Xenia Boguslavskaya

Born: 1892, Novgorod
Died: 1971, Paris

Painter, graphic artist, applied artist, theatrical designer, illustrator, poetess, teacher. Born in Novgorod in the Greek-Ukrainian family of Leonid Boguslavsky (1892). Studied at the School of Drawing of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1900s), Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples (1910) and the Académie Marie Vassilieff in Paris (1911–13), where she designed fabric patterns for Paul Poiret. Returned to St Petersburg (1913), where she married Jean Pougny (1913) and settled at 56/1 Bolshoi Prospekt on the Petrograd Side (1913–15). Financed the Futurists: Roaring Parnassus almanac (1914), Tramway V First Futurist Exhibition (1915) and 0.10 Last Futurist Exhibition (1915–16). Founding member of Supremus (1915–16) and secretary of Freedom to Art (1917). Illustrated Vladimir Mayakovsky’s October 1917–18: Heroes and Victims of the Revolution (1918) and decorated the streets of Petrograd on May Day and the first anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution (1918). Taught decorative and applied art under Marc Chagall at the Vitebsk School of Art (1919). Emigrated to Finland by walking across the frozen sea from Russia to Kuokkala with Vasily Shukhayev and his wife Vera (1920). Interned by the Finnish authorities (1920), granted an exit visa to Danzig on the basis of her Greek background (1920) and settled in Berlin (1920–23), where she designed sets for Yasha Yuzhny’s Der blaue Vogel (L’Oiseau bleu) cabaret bar and Boris Romanov’s Russische Romantische Theater. Designed the covers of Igor Severyanin’s The Minstrel (1921), Sasha Chorny’s Rainbow: Russian Poets for Children (1922) and Sergei Rafalovich’s Zga (1923). Had an affair with Ferrari, a poetess and artist who lived near her husband’s studio on Kleiststraße in Schöneberg. Moved to Paris (1923), where she designed clothes and fabric patterns. Died in Paris (1971) and buried at the Cimetière du Montparnasse (date on tombstone wrongly given as 1972). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1915). Contributed to Tramway V First Futurist Exhibition (1915), 0.10 Last Futurist Exhibition (1915–16), Knave of Diamonds (1916–17), World of Art (1916–18), Die erste russische Kunstausstellung in Berlin (1922), Salon des Indépendants (1966), Salon des Réalités Nouvelles (1972) and a joint exhibition with Jean Pougny at the Galerie Barbazanges in Paris (1925).

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