Some Autobiographical Dates
1938 February 15. Born in Moscow, Russia. My father Boris Isaakovich Yankilevsky, was a commercial artist working in advertising. He had studied at Vladimir Favorsky’s studio in the thirties. His father was a teacher at the People’s School in Mariupol. My mother Rosa Mendelevna was the daughter of the Moscow Synagogue’s cantor.
1941 My father leaves home for WW II. My mother, my sister Tamara and I are evacuated to Koslovka, a Chuvash village on the Volga river. There my mother works as a machinist at an airplane factory.
1944 We return to Moscow.
1945-46 We stay in Germany (Eisenach, Erfurt, Halle) where my father, an artillery lieutenant at the time, is stationed as part of the Soviet occupation force.
1950 I enter the Moscow Secondary Art School from which I graduate in 1956.
1956 Picasso's exhibition in Moscow, my first contact with live contemporary art.
My first job at a publishing house, illustrating Leonid Andreev’s A story of the hanged seven (Goslitizdat).
1957 Admitted as a student to the Arts Department of the Moscow Polygraphic Institute. Some notable professors with the Department were Andrei Goncharov, Nikolai Chekhmazov, Elii Beliutin.
I meet Rimma Solod.
1958 The Department Professors declare Beliutin incompetent and force him to resign.
My friendship with Nikolai Popov and Victor Pivovarov.
My first independent paintings.
1959 I marry Rimma Solod. We rent a room in a communal apartment which doubles as my studio.
1961 The idea of the triptych as a model of World perception. Triptych No. 1: Classical.
My first exposure to the music of Dmitrii Shostakovich.
Participation in the exhibition of Art Colleges, organized in Unost' hotel in Moscow, with Triptych No. 1.
Acquaintance with Eduard Shteinberg. Acquaintance with Yurii Sobolev, Ullo Sooster and Ilya Kabakov.
1962 I work for the publishing house Znanie to put some bread on the table, later I work for "Znanie - Sila" magazine. Triptych No. 2: The Two Principles, Pentaptych No. 1: Atomic Station, a series of pastels and oils Theme and Improvisation.
Acquaintance with Ernst Neizvestny. We mount a joint exhibition in Moscow University.
Acquaintance with French writer Paul Thorez.
Participation in the exhibition on Bolshaia Communisticheskaia (invited by E.Beliutin together with E.Neizvestny, U.Sooster and Yu.Sobolev).
I participate in the Manezh exhibition (dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Moscow Union of Artists) during which academicians stage a provocation. Wait for punitive measures. Forced to use an alias in order to continue to work at the publishing house.
I become fond of jazz (Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane). Acquaintance with Moscow jazz musicians German Lukianov, Nikolai Gromin and others.
I meet Dominique Bôzo and show him my work.
1963 The birth of my daughter Ellen.
The concept of an actual painting. Triptych No. 3: Exodus (Dedicated to R.S.).
Acquaintance with Czech art critic Dushan Konechny.
1964 Triptych No. 4: A Being in the Universe (Dedicated to D.D.Shostakovich).
George Costakis visits my studio and views my work for the first time.
Exhibitions in Czechoslovakia and Poland. Publications.
1965 Triptych No. 5: Adam and Eve.
My personal exhibition in the Biophysics Institute of the USSR Academy of Science. (The exhibition was banned after the first night). An exhibition in the Dubna Science Center is banned. An exhibition in the Protvino Science Center is banned.
1966 A joint exhibition in the Capek Brothers’ Gallery in Prague with Ernst Neizvestny (from D.Konechny’s collection).
My first studio in Moscow (Ulanski Lane).
Triptych No. 6: We in the World.
I participate in numerous exhibitions in Czechoslovakia, Poland and Italy. Appearance of the first reviews and articles. Acquaintance with English writer John Berger.
My exhibitions abroad provoke the holy wrath of the USSR Ministry of Culture and I am summoned for a talk.
