(11 July, 1889 – 12 July, 1974)
Background: Yury Pavlovich Annenkov was born on 11 July 1889 in Russia. He was a Russian artist mostly known for his book illustrations and portraits. He also worked for theater and cinema (design)
Education: In 1908, Annenkov entered the University of St. Petersburg and attended Savely Seidenberg’s studio classes, together with Marc Chagall. Next year, 1909, he attended Jan Ciaglinski’s studio. In 1911-1912, Annenkov moved to Paris to work in the studios of Maurice Denis and Felix Vallotton. In 1913, Annenkov worked in Switzerland. Upon his return to St. Petersburg in 1914, Annenkov mostly contributed to magazines (Satirikon, Teatr i Iskusstvo, Otechestvo) and worked for theatres.
Achievements: Maxim Gorky’s fairy-tale book, Samovar, published in 1917 was his first work as a book designer. His recognition as a book illustrator came in the wake of his most known work — designing Alexander Blok’s poem, The Twelve, published in 1918 and gone through three printings within a year. In the next few years Annenkov designed numerous books for Petrograd authors (Mikhail Kuzmin and Aleksey Remizov, to name a few). In 1919 Annenkov designed and staged “First Distiller, or How an Imp Earned a Hunk of Bread”, a comedy by Count Lev Tolstoi.
Commissioned by the Bolshevik government, Annenkov together with Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, S. Maslovski and A. Kugel, designed and staged the open-air mystery “Liberated Labour Anthem” on 1 May 1920 in Petrograd. Later that year, Annenkov staged and designed another mass show,The Storming of the Winter Palace, part of the October Revolution anniversary celebrations in Palace Square, Petrograd. In 1919-1920 Annenkov made a series of abstract sculptural assemblages and collages, influenced by the Dada movement.