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Alex Kravchenko Ilyich (1889-1940)

Russian artist, easel and book illustrations, representative of symbolism and art nouveau.

 He was born on January 30 (February 11) 1889 at Protection suburb (now Engels, Saratov province) into a peasant family. Studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1904-1905, 1907-1910), where his teachers were SVIvanov, Korovin and VA Serov , as well as in school Sh.Kholloshi in Munich (1906). At various times visited Italy, India, France and the United States. He was a member of the "Society of the Wanderers" (from 1915) and the association "Four Arts" (from 1925). Initially he worked in Saratov (1918-1921) - as an artist and a festive scene agitprop - then settled in Moscow.

 He played mostly as a graph (in the techniques of woodcut and linoleum, etching and drawing). Readily also turned to tempera and watercolors. Developed the principles of Symbolism and Art Nouveau in their more traditional, opposition to the avant-garde spirit. His landscapes are imbued with a series of romantic nostalgia for the beauty (Russian landscape, 1908-1916, India, 1913-1914, Italy, 1910-1911, 1925-1926, Paris, 1926, in the Caucasus, 1934), even American skyscrapers acquire it kind of baroque Palaces (New York Central Park, woodcut, 1929). After the revolution, the romance is easy to connect this to the program of socialist realism, giving it a historical-revolutionary or industrial sound (Series A woman's life in the past and the present, 1928, Lenin's Mausoleum, 1930-1933; Dnieper, 1930-1931) against the average of exhibition goods interwar years these sheets stood out with its elegant aesthetics. In its own way it is significant oil painting, lost in the world of theatrical fantasy (Venetian feast, 1919-1921; Kiss, 1930, both work - in a private collection, Moscow). Deep-romantic aesthetic credo, apparently, it is best expressed in the easel woodcuts Stradivari in his workshop (1926), which is sort of allegorical self-portrait.

 The organic nature of the lyrical modernism Kravchenko manifested in art books. In this series (illustrations Venediktov AV Chayanov, 1922; Wood Queen L.M.Leonova, 1923 Portrait of Nikolai Gogol, 1928 Lord of the fleas E.T.A.Gofmana, 1929; Spades A. S.Pushkina, 1939-1940, etc.) is dominated by the element of the irrational, truly "gofmanovskogo" grotesque, dynamically show through in-game black-and-white contrasts. In 1925-1929 published (in several editions) memoir records of the past.

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