Ukrainian, b. 1889
Iakov Chernikov was born Pavlograd, Ukraine, in 1889. In 1904 he left Pavlograd for Odessa to attend the Odessa Art School, a branch of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts.
After he graduated, Chernikov moved to Petrograd and joined the architecture faculty of the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1916. He was influenced by futurist movements, including futurism and suprematism. Chernikov thus began his reputable career as a constructivist architect and graphic designer. He published several books on architectural design in Leningrad between 1927 and 1933. These publications are considered today as one of the most innovative texts of their time. His book entitled 101 Architectural Fantasies, published in 1933, was perhaps the last avant-garde book to be published in Russia during the Stalinist era.
Iakov Chernikov studied industrial architecture throughout his lifetime, focusing on the methodology of graphic and architectural design within the contemporary arena. He was particularly engaged in the constructivist movement, contributing a substantial body of work to the areas of architectural theory, proportions, architectural aesthetics and methodology.
Although the socio-political climate in which Chernikov's career progressed was to certain extents limiting, his work has contributed to contemporary architecture and design immeasurably, and is regarded today as the archetypal culmination of Soviet constructivist objectives.