Sergei Vasilevich Chekhonin (1878 – 1936) Russian graphic artist and ceramicist

Teapot decorated with motto: My work is my truth designed by Sergey Chekhonin 1921. (National Gallery of Australia)
Teapot decorated with motto: My work is my truth designed by Sergey Chekhonin 1921. (National Gallery of Australia)

Sergei Vasil’evich Chekhonin (1878 – 1936) was a Russian graphic artist and ceramicist. He was professionally active in St. Petersburg and Paris.

Biography

In 1904, he worked at S. Mamontov’s Abramtsevo Ceramic Workshop.

He contributed caricatures and cartoons to progressive publications from 1905 to 1906.

In 1907, at the Petr Vaulin ceramics factory in Kikerino, near St. Petersburg, he produced several majolica panels for buildings in St. Petersburg.

In 1910, he joined V mireiskusstv (World of Art) and contributed to its exhibitions regularly until 1924.

From 1913 to 1918, he worked as a specialist consultant on artistic crafts for the Ministry of Agriculture. He directed the Rostov-Yaroslavkii school for decorative enamel work.

He was artistic director of the State Porcelain Factory in Petrograd/Leningrad after the 1917 Revolution, 1918โ€”23, and 1925โ€“27.

Designed by: Sergei Vasilievich Chekhonin c.1917 (The British Museum)
Designed by: Sergei Vasilievich Chekhonin c.1917 (The British Museum)

Agitprop

He was credited with much of the period’s agitprop (or agitation-propaganda) porcelain; he painted brightly painted forms with colourful slogans on ceramics blanks originally intended for pre-revolutionary ware; he made no new shapes for porcelain but painted many plates, cups, and saucers himself; and he created hundreds of compositions, drawings, monograms, and anniversary marks for Volkhov Factory.

Plate designed by Sergei Vasilievich Chekhonin c.1925 (British Museum)
Plate designed by Sergei Vasilievich Chekhonin c.1925 (British Museum)

In 1928, he moved to Paris and worked as a designer for Nikita Baliev’s cabaret “Chauve-souris” and Vera Nemtchinova of the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo in 1929, as well as for Vogue magazine, designing jewellery, porcelain, and posters.

His work was displayed at the 1925 ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Dรฉcoratifs et Industriels Modernes’ in Paris and was the subject of a 1928 exhibition in the same city.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004).ย The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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