CHERNIKHOV, YAKOV GEORGIEVICH. 1889-1951.
1. 5 notebooks and sketchbooks for "Perspektiva" [Perspective] (1914), "Soprotivlenie i ispytanie materialov" [Resistance and Testing of Materials] (1923) and "Statika sooruzhenii" [Construction Static] (1923);
2. 12 sketchbooks for "Instrumenty, chasti i prinadlezhnosti" [Instruments, Parts and Accessories] (1919), "Kars skitsirovaniya" [Skitsirovaniya Course] (1919),"Izometriya dimetriya trimetriya" [Isometry, Dimetry and Trimetry] (1920), "Krivye (na ploskodsti)" [Curves (on a Plane)] (1920), "Grafischeskie kroki dlya estestvennykh" [Graphic Forms for Natural Sciences] (1923), "Kniga tem" [Book of Themes] (1925), "Materialy po grafike" [Graphic Materials] (1926), "Aristographia" [Aristography] (n. d.) and other projects;
3. 6 portfolios of dummies with photographs and proofs for "Proekt passazhirsckogo zdaniya v Petrozavodske" [Passenger Building Project in Petrozavodsk] (1934) and "Arkhitekturnye proekty"[Architectural Projects] (1936);
4. 5 portfolios of photographs and proofs for "Arkhitektura industrii" [Architectural Industry] (n.d.), "Arkhitekturny ansambli" [Architectural Ensembles] (n.d.), "Dvortsy kommunisma" [Palaces of Communism] (n.d.), "Panteony veliki otexhestvennoi voiny" [Pantheons of the Great Patriotic War] (n. d.);
5. 11 portfolios of dummies with drawings, typescripts and proofs for "Arkhitekturnaya terminologiya i entasis kolonny" [Architectural Technology and Entasis of Columns] (1943), "Arkhitekturnye varianty" [Architectural Variants] (n.d.), "Kurs mashinostroitelnogo chercheniya" [Course on Industrial Equipment Drafting] (n.d.), "Metody prostranstvennykh distsiplin" [Methods of Spatial Disciplines] (n.d.), "Osnovnye printsipy grafiki i arkhitectury" [Fundamental Principles of Graphics and Architecture] (n.d.), and other projects;
6. 8 notebooks and portfolios of drawings and photographs for "Arkhitekturnye shrifty" [Architectural fonts] (n.d.) and "Arkhitekturnye oblomy" [Architectural Profiles] (n.d);
7. 2 folders of typescripts and notes for "Annotatsii" [Annotations] (n.d.);
8. 4 notebooks of geometric drawings by Chernikhov's student V. Dyakonov;
9. 265 miscellaneous drawings (many unpublished) in pencil, ink, scratchboard and/or watercolor of landscapes, folk buildings, badges, ornamental borders, geometric shapes and illustrations for Osnovy Sovremennoi Arkhitektury [Principles of Modern Architecture] (1930-1931), "Eksprimatika" and other projects;
10. 5 books by Ya. G. Chernkhov: Iskusstvo nachertaniya (1927); Geometricheskoe cherchenie (1928); Osnovy sovremennoi arkhitektury (1930); Osnovy Sovremennoi Arkhitektury (1931), 2nd enlarged edition; and Ornament (1931).
Provenance: from the artist to his son, Aleksei Chernikhov; sold by Aleksei Chernikov in 1994 (letter from Aleksei Chernikov's widow dated 2004 confirms the sale).
Literature: Carlo Maria Olmo and Alessandro De Magistris. Jacov Černichov: Sowjetischer Architekt der Avantgarde. Stuttgart: Arnoldsche, . In which several individual items in the above lot are illustrated.
HIGHLY IMPORTANT ARCHIVE OF CHERNIKHOV'S UNPUBLISHED JOURNALS, SKETCHBOOKS AND TREATISES.
Under Stalin, Chernikhov's drawing grew increasingly ornate. His numerous suggestions for Palaces to Communism and the Great Patriotic War in symphonies of black and gray were eccentric, highly eclectic, and grandiose structures variously suggestive of Babylon, classical Greece and Rome, Medieval Europe, Aztec and Mayan ruins, the Houses of Parliament, Hollywood, Ankgor Wat, the Tower of Babel, Planet Mongo, or the Emerald City of Oz. He even had the nutty idea of the military camouflage of Russia's cities from Nazi aerial attacks. How practical or expensive it was to erect these futuristic structures did not matter to Chernikhov: they were hypothetical buildings of the imagination that refused to be rooted in the mundane world. During the 1940s, he became obsessed with a book on typefaces, recognizing that the structure of a font follows laws similar to those of architecture.
He himself had become one of what he called "the revolutionaries of art who are often repudiated and ridiculed." Despite his fall from Soviet grace, Chernikhov continued to work on theoretical books of architectural designs that could never be issued. His other works were forbidden. He wrote his memoirs "Moi tvorsheskii put" [My Creative Path], a typescript of which is included in this lot. Also included in the archive is a short autobiography by his colleague Vasilii Aleksandrovich Minyaev, who contributed to Chernikhov's Arkhitekturnye fantazii [Architectural Fantasies] (1933); four sketchbooks of his student V. Dyakonov; and drafts of a Russian translation of an article by Ernest Johnson, "Proportions of Letters on Roman Inscriptions," Pencil Points (November 1936).
The bulk of the present lot comprises many of these projectsin various stages of completionthat remain unpublished and previously unavailable.