He was born in Kalinin (Tver) region, the son of Peter Sergiyov, the director of a village dairy farm, who died during the war in 1941, and Tetiana Sokova who worked as a postman. In 1951 he moved to Moscow.
In 1956-61 he studied at Moscow Secondary School of Art at USSR Academy of Arts. There, an environment of like-minded artists gradually developed (he studied with Evgeny Barabanov, Alexander Kosolapov, Vitaly Komar). Mikhail Roginsky, with whom Sokov was friends, also had a special influence on his creative career.
In 1961 he entered the Moscow Higher Art and Industrial College (formerly Stroganov), a department of monumental and decorative plastics, but in the same year he was drafted into the army, only after service resumed his practice (1964-1969).
From 1966 to 1969 he worked in the same studio with Alexander Kosolapov and Boris Orlov (2nd Shchukinsky Ave., 11). In 1972 he joined the Ministry of Education and Science, before emigration he worked as an animal sculptor for sculptural factories. By the early 1970’s found his own style, based on the processing of the figurative system of folklore and the use of pop-art techniques.
In 1973 he moved to a new workshop at: B. Sukharevsky Ave., 16, where in 1976 one of the most famous apartment exhibitions of works by unofficial artists was executed. Since 1977 he has been participating in exhibitions abroad. In 1979 he left USSR, his true recognition came in emigration. He became acquainted with the direction of social art in the early 1980s in New York. In 1983 at Strorefront Gallery, New York, the first overseas solo exhibition was held. In 2001 he was exhibited at the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
In 2012, a large-scale retrospective of the artist at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Gogol Boulevard, 10, took place in Moscow. He lives and works in New York now.
In 2016, a large-scale exhibition of the artist “Leonid Sokov. Unforgettable meetings.” was held in Tretyakovskaya Gallery.
“Leonid Sokov. Unforgettable Meetings ”, NTG, Russia, 2016;
“Angle of View”, MISI, Russia, 2012;
Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, USA, 2009;
GalleriaEmilio Mazzoli, Modern, Italy, 2005;
Shadows of sculptures of the XX century. 49 Venice Biennale, Italy, 2001;
Galleria Severi arte, Bologna, Italy, 1997;
Farsettiate, Prato, Italy, 1995;
Berman Gallery, New York, USA, 1994;
Berman Gallery, New York, USA, 1992;
Eduard Nakhamkin Fine Arts, New York, USA, 1990;
Palais des nattions, Geneva, Switzerland, 1990;
Trabia McAfee Gallery, New York, USA, 1988;
Glasnost, Zeus-Trabia Gallery, USA, 1987;
Zeus-Trabia Gallery, USA, 1986;
Semaphore Gallery, New York, USA, 1986;
Storefront Gallery, New York, USA, 1985; Storefront Gallery, New York, USA, 1983;
One-Day Exhibition in the Exhibition Hall of the Union of Artists of the USSR, Moscow, 1976;
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow;
State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg;
State Museum of Fine Arts. named after A.S. Pushkin, Moscow;
Museum of Other Art of RSU, State Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia;
Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia;
Museum of Contemporary Art ART4.RU, Moscow, Russia;
New Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia;
Georges Pompidou State Museum of Contemporary Art, Paris, France;
Museum of Contemporary Art, Kumamoto, Japan;
The Jane Voorhees Simmerley Museum, Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection, Rutger University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA;
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA;
The Solomon Guggenheim Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, USA;
Friedman Foundation, PA, USA;
Well Art Foundation, Highland Park, New Jersey, USA.
He died on April the 6th, 2018 in New York at the age of 76.