Annenkov Yuriy

 'One only has to peer a little more closely through the glass of a microscope and trace the lingering splendour of dye solutions as they diffuse and metamorphose in order to find an inexhaustible source of graphical and pictorial visions! Artists are wrong to ignore the microscope; a new form of nature stares at us through its lenses, one which in no way resembles what we see with the unaided eye and one which is capable of enriching the tools of our visual impressions'.


Yury Pavlovich Annenkov was a Russian artist, theatre and cinema practitioner, man of letters, a distinguished representative of the Russian-French art nouveau and avant-garde movements. The early period of the artist’s creativity was principally occupied with painting. In 1913 he became interested in the graphic arts and developed his own unique type of ‘aesthetic’, the very ‘loud’ graphical portrait. Many of these paintings (A.A. Ahmatova, M. Gorky, Y.I. Zamyatin, B.L. Pasternak, V.F. Hodasevich etc.) are rightly considered classics of literary and artistic iconography. The artist’s graphic portraits demonstrate a virtuosic mastery of technique, applying an obedient line here, masterful shading there, maybe a solid spot elsewhere, but always perceiving what was most vivid and characterful in the countenance of his heroes. These depictions, sometimes extremely laconic, suggest a kind of ‘formula’ of the face. In 1918 he completed a series of illustrations to accompany the poem by A.A. Blok, ‘The Twelve’, creating from his own drawings, in Blok’s own words, ‘a parallel graphic text’. Yury Annenkov succeeded in combining in his works, including in his paintings, the deep rhythm and ornamentality of art nouveau, with features of a grotesque ‘zaum’ in the spirit of futurism. From 1925 onwards the master settled in Paris and gained widespread recognition as a theatre and cinema artist. He acted as designer for over 60 productions and his costume and set designs were used in over fifty films.

ĎHis creativity was characterised by dynamics, an unusual vivacity, a well developed poetical imagination, a dense abundance of details, diversity and something approaching volatility in his use of techniques, which, of course, by always maintaining his individuality, was all the more pointedí. M. Kuzmin, poet and composer
The artist's work can be found in the following museums and collections:
The Russian Museum