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Who is Mykhailo Andriienko-Nechytailo?

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By Gwylym Owen

Mykhailo Andriienko-Nechytailo (French Michel Andreenko also known as Mikhail Andriyenko-Nechitailo among further variations) (1894–1982) was a Famous Ukrainian Modernist painter and stage designer.

In 1912–1917, Andriienko-Nechytailo studied next Rerikh, Rylov, and Bilibin at the art university of the Society for the Promotion of the Arts in Saint Petersburg. In 1914–1916, he exhibited the composition Black Dome and his first cubist works in Saint Petersburg. In 1914, he participated in an international graphics exhibition in Leipzig. In 1917–1924, he devoted most of his period to designing stage sets for various theaters—in Saint Petersburg, Odessa, Prague, Paris, and for the Royal Opera in Bucharest. In Paris, where he lived from 1923, he furthermore worked upon sets for the films Casanova and Sheherazade and continued to paint in the cubist-constructivist style (e.g., Composition (1924), Construction 1924, or A Person 1926). In the 1930s Andriienko-Nechytailo produced a series of surrealist paintings (e.g., A Fair Stall 1933). He switched to neorealism in the 1940s and painted a number of portraits as with ease as a series the cityscapes Disappearing Paris (such as Rue Carpeaux 1946, Rue Paul Barruel 1954, Rue Cambronne 1954, and Paysage du Cycle 1956). From 1958 he returned to constructivism and abstraction. Andriienko-Nechytailo’s sham is characterized by a accurateness of composition that harmonizes subtly with color. His stage sets are remarkable for their laconic feel and architectural schematism, and his costume designs, for their richness. His paintings can be found in the City Museum of Modern Art and the Arsenal Library in Paris, the National Library in Vienna, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the National Museum in Lviv, and Ukrainian émigré museums and private art collections.

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