Robert Falk

Born: 1886, Moscow
Died: 1958, Moscow
Knave of Diamonds

Painter, graphic artist, theatrical designer, teacher. Graduated from the St Peter and St Paul Professional School in Moscow (1903). Studied at the Konstantin Juon and Ivan Dudin School of Painting and Drawing in Moscow (1904–05), Ilya Mashkov’s studio (1904–05) and under Konstantin Korovin, Valentin Serov, Abram Arkhipov, Apollinary Vasnetsov and Leonid Pasternak at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1905–12). Converted from Judaism to Orthodoxy and married Elizaveta Potekhina (1909). Travelled across Italy (1910–11). Member of the Knave of Diamonds (1911), World of Art (1917), Kulturliga (1921), Society of Moscow Artists (1925–28) and the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (1925–28). Worked for IZO Narkompros (1918–21) and the Institute of Artistic Culture (1920). Taught at the State Free Art Studios (1918–20), VKhUTEMAS (1920–26), VKhUTEIN (1926–28), Samarkand Regional School of Art (1942–43) and Moscow Institute of Decorative and Applied Art (1945–58). Worked for the Jewish Theatre in Moscow (1922–25, 1927, 1937, 1939–41, 1947), designing the sets and costumes for Isaac Leib Peretz’s A Night in the Old Marketplace (1925) and Mendele Mocher Sforim’s The Wanderings of Benjamin III (1927). Lived in Paris and visited Brittany, Normandy, Provence and Corsica (1928–37). Travelled to Berlin to collaborate with Alexei Granovsky on a production of Uriel Acosta at the Habima Theatre (1930) and a film adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s novel Taras Bulba (1935). Returned to Russia (1938) and sent on field trips to the Crimea and Central Asia (1937–38). Evacuated to Bashkiria (1941–42) and Samarkand (1942–43) during the Second World War. Visited the Crimea, Moldavia and the Baltic republics (1950). Designed the sets and costumes for a performance of Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Nekrassov at the Moscow Theatre of Satire (1955–56). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1906). Contributed to the Golden Fleece Salons (1909–11), Second Vladimir Izdebsky Salon (1910–11), Knave of Diamonds (1910–27), World of Art (1911–17, 1921–22), 1915 (1915), Exhibition of Pictures of Left-Wing Trends (1915), Modern Russian Painting (1916–17), Exhibition of Pictures and Sculptures by Jewish Artists (1917), Die erste russische Kunstausstellung in Berlin (1922), Moscow Painters (1925), Society of Moscow Artists (1925–28), Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia (1925–28), Exhibition of the Latest Tendencies in Art (1929), Salon des Indépendants, Salon d’Automne and Salon des Tuileries, exhibitions of Russian and Soviet art in Berlin (1927–28), Vienna (1928, 1930), Prague (1928), Stockholm (1928), Oslo (1928), Copenhagen (1928) and Paris (1930, 1936), international exhibitions in Venice (1924, 1928), Paris (1925), Dresden (1926) and New York (1929), group exhibition with Serge Tchekhonine, Nathan Altman and Pyotr Vychegzhanin at the Galerie de l’Hirondelle in the Jardin du Palais-Royal in Paris (1928) and one-man shows in Moscow (1924, 1927, 1939, 1958, 1966, 1979, 2001, 2006), Paris (1929, 1935), Samarkand (1943), Yerevan (1965), Novosibirsk and Tallinn (1967), St Petersburg (1993) and Saransk (2003).

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