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Bykhovskii, Aleksandr Iakovlevich 

Быховский, Александр Яковлевич 

Born May 25, 1888, Mogilev, Russian Empire; died June 19, 1978, Moscow, USSR 

Aleksandr Iakovlevich Bykhovskii was a trained architect, a graphic artist, sculptor, and a set designer. Starting in 1901, he began his artistic studies with the noted icon painter, Kirill Gorbunov.  Thereafter, Bykhovskii worked in the field of icon art but also took-on jobs in commercial design.  Early in his career, Bykhovskii  joined an artist collective, and he spent time working on design contracts in the Russian cities of Orenburg, Kazan and Nizhny Novgorod.  From 1905 to 1907, he took part in the revolutionary movements happening in Odessa, Mogilev and Kiev. Due to his actions, the artist was forced into hiding from the Tsarist authorities for a period of his life.   

In 1911, Bykhovskii had settled in St. Petersburg, and until 1912, he studied at the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts but he did not complete the full term of courses.  In 1913, he exhibited his works in Tashkent, Turkestan (Uzbekistan).  That same year, he worked on filling private orders for the Kagan-Shabsay gallery in Moscow, a concern that was owned by art collector Yakov Kagan-Shabshay.   

In 1918, Bykhovskii moved to Moscow. While serving as an illustrator for the People's Commissariat of Education, he supplemented his income by painting portraits and creating miniature paintings on glass. From 1919 to mid-1922, Bykhovskii lived in Gomel where he was in charge of the Fine Arts Section of a poster workshop. He also taught at the Mikhail Vrubel Studio (in Gomel) that was named in honor of the Imperial-era artist.  Of the initial posters he created, his work on "Red Alarm" (Krasnyi Rabat) in 1920 was likely commissioned by the newspaper of the same name. The poster was issued by the Political Department of the First Revolutionary Army of Labor / 3rd Red Army group. 

By 1922, Aleksandr Bykhovskii returned to Moscow. That year, he held a solo exhibition inside the Gabima Theater.  He also took part in Moscow exhibitions by the United Arts Group (OBIS). In 1926, Bykhovskii developed set designs for the film script "Wandering Stars" (Bluzhdaiushchie zvezdy) written by Issac Babel and based on a novel by Sholem Aleichem, the author and playwright.  That same year, the first monograph of Aleksandr Bykhovskii was released. "A. Bykhovskii: Graphics" was written by Lev Vygotskii who dealt in the literature of art psychology. 

Sources & Citations (history of Krasnyi Rabat newspaper) (bio) (bio)