Between 29th April and 3rd September 2023, the Kroller-Muller Museum is hosting the exhibition, ‘Futurism and Europe’. The exhibition combines work by Western Europeans such as Balla, Boccioni, Schlemmer and Picasso with work by their Eastern European contemporaries, among them Ukrainian-born, Yakov Chernikhov.
Yakov Chernikhov was born in Pavlograd, downriver from the now infamous city of Dnipro in 1889. One of eleven children, Chernikhov studied under Kiriak Kostandi (1852-1921) and Genadii Ladyzhensky (1853-1916) at the Odessa Arts Institute, the city to which the family had moved in 1902.
In 1912, Chernikhov began teaching at the Institute before continuing his studies at
the Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersburg from 1914, moving to the Architecture Department in 1916. Graduating in 1925, Chernikhov embarked on a stellar career setting up the Scientific Research Experimental Laboratory of Architectural Forms and Methods of Graphic Representation, almost a personal education college, in 1927. There, together with his students, his worked on his role as an ‘artist architect’, producing a staggering quantity of work.
His work “Architectural Fantasies” is widely considered the last avant-garde art book published during the Stalinist era. Greatly interested in constructivism and suprematism, Chernikhov’s individualism led him into conflict with the regime and resulted in only of a handful of his architectural projects being realised.
Cited as an influence by Zahar Khadid, Chernikhov remains one of the most
important graphic artists of the Russian and Ukrainian School.