Vladimir Nemukhin Archive

About the founder

Vladimir Nemukhin (1925–2016) was an artist and a representative of Soviet unofficial art. From 1943 to 1946 he studied at the evening art studio of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions at the Moscow House of Unions, combining his studies with work at a military plant as an automatic machine tools adjuster during World War II. For fifteen years (from 1942) he studied painting with Pyotr Sokolov, an ally of Kazimir Malevich and a student of Ilya Mashkov, who introduced Nemukhin to reproductions of works by Russian avant-garde artists. Nemukhin attended classes at Moscow City Art School and was a member of the Moscow Association of Artists (1950–1957). He worked as a graphic designer at the printer Sovetsky Pechatnik from 1948 and in a design bureau (1952–1956). From 1954 to 1968 he was married to the artist Lydia Masterkova. In 1957 Nemukhin began studying at the Surikov Moscow State Art Institute, but was soon expelled “for disagreement with the principles of socialist realism.” Influenced by what he saw at the international exhibition of the 6th World Festival of Youth and Students (1957), he began making abstract works in the late 1950s, but later abandoned non-figurative painting in favor of compositions featuring playing cards. In the 1960s he was an active participant in apartment exhibitions of unofficial art in Moscow and abroad. From the mid-1950s, he was a member of the Lianozovo group, taking part in the Bulldozer Exhibition (1974) and in the exhibition in the Beekeeping Pavilion at VDNKh (1975). Vladimir Nemukhin lived between Moscow and the village of Priluki. In 1960, he began working at Vokrug Sveta magazine and its supplement Iskatel. From 1976 to 1986, he coordinated the work of the painting section of the Moscow Joint Committee of Graphic Artists at 28 Malaya Gruzinskaya Street. At the invitation of German collectors Kenda and Jacob Bar-Gera, in 1990 Nemukhin and his family moved to Cologne. He lived in Ratingen from 1993, returning to Russia in 2005. In 2008 he became an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts. In spring 2015, Moscow Museum of Modern Art showed Vladimir Nemukhin's last solo exhibition, Facets of Formalism, which opened together with Lyrical Abstraction, a retrospective of Lydia Masterkova’s work.

About the archive

In 2020, Garage Archive Collection acquired over 250 documents related to the life and practice of one of the key Russian nonconformist artists, Vladimir Nemukhin. The collection includes correspondence addressed to the artist, documentary photographs, slides with reproductions of his works, typewritten texts and articles by various authors on the subject of Nemukhin’s practice, literary and theoretical papers in typewritten samizdat by various art world figures, personal documents, and newspaper clippings. The archive also features photographs of the artist Lydia Masterkova, who was Nemukhin’s wife from 1954 to 1968, as well as letters to her from Genrikh Khudyakov and Viktor and Margarita Tupitsyn.

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