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The Provinces. Early 1910s

Shkolnik Josif,
Size paint on canvas
70,5 х 88,5

State Russian Museum

Пост. в 1926 из Музея художественной культуры, Ленинград


Josif Shkolnik was born in a small Jewish settlement (mestechko) in Ukraine. All his life, he retained an affection for the motifs of these small provincial outposts, with their little white-washed houses and quaintly misspelt signboards. Although this world had much in common with Marc Chagall’s works, Shkolnik’s provincial landscapes are transformed by the artist’s painterly vision. The Provinces is one of the most typical works of this genre. Built on combinations of bright local tones, the landscape colours are reminiscent of a stage set. Hardly surprising, as Shkolnik worked in theatre for many years.

Author's Biography

Shkolnik Josif

Shkolnik, Josif Solomonovich (1883, Balta, Ukraine — 1926, Leningrad)
Painter, theatrical designer. Studied at the Odessa School of Art (1898–1905) and the Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersburg (1905–1907). Founding member of the Union of Youth (1909, secretary). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1908). Contributed to the exhibitions of Modern Trends in Art (1908), Impressionists (1909), Union of Youth (1910–1914), Left-Wing Trends (1915), Exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures by Jewish Artists (1918), First State Exhibition of Free Art (1919) and the Exhibition of Russian Art in Berlin (1922). Designed for theatres in St Petersburg (from 1910). Collaborated with Pavel Filonov on a production of Vladimir Mayakovsky: A Tragedy (1913) in Luna Park Theatre. Member of IZO Narkompros (1918), headed the theatrical and decorative section reorganised into Decorative Institute (1920). Professor, commissar of the Petrograd Free Art Studios (from 1919).

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