Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Soviet artist Alexei Pakhomov

Reaper. 1929. Oil on canvas. Painting by Soviet artist Alexei Pakhomov

Reaper. 1929. Oil on canvas. Painting by Soviet artist Alexei Pakhomov

Soviet artist Alexei Pakhomov (1900-1973) – People’s Artist of the USSR (1971), Full member of the USSR Academy of Arts (1964), Laureate of the State Prize of the USSR (1973 – posthumously) and the Stalin Prize of the second degree (1946). Alexey Fyodorovich Pakhomov was born September 19 October, 1900 in the village of Varlamovo of Vologda Region. From an early age he showed talent for drawing. With the active assistance of members of the local nobility (the son and his father Zubov), he was sent first to a primary school in the city of Kadnikov, and then in 1915 to Petrograd School of Drawing of Baron Stieglitz. Pakhomov studied at the shop of N.A. Tyrsa, and after serving in the army goes to the studio of V.V. Lebedev. Many avant-garde trends that prevailed in the first quarter of the XX century had an impact on the teachers and therefore the school education system.

Girl in blue. 1929

Girl in blue. 1929

According to the memoirs of Pakhomov, Tyrsa often argued that Pakhomov is a prisoner of the past, captive of old routine of artistic concepts. About prevailed in the school atmosphere, say the slogans, which were printed in large letters across the entire width of the page in the newspaper “Commune Art”: “We are fine in a steady change of our past,” “Ruin – means to create, by destroying, we overcome our past” “Proletariat – the creator of the future, not the heir to the past.” Consistently going through modern trends, Pakhomov, however, did numerous sketches from nature. Pencil sketches Pakhomov himself did not appreciate, considering them as an auxiliary material for future works, but his teachers Tyrsa and Lebedev, convinced Pakhomov that these sketches are independent works. For Pakhomov it played a significant role in shaping his own artistic language.

aircraft modeling 1935

aircraft modeling 1935

At the end of the 1920s AF Pakhomov joined the book graphics, from his teacher VV Lebedev, who became the art editor of the publishing house “Children’s Literature” and attracted to it a number of talented young artists. As a master Lebedev brought a lot of his work into the students’ works, sometimes alone tinkering with their drawings. In 1936, with the spread of offset printing Pakhomov managed to persuade Lebedev try to make offset printing form with pencil drawings. The result was released book “Schoolmate” by Marshak illustrated by Pakhomov. After this Pakhomov illustrated books mainly in his favorite pencil manner. During this time he also worked in children’s magazines “Chizh” and “Yozh” (hedgehog). During his work with Lebedev Pakhomov has developed his own, recognizable voice that distinguishes dozens of illustrated by him books. AF Pakhomov occupies one of the leading places among artists of the children’s book graphics of Leningrad of 1920-1940-ies.

Pakhomov survived War in besieged Leningrad. The result is a dramatic series of lithographs “Leningrad during the blockade” (1942-1944). In 1944 he took part in the exhibition of five artists working in the besieged Leningrad (VM Konashevich, VV Pakulin AF Pakhomov, KI Rudakov and AA Strekavin) in the Russian Museum. Later, in February 1945, they were exhibited in Moscow.

From 1942 he taught at Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture of Repin (1949 – the rank of professor). By the early 1960s, reaching a high degree of official recognition, Pakhomov, however, felt the need to update his visual language. The impetus for this was held in 1961 in timing Anniversary personal exhibition, which aroused great interest to early color illustrations of Pakhomov. Then again, he decides to use color illustrations, returns to some private receptions, developed in the 1920s. As a result, there is a book with color illustrations – “Lipunyushka” by Leo Tolstoy (colored pencil), “Grandmother, granddaughter and hen” (watercolor) and others.

Alexei Pakhomov died April 14, 1973. He was buried in Leningrad Theological cemetery.

Awards and Prizes:
Honored Artist of the RSFSR (6 December 1945)
People’s Artist of the RSFSR (12 April 1963)
People’s Artist of the USSR (1971)
Stalin Prize of the second degree (1946) – for a series of lithographs “Leningrad during the blockade” (1942-1944)
State Prize of the USSR (1973 – posthumously) – for design and illustration to the collection of short stories of Tolstoy “Filipok. Pages from “ABC”

The son of Soviet artist Alexei Pakhomov, Andrey Pakhomov was also an artist.

Soviet artist Alexei Pakhomov

From the book “About my work in children’s book”. Moscow, Children literature, 1982