(04.05.1943 – now)
Russian - American artist.
Mihail Chemiakin is a leading Russian Nonconformist known for his brilliant lithographs, serigraphs, pastel drawings, theatrical designs, and monumental sculptures. He founded the St. Petersburg Group and developed the philosophy of Metaphysical Synthetism, which sought to develop new forms of icon painting by combining iconography and symbols from a plurality of religious traditions. Forced out of the USSR in 1971 for refusing to paint according to the officially sanctioned conventions of Socialist Realism, Chemiakin settled in Paris where he produced the vibrant “Carnival at St. Petersburg” and “Metaphysical” series.
Chemiakin relocated to New York City in 1980. His major sculptural works include Cybele: Goddess of Fertility (1993) and Monument to Giacomo Casanova (1998), which was installed in Venice to honor the bicentenary of Casanova’s death. Chemiakin has worked in theater design throughout his career, creating set and costume designs for numerous productions including many in post-Soviet Russia. His staging of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker premiered at St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre in 2001, which he also directed.