1967 Prague National Gallery acquires several of my works from D.Konechny’s collection.
Triptych No. 7; Prophets.
Acquaintance with composer Alfred Schnittke.
1968 The idea of breaking through the illusonary space, of several different simultaneous states.
I write an autobiographical novel Stories for a friend (dedicated to V.Pivovarov) (never published).
My acquaintance with composer and pianist Alexandre Rabinovitch marks the beginning of a long friendship.
Werner Schmidt acquires a series of my etchings and drawings for the State Dresden Gallery.
1970 Triptych No. 9: Anatomy of the Soul.
An exhibition in Gmurzynska Gallery in Cologne.
I meet Dina Vierny and show her my work.
1971 Acquaintance with Evgenii Shiffers.
Without any explanation my application to the USSR Union of Artists is rejected.
1972 The idea of a paradoxical unification of a real object and a painting in one work of art.
Door (the first version).
I meet D.D. Shostakovich and show him my work.
Albums of etchings Anatomy of Feelings and City - Masks.
1973 An exhibition at the Dina Vierny Gallery in Paris (Avantgarde Russe - Moscou 73).
A. Rabinovitch and I are invited to visit the Laboratory of Astrophysics in the North Caucasus. We participate in several events devoted to discussions of our work.
I work as chief animator of the film The World of Tales (with Nik. Popov) directed by Andrei Khrzhanovsky, music by Alfred Schnittke (Soyuzmultfilm).
1974 Door (the final version).
A. Rabinovitch immigrates to the West. Triptych No. 11: Moments of Eternity (Dedicated to Alexandre Rabinovitch).
The series Mutants.
My first meeting with American collector Norton Dodge.
1975 The first officially allowed exhibition of avantgarde artists takes place in the Pchelovodstvo pavilion of the VDNH (Beekeeping Pavilion of the Exhibition of Economic Achievement). My Triptychs No. 7 and No. 9 are shown for the first time since they were created.
E.Shiffers writes his article The ‘Door’ of artist Vladimir Yankilevsky.
1977-81 I work as chief animator of the films I Fly to You... and I Am With You Again directed by Andrei Khrzhanovsky, music by Alfred Schnittke (Soyuzmultfilm).
1978 A retrospective in Moscow (jointly with E.Shteinberg). Many of the works are shown for the first time, 10-15 years after they were created.
A trip to Prague. Meetings with local artists and art critics organized by I.Chalupecky.
1979 E.Shiffers’ article Searching for Lost Memory (à propos the exhibition of V.Y. and E.S.) (not published).
1979-80 The idea of a plastic conflict between the current and the eternal. Work on Pentaptych No. 2: Adam and Eve, which is shown at the exhibition of 19 artists in Moscow.
E.Shiffers’ article Russia’s Face and Disguises (not published).
1980 Admitted to the USSR Union of Artists.
1981 An invitation to participate in the cultural program of the Biophysics Workshop organized by V.Skulachev (Kara-Dagh, Crimea). An exhibition and a public discussion.
Acquaintance with Viacheslav Vsevolodovich Ivanov.
1981-86 Pentaptych No. 3: Sodom and Gomorrah.
Numerous exhibitions in Moscow, Germany, France, USA, Hungary, Italy.
Acquaintance and beginning of a long friendship with Susanna and Albrecht Martiny. Acquaintance with Peter Spielmann, Karl Eimermacher, Wolfgang Schlott.
Triptych No. 14: Self-portrait (In Memory of my Father). The space of imagination and the real space.
A show in the Moscow House of Composers, Vladimir Tarasov improvises on the theme of Triptych No. 13, which is dedicated to him.
1987 A retrospective in Moscow (Triptych No. 5: Adam and Eve is shown for the first time, 22 years after its creation).
Peter Ludwig acquires Triptych No. 14 at an exhibition in Bern and Pentaptych No. 1: Atomic Station at an exhibition in Moscow.
The Tretyakov Gallery acquires my work Light and Darkness.
