Zenon Komissarenko

Zenon Petrovich Komissarenko (1891–1980), abstract painter, graphic artist, cartoon designer, film director, teacher, student of Kazimir Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin
Born: 1891, Simferopole
Died: 1980, Moscow

Painter, graphic artist, cartoon designer, film director, teacher. Born in Simferopole in the family of a house painter called Pyotr Komissarenko (1891). Moved with his family to Moscow (1912), where he studied under Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Tatlin and Pavel Kuznetsov at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture/State Free Art Studios (1914–19). Lived in Tashkent (late 1910s), where he opened a school of art. Returned to Moscow (early 1920s). Founded the Experimental Cartoon Studio with Yury Merkulov and Nikolai Khodataev at the Technical College of Cinematography (1923), where he designed and directed such cartoons as The Interplanetary Revolution (1924), China on Fire (1925) and 1905–1925 (1925). Collaborated on cartoons and documentaries with such film studios as Mezhrabpom-Rus, Gosvoenkino and Sovkino (1927–33) and Soyuzdetfilm and Lenkinokhronika (late 1930s). Evacuated to Tashkent during the Second World War (1941–48). Returned to Moscow (1948), where he concentrated on painting and graphic art (from 1948). Took up abstract art (mid-1950s) and collaborated with Maxim Arkhangelsky (mid-1950s). Designed stained-glass windows at the Institute of Glass and lived in an attic of the House of Veterans of Cinema in Moscow. Resided in an old people’s home and illegally committed to a psychiatric hospital, from where he was rescued by Valery Volkov (1970s). Died in Moscow (1980). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1922). Contributed to Die erste russische Kunstausstellung in the Galerie Van Diemen at 21 Unter den Linden in Berlin (1922), First Exhibition of Soviet Film Posters at the State Academy of Artistic Sciences in Moscow (1925), Abstraction in Russia: XX Century at the Russian Museum in St Petersburg (2001–02), one-man shows at the Cartoon Studio in Moscow (1971) and Central House of Cinema in Moscow (1972) and a posthumous retrospective at the Museum of Cinema in Moscow (1999).

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