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Boris Alexandrovich Smirnov (1903-1986)
Graphics, art glass

05 February - 10 March 2004
The Benois Wing

The exhibition is devoted to the centenary of the artist's birthday. Boris Alexandrovich Smirnov is a classic master of applied art, one of the founders of the Russian school of art glass. The exhibition introduces mainly the artist's graphic works. It also shows principal works of art glass created by Boris Smirnov. Having graduated from the architectural faculty of the Academy of Arts in 1927, Boris Smirnov started to work actively as an architect. He was engaged in building of apartment houses, factories, hospitals, theatres and, in particular, the Vsevolod Meyerkhold Theatre. At the same time he projected household things, was engaged in book design and publicity. As well as many young architects of that period, he worked a lot on drawing with enthusiasm. During the Second World War Boris Smirnov, being an officer of the Baltic Navy, camouflaged military and civil establishments. From 1948 onwards, Boris Smirnov worked at the Leningrad factory of art glass with Vera Mukhina and Edouard Krimmer, a student of Kazimir Malevich. Soon Boris Smirnov became the brightest figure of the soviet art glass-making: he generated production and creative ideas, made works becoming the classics of applied art. In the mature oeuvre, Boris Smirnov, inventively solving utilitarian problems, frequently showed paradoxical, unexpected and forward comprehension of function.