Boris Dmitrievich Grigoriev (1886-1939) – Russian artist.
Boris Grigoriev was born in Moscow. In 1903-1907 he studied at the Central Stroganov School of Art and Industry (class of D. A. Shcherbinovsky, and also with A. E. Arkhipov), then he attended the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts (until 1913), where he studied under A. A. Kiselev and D.N. Kardovsky.
Since 1907 he lived in St. Petersburg, in 1909 he visited his mother’s relatives in Sweden, in 1913 he first saw Paris, where he lived for four months and created a series of works on the themes of Parisian life.
Since 1911, he worked closely with the magazines Satyricon and New Satyricon. Fine draftsman; a characteristic feature of his style – the line as the prevailing beginning of form, was most clearly manifested in the large graphic cycle “Intimite” (“Intimacy”, 1916-1918). The album reflects the atmosphere of Paris in the artist’s view – the world of bohemia and circuses, cafeshantans and venal love.
1909 – as part of the “Impressionist Studio” – an association of young artists who are creatively close to the futurists, headed by N. I. Kulbin.
1913 – Member of the World of Art (until 1918).
1918 – Member of the 1st Professional Union of Artists in Petrograd, taught at the Stroganov School.
1919 – an artist with his family in a boat secretly crossed the Gulf of Finland. First he settled in Berlin, and in 1921 he moved to Paris. He visited the USA, in 1928-1929 and 1936 he traveled to Latin America.
He took an active part in many exhibitions in 1909-1919, a representative of the “left” movements in the forefront.
In 1926, the artist was popular, his works were readily acquired by galleries and private collectors. From a letter from Grigoryev to poet V.V. Kamensky: “Now I am the first master in the world. I do not apologize for these phrases. You yourself need to know who you are, otherwise you will not know what to do. Yes, and my holy life from labor above and feelings above, and my 40 years prove it. I’m not afraid of any competition, any order, any topic, any size and any speed. ”
In 1927, the family settled in Cagnes-sur-Mer, a place near Nice, in a villa that the artist called “Borisella” (his wife was called Ella).
And in 1929-1930. – created the monumental painting “Faces of the World”, devoting it to the League of Nations (acquired by the city of Prague in 1932).
Already being abroad, he continued to illustrate the works of famous writers (a series of drawings for the “Childhood” by M. Gorky, 1931; a cycle for “The Brothers Karamazov” by F. M. Dostoevsky, 1932-1933; at the beginning of the 21st drawings were owned by the artist’s heirs).
Portraits by Grigoryev, the master of full-scale drawing, are also interesting. Creating in the atmosphere of the avant-garde, he never rushed to extreme forms, most often depicting not a man by himself, but rather, showing the role that this person plays. The grotesque used by Grigoriev is more cunning than angry and satirical (for example, the portrait of V. E. Meyerhold). The artist himself called the portrait of M. Gorky (1926) the best in his work in this genre, where the writer is portrayed as a puppeteer manipulating the characters in the play “At the Bottom”.
His cycle “The Race” is widely known (the album, published in 1918, includes painting and graphics, as well as the texts of P. E. Schegolev, N. E. Radlov and the artist himself). In this album, the portraits and landscapes of the Russian countryside formed a polyphonic song full of not melancholy, but bitter melancholy.
Abroad, Grigoryev returned to this topic again, reprinting Rasey in Russian and German (1921, 1922) and adding to it a new album, Faces of Russia (in French and English; 1923, 1924), which also included portraits of the Moscow Art Theater .