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Eugeny Kropivnitsky

1893 — 1979

The Russian artist, leader of the Lionosovo group, poet, composer, Eugeny Leonidovich Kropivnitsky was born on July 13, 1893, in Moscow. In 1911 he graduated from the Stroganov art school as «researcher and sketcher». His teachers were Serov and Korovin. 

After graduation Kropivnitsky worked as scene decorator and as make-up artist in theaters and studied history at the Shanyavsky university.

In 1920-1923 Kropivnitsky lived in the North of Russia, in the Urals and in Siberia. He worked as art teacher, held classes at public studios, workshops, youth centers. He was the principal of the art studio at Vorovsky school. During this period the artist often experimented with his style gravitating towards cubism and expressionism. He participated in group exhibitions and was close to the Bubnovy Valet group. In 1923 Kropivnitsky returned to Moscow. 

Since 1939 he was a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR.

In mid-1950s a circle of poets and artists began to form around Kropivnitsky. It was later named the Lianozovo school/Lianozovo group. Their meetings were held at a cottage near Sevvodstroy village at the Lianozovo railway station. The group was named so by the KGB agents who tracked Kropivnitsky and in 1963 facilitated his expulsion from the Union of Artists of the USSR. The famous cottage can be often found in the Lianozovo group artworks, for instance in a painting by Oscar Rabin, one of the major members and Kropivnitsky’s son-in-law. Besides Rabin, among the Lianozovo group members were poets Igor Holin and Henrich Sapgir and Kropivnitsky’s children Lev and Valentina. Eugeny Kropivnitsky influenced the young artists greatly. 

In 1962, not long before the artist’s expulsion from the Union, the first and only personal exhibition in his lifetime was held at the exhibition hall of the Union of Artists of the USSR in Zholtovsky Street (currently Ermolaevsky sidestreet).