ALEXANDER DREVIN (1889 – 1938)
Born in Wenden, Liefland province (now Cesis, Latvia) in 1889.
While studying at the Nautical School in Riga, Drevin was arrested for participating in the revolutionary events of 1905-1907. Later, he stuidied at the Riga City Fine Arts School.
His early paintings gravitated towards Impressionism.
Lived in Moscow since 1914 where he saw the latest in French art in the collection of S.Schukin. Drevin took part in exhibitions, and in the 1915-1917 became the member of „The Jack of Diamonds“ group.
His cooperation with D. Shterenberg in establishing the Museum of Modern Art in Moscow and involvement in exhibitions together with K. Malevich, I. Kliun, N. Udaltsova and A. Rodchenko put Drevin into the context of Russian art life.
After the revolution of 1917, he worked in the newly Soviet art institutions such as the Fine Arts Department of the People’s Commissariat of Education. Taught at the Higher State Art and Craft Shops and Higher State Art and Craft Institute (Vkhutemas/Vkhutein), and he headed the Museum of Paintings in 1920. The character of his works changed at this time: his paintings became more emotional, and were created with broad dynamic strokes.
Alexander Drevin was the member and the exponent of the „Green Flower“ (1915) and „World of the Art“ (1919-1922) Associations , Association of the Extreme Innovators in Painting (1919-1922), „Prometheus“ (1921), „The Jack of Diamonds“ (1927), „Moscow Painters“ (1925), AHHR (1926), OMH (1928), „Thirteen“ (1931), „International Bureau of Revolutionary Artists“ (1931-1935).
The end of the 1920s to the beginning of the 1930s was the time of frequent travels to the Urals (1926-1928), Altai, Eastern Kazakhstan (1929-1932) and Armenia (1933-1934), which the artist undertook with his wife Nadezhda Udaltsova.
Member of The Russian Academy of Fine Arts and Science since 1921. Teached at the Higher College of Fine Arts (1920-1930).
Personal exhibitions of A.Drevin were held in Leningrad (1928) and Yerevan (1934).
By the beginning of the 1930s, Drevin’s style had been subjected to sharp criticism. He was removed from his teaching job, and in 1938 was arrested and executed by shooting. Posthumously rehabilitated.
The works of A.Drevin are contained at The State Tretiakov Gallery, The State Russian Museum and in many other home and foreign museum collections.