Musée national d’art moderne (Center Georges Pompidou) acquires 4 gouaches for its collection.
1988 My first trip to the West (New York).
A retrospective at Eduard Nakhamkin Fine Arts, New York. Acquaintance and beginning of a long friendship with Belgian journalist and critic Roger Pierre Turine, author of the book Soviet Art from Lenin to Gorbachev and of a number articles and reviews.
Sotheby’s auction in Moscow.
A retrospective in Museum Bochum, Germany. Martha Argerich and Alexandre Rabinovitch’s concert at the opening of the exhibition in Bochum. I travel in Germany (Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, Heidelberg, Bremen, Frankfurt).
1989 The idea of formation of an existential box.
A studio in Cologne. Work on the objects Suicide in a Landscape and People in Boxes.
1990 I move to New York.
Work on the objects and exhibition People in Boxes in Berman - E.N. Gallery in SoHo.
Dina Vierny exhibits a series of my pastels at FIAC-90 in Paris.
A retrospective in the Paris Art Center (Ante Glibota curator).
1991-92 The idea of the collision of the previous harmony with the actuality of the human anecdote.
A studio on Greene Street in New York. Work on the series Self-portraits and a series of collages and large pieces Take a Train... .
The Russian State Museum in St.Petersburg acquires Triptych No. 11: Moments of Eternity, 1974.
1992 I move to Paris.
Exhibition Take a Train... in Le Monde de l’Art Gallery, Paris.
1992-93 Exhibition Self-portraits in Dina Vierny Gallery, Paris.
The idea of an artist identifying himself with his model. Drawn model as a synthesis I - Other - The world. The series of collages The Artist and His Model.
1994 Personal exhibitions in Düsseldorf and Brussels. Exhibition Monument Heroïque in the Center of Modern Art La Base in Paris.
1995 Dina Vierny launches a private museum: Fondation Dina Vierny - Musée Maillol - which includes Door, 1972-74, in the permanent collection.
Peter Ludwig donates thirty three works of contemporary art from his collection, including my Triptych No. 14: Self-portrait (In Memory of my Father), 1987, to the Russian State Museum in St.Petersburg.
The permanent installation of Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union opens at The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at New Brunswick, New Jersey. Exhibited is Pentaptych No. 2: Adam and Eve, 1980.
An exhibition at The Jewish Museum in New York (exhibited is Triptych No. 4: A Being in the Universe, 1984).
1995 -1996 My Retrospective (works from 1956-1995) in the Tretyakov Gallery, one of Russia’s preeminent museums.
1996 A Retrospective in Neuhoff Gallery, New York, NY. I create a new cycle of collages (about 50 pieces).
1997 I work on relief paintings with collages in a Montmartre studio in Paris.
I participate in Centre Georges Pompidou 20th anniversary exhibition Made in France.
Centre Georges Pompidou Museum acquires Triptych No. 6 We in the World of 1966.
1998 The object Monument Heroïque is destroyed due to lack of storage space.
My first visit to Israel. A visit to Jerusalem left an enormous impression.
Received an invitation for a personal show in Haifa.
1999 Temmen Publishing House of Bremen publishes a book about Anatomy of Feelings, City Masks and Mutants (Sodom and Gomorrah) albums of etchings. Return to Self-portrait theme. Work in Gallery Astley, Sweden, on a cycle of serigraphs Women by the Sea and preparation of an exhibition there.
2000 I continue to work on the Women by the Sea series (oil, canvas).
2001-2002 I work together with David Riff on the book: RIFF, David (ed.). Variations of the Other. A Digital-Analog Monograph on the Work of Vladimir Yankilevsky. Published by the Lotman-Institute for Russian and Soviet Culture (Ruhr-University Boshum) and Museum Bochum, 2002.
2005 I finished my work on the Triptychs No. 19, Triptych No. 20 and the Door. II, Door. III: Solitude and Door IV: At Home.