Chemiakin, Mihail: 1943 (Russia)

The Artist:

Mihail Chemiakin was born in Moscow, Russia in 1943. His father was a soldier and his mother was an actress. In 1945 he left Russia with his parents, during the occupation of Germany, where his father was a colonel. He lived in Dresden until 1957.

Chemiakin studied at l'Ecole de Peinture Repine, and had his first exhibit of paintings at the Club l'Etoile in 1962. He struggled for years unable to find work. From 1961-67 he held odd jobs including factory-worker, street-cleaner, and night watchman. In 1966 Chemaikin had a major exhibition of his paintings and engravings at the Conservatorie Rimsky-Korsakoff, in Lenigrad, which closed after seven days. In 1967 he finally found success, exhibiting in Novosibirsk at l'Academie des Sciences, where Felanov, Lissitzki, and Falk also made their debuts. During that same year Chemaikin joined a union for graphic arts, the Garkom des Peintres-Graveurs.

By 1970 Chemiakin had published an award winning book, Les Epigrammes Espagnols. And, when in 1971 Chemiakin emigrated to Paris, his unique imagery was already familiar to European collectors. He has participated the Grands et Jeunes d'Aujourd'hui, and the National Fine Arts Exhibit at the Grand Palais in Paris. He published a second book and opened an exhibit of prints at la Galerie Dina Vierny in Paris. It was in Paris that he produced his Carnival at St. Petersberg (see Mauve Harlequin) and his Metaphysical Series, which are among his most renowned works.

In 1980 Chemiakin moved to New York, were he presently resides and works, painting and printmaking. He has won art prizes, and his work is featured in major cultural center's exhibition venues including: Kunsthalle Winterthur, Zurich; Galerie J.C. Gaubert, Paris; "Comparisons", Grand Palais Paris; Concours Nichido, Paris; Nichido Salon, Tokyo; Galerie Nichido in Nagoya and Osaka; Musee Russe; Palace of the Moulin de Senlis, Motgeron; Altmann Carpentier, Paris, and Nakhamkin in New York.

The Art:

The lithograph below is from the 1978 Carnival at St. Petersburg suite. The suite is a political and philosophical comment, analogizing life and its mystery to a carnival. The subject of carnival mystery forms the basis of content in of some of the most important expressions in fine art, film and literature. In literature, from Homer through Cervantes and Dostoevsky to Proust, Faulkner, and Joyce. In art and film, in tragedies and scenic mosaics including: the finest art nightmares of Goya, the clowns of Picasso, and the films of Fellini.

The images in Chemaikin's Carnival at St Petersburg are comic, tragic, political, unreal, and surreal. The figures move through the picture as actors in a spectacle, experiencing reality, fantasy and, illusion. Drawing is brilliantly illustrative and images are meticulously rendered in line and color. The composition is handsomely balanced presenting an art work which is successful artistically and philosophically.

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Mihail Chemaikin. 220/225. Lithograph. From the 1978 Carnival at St. Petersburg suite. The paper size is 30" x 22". The image size is 20" x 17 1/2". The lithograph was acquired in 1978. The suite was created in an edition of 225 on Arches paper and 75 on Japon paper. The lithograph is signed and numbered in pencil. The artwork, margins and art surface, is in pristine condition. Close-Up


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