Robert L’vovich Genin (1884-1941)

Сhronicle of life and work

1884Born on 11th August 1884 in a Jewish family in village Vysokoye (near Klimovichi in the region of Mogilev in the Russian Empire, now Belarus). The father Leiba-Aron was a chandler, the mother Malka (born Ster) died 1994 in labour

1888The boy accidentally set the family house on fire, it burnt off, the family was ruined. Robert grew up in the family of his grandfather Jakob in the neighboring village Krasovichi
1898-1900Studies at the Drawing school in Vilna. His works were among the best ones which have been sent to the Empire Academy of Arts (St-Petersburg)
1900-1902Studies at the Drawing school in Odessa. He lived in the outskirts of Odessa in poverty, earned his lean bread with photo retouching, got inspired by socialist ideas
1902On 22. December Genin arrived in Munich. Appr. one month long he attended the Ažbe School
1903-1907Life between Munich and Paris. In Paris he admired works of Puvis de Chavannes, lived in a commune (1904) together with his friends from the Drawing school of Odessa. Travelled by feet through France; made a voyage to Egypt (Spring 1905); settled in "La Ruche" (from Summer 1905 on)
1907First participation at Salon d’Automne in Paris (1907, outside the catalogue)
1907-1918Primary residence in Munich
1907-1909Work for the "Jugend" magazine as illustrator. Marriage with Martha Karpow (1882, Bialystok – 1945, Boltenhagen). Birth of their children Helga (1907, München – 1986, Düsseldorf) and Gerhard (1909, Jelgawa – 1987, Korntal)
1910-1912Travels to Italy, where he admired frescos by Giotto. Participation at Salon d’Automne in Paris (1910 and 1911, in catalogue). Membership of "Sema" group. Publiсation of the lithographic portfolio "Figürliche Kompositionen"
1913First solo exhibition and an exclusive contract with the Modern Galerie Thannhauser, München. Founding member of the Neue Münchener Secession. Participation at 12 group exhibitions within the year
1914-1918Upon the begin of the First World War Genin was interned at Trudering near Munich as citizen of a hostile state. Nevertheless he published his lithographic portfolio "Die Frau" (1915) and etchings for "Marsyas" (1917); in November 1917 his second solo exhibition at the Modern Galerie Thannhauser, München took part
1919-1929Primary residence in Berlin
1918-1921Move from Munich to Berlin (at the end of 1918). Purchase of a house in Ascona (1919). Divorce from Martha (1920) and marriage with Margarete Gurth (1887, Berlin – 1962, Berlin). Birth of son Mario (1921, Ascona – 2017, Berlin)
1919Publication of 30 etchings and of portfolio "Aus den Spelunken Berlins" (together with Michel Fingesten) by Paul Cassirer
1920Publication of his book "Skizzen und Erinnerungen" as well as 18 etchings (portfolios "Menschen" and "Zirkus") by Fritz Gurlitt Verlag
1920-1923Publication of German authors-expressionists (Wassermann, Bethge, Edschmid) books, illustrated by Genin
1922-1924Solo exhibitions at Alfred Flechtheim gallery. Start of participation at exhibitions with Berliner Secession
1926Voyage to Bali (February-July 1926). Membership of Berliner Secession
1927Divorce from Margarete
1928Solo exhibition at the Museum of Applied Art, Cologne. Publication of his book «Die ferne Insel» in a run of appr. 175,000 copies
1929-1936Primary residence in Paris
1929Move to Paris together with his new partner, Genia Ines
1931Solo exhibition at Galerie Jacques Bonjean, Paris (November-Dezember 1931)
1936Solo exhibition at Lilienfeld Galleries in New York (March-April 1936)
1936-1941Residence in Moscow
1936Move to Moscow (March). A lecture at MOSSKh about fresco techniques (7th June). Publication of a note in "Pravda" (31st July) regarding the return of Genin to Russia and ordering him a fresco for one of the pavilions at the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition (VSKhV)
1936-1938 Work on the VSKhV fresco. Admission to MOSSKh (March 1937, Monumental art section). Accomodation in a flat of an acquaintance, who left for two years
1938Repressions, which took place in autumn 1937 in the Ministry of Agriculture ("Narkomsem"), proceeded to the management of VSKhV. The order of 17.10.1938 changed the VSKhV concept and the pavilions destinations. The pavilion "Sovkhozes" was renamed into "Grain". Alexander Romm published an article in newspaper "Soviet Art" (4.12.1938) aiming to save the Genin's fresco
1939The Genin's fresco was covered-up by lime. The acquaintance, who let him live in his flat, came back; Genin lost his accomodation
1939-1941Work at the Art department of Palace of Soviets Building Direction on frescos for the internal room of the Palace. Publication of two articles thereto: "Wall-painting and its techniques" and "On preparation of murals for the Palace of Soviets" (1939). Accomodation (a corner) with Marc Nalevo in the room of the latter in a communal flat, from 1941 on - in a dormitory of Palace of Soviets Building Direction.
1941Suicide on 16. August 1941 by an overdose of morphine