Nikolai Kulbin

Born: 1868, St Petersburg
Died: 1917, Petrograd

Painter, graphic artist, theatrical designer, art theorist. Graduated from the Military Academy of Medicine in St Petersburg (1892), working there as a lecturer (from 1905) and as a surgeon at Russian Army Headquarters (1903?17). Reached the rank of full councillor of state (1915). Took up art at the age of forty (1908). Painted Impressionist and Post-Impressionist landscapes and promoted the avant-garde movement by writing articles and manifestoes and travelling the country, holding lectures, exhibitions and public debates (1908–14). Organised the Exhibition of Modern Trends in Art, which was the first ever show of avant-garde art in St Petersburg (1908). Founded the Triangle group (1908), which exhibited as the Impressionists in St Petersburg and Vilna (1909–10). Published and illustrated Futurist booklets and drew a series of portraits of members of the avant-garde movement (from 1910). Cofounded the Stray Dog cabaret bar in St Petersburg, designing the curtain and posters (1911). Read excerpts from Wassily Kandinsky’s Über das Geistige in der Kunst at the Pan-Russian Congress of Artists in St Petersburg (1911–12). Arranged the Russian visits of Arnold Schoenberg (1912) and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1914). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1908). Contributed to the Exhibition of Modern Trends in Art (1908), Link (1908), Wreath-Stephanos (1909), Impressionists (1909–10), Vladimir Izdebsky Salon (1910–11), Triangle (1910), Knave of Diamonds (1912), Exhibition of Modern Painting (1912), Exhibition of Graphic Arts (1913), Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon in Berlin (1913), Salon d’Automne (1913), Salon des Indépendants (1914), Esposizione Libera Futurista Internazionale in Rome (1914) and Exhibition of Pictures of Left-Wing Tendencies (1915). Held a one-man show in St Petersburg (1912).

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