Alexander Alexandrovich Osmerkin (1892-1953) – Russian avant-garde artist of the early XX century. He was born in Elisavetgrad (now – the city of Kirovograd) in the family of an employee of the postal and telegraph office. From a young age he was fond of theater. The first mentor of A. Osmerkin was the Ukrainian traveling artist F. Kozachinsky, who taught in drawing classes at the Elisavetgrad Zemstvo real school. From 1910-1911 he studied at the St. Petersburg School of the Society for the Promotion of Arts at the Academy of Arts under N. Roerich. Then from 1911-1913 studied at the Kiev art school, which he later left at his own request. In 1913, A. Osmerkin went to Moscow, where he studied in the studio of I. Mashkov, and since 1914, the young artist has been participating as an exhibitor in the exhibitions “Jack of Diamonds”.
In the years 1915-1917. the artist served in the army. Upon returning from service since 1918, A. Osmerkin worked as a theater artist. At the invitation of P. Konchalovsky, he began teaching at the I and II State Free Art Studios as an assistant to the head of a painting workshop. He continued his teaching activities after the reorganization of the workshops, first at the Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops (1920-1927), and then at the Higher Artistic and Technical Institute (1927-1930). As a professor, he had individual workshops at the Leningrad Academy of Arts and the Moscow Institute of Fine Arts. V. Surikov. A. Osmerkin had a significant impact on the development of contemporary art, raising a whole galaxy of famous artists, including P.N. Krylov and E.E. Moiseenko, E.A. Zaitsev, M.A. Aslamazyan and M.M. Abeghyan, A.Yu. Nikich and M.P. Konchalovsky, and many others.
From 1920-1921 A. Osmerkin was a member of the Jack of Diamonds association, since 1925 he became a founding member of the Moscow Painters society, but soon moved from it to the Genesis society. In the years 1926-1927. A. Osmerkin with a group of his students organized the association “Wing”. In the late 30s, he also successfully performed as a stage designer at the Leningrad Bolshoi Drama Theater, and during the evacuation of 1943 at the Kazan Drama Theater.
In 1947, the artist was accused of formalism, the spread of Western trends in Soviet art and, accordingly, suspended from teaching and active exhibition activities. All his life he was completely devoted to art. Death caught him at work on the landscape in Pleskovo near Moscow.
A. Osmerkin loved “juicy” painting, loved P. Cezanne, cubists and Fauvists. With all the experiments and searches in painting, the artist strove not to go too far in his works from a direct perception of nature. However, in the early 1920s. the artist feels the exhaustion of the former means of expression, a decisive turn in the direction of realism is outlined in his art. In the 1930s and 40s the artist worked a lot on landscapes, portraits and still lifes.
“A scattered soft lyricist, a poetry lover, a man of absolute pictorial hearing, an artist without any” deed “, passionately in love with art, for which it was something much more than any practical thoughts or questions of vanity. He passed through us by Don Quixote in art, “- said the artist A. Deineka.
The creative heritage of the master is more than 700 works of painting, graphics, theatrical scenery, which are in the State Tretyakov Gallery, State Museum of Fine Arts. A.S. Pushkin, State Russian Museum, Kiev Museum of Russian Art, in the art museums of Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, in numerous private collections in different countries. In Kirovograd, in the artist’s homeland, the A.A. Osmerkin.