Adlivankin, Samuil

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ADLIVANKIN, SAMUIL (1897–1966), painter and graphic artist. Adlivankin was born in Tatarsk, Mogilev province, Russia. As a child, he received a traditional Jewish education. In 1912–17, he studied at the Odessa Art School. In 1916, he became a member of the Odessa Association of Independent Artists and participated in their exhibitions. In 1918–19, Adlivankin studied at the Moscow Free Art Workshops, where his tutor was V. Tatlin (1885–1953). In the constructivist works created by Adlivankin in 1919–20, Tatlin's influence is clearly manifested. In 1921–23 he joined the New Painters' Society (nozh) and showed his work at its 1921 exhibition in Moscow. His works of this period feature scenes of everyday Soviet life, treated ironically or satirically and executed in the expressionist manner, sometimes incorporating elements of primitivism. In 1923–28, Adlivankin drew caricatures for various magazines and worked on political posters together with V. Mayakovsky. In the late 1920s he worked for a number of film studios and made set designs for several productions. In the early 1930s, he made several trips to Jewish agricultural communities in the Crimea and Ukraine that inspired several works portraying the life of Jewish kolkhozes and showed them at the exhibition dedicated specifically to this theme, which took place in Moscow in 1936. In the notorious, overtly antisemitic campaign launched in 1949 against "cosmopolitism," Adlivankin, together with other Soviet culture figures who happened to be ethnic Jews, was subjected to severe criticism and distanced from public cultural life until the mid-1950s: his works were not accepted for exhibits, he received no commissions, etc. The first and only one-man exhibition in his lifetime was held in 1961 in Moscow.


The Great Utopia. Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde-Art 1915–1932. Exh. Cat. Moscow (1993), 748 (Rus.).

[Hillel Kazovsky (2nd ed.)]