Mikhaïl Sokolov

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(3194) Sokolov, Mikhail (1885-1947). “Zloi Plen” followed by “Triolety Liubvi” and “Chernoviki”. 1921, Tver.

Manuscript text after the collection saved by the Jaroslavl Museum of Art. 186 pages, on squared paper notebook. 21cm x 17,5cm. “Obshchaia tetrad” notebook printed in gold. Samizdat dated between 1966-68.

Sokolov, the painter and poet who died in the gulag in 1947. Sokolov’s manuscripts are at the Jaroslavl Museum who had been keeping them hidden them since the death of the artist. It was from this secret stash that the manuscript were hand-copied by one of the museum guards who sold them. Dating the samizdat rests on the fact that these sort of notebooks, relatively expensive and produced from 1966, had completely disappeared from circulation as of 1968.
“Mikhail Sokoklov was a prolific painter and the head of the Proletkult art studio in Moscow (1910), professor at Moscow Art College (1923-25), Yaroslavl Art and Teacher-Training secondary school (1925-35) and Moscow Institute of Painters’ and Graphic Artists’ Professional Development (1936-38). He was arrested 1938 and sentenced to seven years in the Taiga station of the Kemerovo region. While imprisoned he produced miniature landscapes in secret, in the privacy of his bunk” (“Art and life in the Gulag” by V. Tikhanova, 1998)
Sokolov was one of the masters in the avant-garde of his generation who was discovered by art historians only after the secrets of the Gulag were revealed. He is also now unanimously known as a talented poet. The totality of his writings were prohibited from being published. To our knowledge there is no other samizdat of Sokolov’s work.

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