Zernov Alexei Ivanovich
1891, Tushitovo, Bezhetsk Dis trict, Tver Province – January 1942, Leningrad
Painter, graphic artist, teacher. Born to a peasant family, studied at a parish school. Being a teenager, worked as a shepherd. Ran away to the city, set to different jobs: gofer in a small shop, newsboy, a draughtsman in the Bessarabian Railways Administration (1917–1918). Studied at the School of Drawing, Society for the Encouragement of Arts (1908–1913); under Alexander Bely at the Art and Craft Studios, Society for the Encouragement of Arts (1921) and under Alexander Savinov and Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin in the Faculty of Painting, VKhUTEMAS/VKhUTEIN (1922–1926). Member of the Union of Education Workers (from 1917); Council of the Student Section of the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia, a senior student of the studio (1923–1924). Taught at schools and orphanage in Petrograd (1921–1924), art clubs, secondary schools and higher educational establishments in Leningrad. In his work of the 1930s, he developed an individual pointillist method: the combination of surfaces covered with black and coloured points with solid colour filling and pieces of white paper. He worked for “himself”, did not exhibit his works, felt the repression period keenly (his brother, an ordinary carpenter, was arrested). It was conveyed in Accident (1937, the collection of Alla Esipovich-Roginskaya) and in unrealised paintings of critical orientation. Died of hunger during the siege.