating architects. A little later, Suetin connects to the creation of new forms, his Suprematist porcelain gets its own name - bustle. Works Suetin more functional than the work of Malevich, more adapted for use in everyday life. Vases, inkpots, plates, and sets — in each object, Suyetin’s individual view of Suprematism is visible, his desire to humanize non-objective art, to combine hard lines and soft forms. Agitation porcelain, created by Suetin, took prizes at international exhibitions and became very popular.

In 1927-1928, together with Ilya Chashniki, Suetin worked in the studio of the architect Alexander Nikolsky. They selected colors for the new public buildings of Leningrad, which at that time were built quite a lot: schools, clubs, stadiums, bridges had to look modern, and they were looking for progressive solutions, guided by the principles of non-objective painting.

Family and Creative Union
Nikolai Suetin's wife became Anna Alexandrovna Leporskaya (1900 - 1982). With her future husband, she met at the Institute of Artistic Culture. Having fallen in love with Suetina, she divorced her husband, an artist Konstantin Rozhestvenskywho very keenly perceived this event and even wanted to commit suicide.

From 1923 to 1926, Anna Leporskaya studied and worked in GINHUK with Kazimir Malevich, in the formal theoretical department. She was his secretary and student, accepted the principles of Malevich’s teaching and was formed as a designer under the influence of Suprematism, developing the ideas of “the basic principles of plasticity of every form.” Leporskaya had a family and creative union with Suetin: Anna was not only an artist, but also a master in ceramics and porcelain.

Children Leporskaya and Suetin was not. After World War II, Nikolai Suetin took his daughter Nina to him. Her mother, Sarah Abramovna Kamenetskaya, a translator from English, died in the evacuation. The second mother for Nina was Anna Leporskaya. Subsequently, Nina Suetina married the son of her father’s closest friend, the artist Ilya Chashnik - Ilya Ilyich Chashnik.

State Porcelain Factory
In 1932, Nikolay Suyetin was appointed chief artist of the State Porcelain Factory (later the Leningrad Porcelain Factory named after MV Lomonosov), where he worked until the end of his life. His architects vases became the prototype of the Soviet pavilion at the exhibition in Paris. The official high position and the burden of responsibility left almost no time for painting; Party meetings, reports, annual reports, and the development of new porcelain designs absorbed almost all the time and artist's powers.

Nevertheless, he continues his creative explorations, not particularly advertising them - in the courtyard of the dominance of social realism, the only true style for the young Soviet Union. On April 23, 1932, a Resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) “On the restructuring of literary and artistic organizations” was issued, which abolished all societies, uniting and averaging the cultural institutions of the USSR.

Death of Kazimir Malevich
After the death of his teacher, Suetin took part in organizing the funeral of Malevich in accordance with the "Suprematic ritual". He made a coffin in the form of an architecton, as well as an urn for ashes and a cubic monument, which was placed on Malevich's grave.

Social Realism: The End of the Revolution in Culture
In his post-suprematic development of ideas, grafted by teacher Kazimir Malevich, Suetin comes to a figurative representation of the objectless, geometrical images of a human figure, decided on the contrast of color. This is evidenced, for example, by the work "Woman with a black saw", which Suetin created in two or three years before his teacher wrote his famous "Woman with a rake". He writes: “... I want the human power of a painter. I want to feel the momentum of my human meat. I want to be on earth and with the power of it. " The design and painting of porcelain products allows Suetin to find a creative outlet in those times when the revolutionary vanguard gave way to conservative social realism, stability and predictability. In painting Suetin worked for himself, did not exhibit his paintings.

The Great Patriotic War
During the war, Suetin and Leporskaya remained in besieged Leningrad. Suetin worked on masking urban objects. Leporskaya drew a blockade, worked at a factory where she froze her hands, fell ill with dystrophy and scurvy, like many people in Leningrad.

After the blockade was lifted, Suetin designed the “Heroic Defense of Leningrad” exhibition, and was awarded the Order of Lenin. “Beauty as a concept always remains, only its form changes. It is not eternal, and it is always new and young, ”he wrote. From 1944 to 1949, Suetin was the chief artist of the Museum of Defense of Leningrad.

In 1945, Suetin attracted his wife to the development of new forms for porcelain sets; Leporskaya is developing its first Cone tea set. In 1948 she entered the state of the plant.

last years of life
In the late 40s Suetin, like many artists, was accused of formalism. He managed to avoid arrest. We had to forget about Suprematism; in his design works for LFZ, the artist turned to the principles of classicism.

Immediately after Stalin's death, an order for a funeral wreath made of roses was received by the State Porcelain Factory. The order was executed, and Nikolay Suetin took him to Moscow. The next morning, the artist's family was informed that he had a heart attack. Almost a year Suetin lay in the Kremlin hospital, after which he was transported to Leningrad, where he died two months later.

Author: Rita Lozinskaya