Vladimir Sterligov

Born: 1904, Warsaw
Died: 1973, Peterhof

Painter, graphic artist, illustrator, art theorist, writer, teacher. Born in Warsaw in the family of a university lecturer called Vasily Sterligov (1904). Grew up in Moscow, where he attended grammar school (1910s) and studied under Ilya Mashkov (late 1910s). Worked at the library of the Sokolniki and Yermolov studios (1921) and joined the Red Air Force (1921–23). Studied painting and drawing at private studios and literature at the All-Russian Union of Poets in Moscow (1923–25). Moved to Leningrad on the advice of Vera Yermolaeva (1925) and studied Cubism and Suprematism under Kazimir Malevich at the Institute of Artistic Culture in Leningrad (1926). Wrote and illustrated stories for children’s magazines (late 1920s). Member of the Group of Painterly-Plastic Realism, which met at Lev Yudin’s room in a wooden house on Shamshev Street on the Petrograd Side and at Vera Yermolaeva’s apartment on the 10th Line of Vasilyevsky Island (1927–34). Arrested on the basis of a false accusation following the murder of Sergei Kirov (1934) and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment along with Vera Yermolaeva and Pyotr Sokolov at the Karaganda Corrective Labour Camp in central Kazakhstan (1934–38). Remained in Karaganda after his release (1938) and worked for the Karaganda branch of the Union of Artists (1939). Lived in Petushki in Vladimir Region (1940) and Malaya Vishera in Novgorod Region (1941). Fought on the Karelian Front during the Second World War (1941), but was wounded and evacuated to Almaty (1942), where he met his future wife Tatyana Glebova (1942). Taught at a school of art in Alma-Ata (1942–45). Returned to Leningrad (1945) and settled in Peterhof, where he had many students and followers, known as the Sterligov group, and became the last master of the classical Russian avant-garde to develop Suprematism and the theory of the additional element (1960s). Challenged the Cubist principles of form-creation with his own theory of the cup-cupola (spherical) system after observing that all natural forms are curved and aspire towards a cup and cupola (1960s). Held a joint exhibition with Tatyana Glebova at the Union of Artists in Leningrad, closed by the authorities on the day it opened (1966). Died in Peterhof and buried at Babigon Cemetery (1973).

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