Anna Leporskaya

Born: 1900, Chernihiv
Died: 1982, Leningrad

Painter, graphic artist, applied artist, designer. Born in Chernihiv in the family of a teacher of ancient languages called Alexander Leporsky (1900). Grew up in Vyatka (1900s) and Pskov (1910s). Graduated from grammar school in Pskov with a silver medal (1918) and worked as a teacher in a rural school in Pskov Province (1918). Studied under Alexei Radakov, Alisa Bruschetti-Mitrokhina and Andrei Taran at the Nikolai van der Vliet School of Art and Industry in Pskov (1918–22) and under Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin and Alexander Savinov at the VKhUTEIN in Petrograd (1922–24, resigned in protest at the academic teaching methods). Worked under Kazimir Malevich at the formal and theoretical department of the Institute of Artistic Culture (1923–26), where she was also Malevich’s secretary (from 1924). Married Nikolai Suetin and helped him to design the interiors of the Soviet pavilions at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris (1937) and New York World’s Fair (1939–40) and the Leningrad pavilion at the All-Union Exhibition of Agriculture in Moscow (1939–40). Suffered from dystrophy and scurvy during the Siege of Leningrad, when she worked in a hospital and a mine factory (1941–44). Helped to evacuate exhibits from the Hermitage Museum (1941), decorated the grave of St Alexander Nevsky in the Trinity Cathedral of the St Alexander Nevsky Monastery (1942) and redecorated the interiors of the Kirov Theatre of Opera and Ballet (1944). Contributed to the Heroic Defence of Leningrad exhibition (1944), which was transformed into the Museum of the Defence of Leningrad (1946), but later closed down for political reasons (1949). Worked at the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory (from 1948), where she designed forms (from 1940s) and painted compositions (from 1960s). Spent the last years of her life confined to bed (late 1970s–early 1980s). Died in Leningrad and buried at the Cemetery of St John the Theologian (1982). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1927), including the Mezinárodní výstava sou?asné keramiky in Prague (1962, gold medal) and a posthumous one-woman show at the Proun Gallery in Moscow (2007–08). Honoured Artist of the RSFSR (1967), winner of the Ilya Repin Prize (1970).

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