Iakov Chernikhov, architectural fantasy circa 1931

Iakov Chernikhov, Cycle of architectural landscapes and other fantasies (1930)

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Architectural fantasy stimulates the architect’s activity, it arouses creative thought not only for the artist but it also educates and arouses all those who come in contact with him; it produces new directions, new quests, and opens new horizons.

— Iakov Chernikhov, 1927

Chernikhov is a pioneer, a trail-blazer of new themes in graphic art, and also, in part, of new modes of graphic design.

— Erikh Gollerbakh, 1930

Regular readers of The Charnel-House will know that I’ve already written on the brilliant architect and designer Iakov Chernikhov (1889-1951). Or rather, I’ve posted the excellent introduction Erikh Gollerbakh wrote in 1930 introducing Chernikhov’s The Construction of Architectural and Machine Forms, as well as a broader overview of his significance and career by the more recent scholar Dmitrii Khmel’nitskii. Some of my own thoughts about his work as it can be found in a sketch I made relating it  to that of the American Hugh Ferriss, his contemporary. Moreover, Chernikhov receives a brief mention in my broader outline of Russian and Soviet architecture from 1900 to 1953.

I won’t reprise the same summary treatment here. For now, just enjoy these images from Chernikhov’s Cycle of Architectural Landscapes, as well as other assorted fantasies. Anyone who’s into these will likely also want to take a look at Theo van Doesburg’s themes for the Aubette Café in Strasbourg, Gerrit Rietveld’s Schröderhuis in Utrecht, JJP Oud’s Café de Unie in Rotterdam, and Frederick Kiesler’s “City of Space” model, Lazar Khidekel’s cosmist suprematism, Ivan Kudriashev’s dynamic abstractions, László Moholy-Nagy’s paintings and photographs, Charlotte Perriand’s purist furniture designs, and Il’ia Chashnik’s revolutionary suprematism.

Click on any of the pictures to see them in higher resolution, and check out any of the links above if you’re interested in learning more.

Iakov Chernikhov, Study for the Cycle of Architectural Landscapes, 3, 1930  Gouache, pen and ink on paper 4 × 4 in 10.2 × 10.2 cm Iakov Chernikhov, Study for the Cycle of Architectural Landscapes, 1, circa. 1930  Gouache, pen and ink on paper 4 × 5 1:2 in 10.2 × 14 cm Iakov Chernikhov, Study for the Cycle of Architectural Landscapes, 2, circa. 1930  Gouache, pen and ink on paper 4 × 4 in 10.2 × 10.2 cm Study for the Cycle of Architectural Landscapes, 1, circa. 1930image (1)Chernikhov architecture of industrial forms 1934aimage (3)image (5)image (11)image (23)image (25)image (2)image (14)image (28)fantasy 76imageimage (20)image (30)Iakov Chernikhov, composition 75YakovChernikhov_ArchitecturalFantasy_1929-33TchobanFoundationimage (4)image (10)image (15)image (16)image (18)image (21)

One thought on “Iakov Chernikhov, Cycle of architectural landscapes and other fantasies (1930)

  1. I’m a Chernikov fan from way back!
    Years ago, there was a superb little show of his drawings at Columbia Univerity. One of the most interesting parts of the exhibit was Chernikov’s own portable drafting set. As I recall, It was a black leather square folio, about 14″ square. Inside, all his drawing instruments (held by pockets or straps) were placed on a 45 degree angle–and were arranged in a quite careful and lovely way to form an artful composition. So…
    So I’ve been seeking, on-line, an image of this. I see plenty of images of Chernikov drawings, but I’ve never been able to find this drafting tool set of his. Any suggestions?
    Respectfully yours,
    Seth Joseph Weine
    Fellow, ICA&A
    sethweine@aol.com

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