OBMOKhU - The Society of Young Artists - Obschestvo Molodykh Khudozhnikov - ОБМОХУ - Общество Молодых Художников
1919 - 1922, Member List
OBMOKhU - the Society of Young Artists - was founded by GSKhM (the State Free Art Workshops) students in Moscow in the autumn of 1919. Originally, it was called OBMOLDUKh.
The society has at first included the students of B.Grigoriev's workshop, who had organized in September 1919 the so called "leaderless workshop". Its frequenters were G.Alexandrov, N.Glushkov, L.Zharova, P.Zhukov, K.Kozlova, N.Menshutin, A.Naumov, N.Prusakov, S.Svetlov and others. They were joined by students of G.Yakulov's theatre-decor workshop: N.Denissovsly, S.Kostin, K.Medunetzky, V.&G.Stengerg; as well as A.Lentulov's painting workshop: V.Komardenkov, A.Zamoshkin, A Perekatov and others.
OBMOKhU operated at the IZO department of NARKOMPROS. In its first year the society existed mainly as the "industrial artists" artel, fulfilling the artistic needs of the new community life, the new regime. Orders came primarily from NARKOMPROS departments and commissions, and consisted mainly of posters and the decorative design for all kinds of agit and propaganda material for the new Soviet government. Many orders were received from the All-Russian Special Commission for the Elimination of Illiteracy. The "artistic products" were signed by the collective signature "OBMOKhU", and the payment was divided evenly between all members creating them.
During its period of existence, two OBMOKhU exhibitions were held (although in some sources four are mentioned, with the first being anonymous, collective, held in 1919). The first exhibition has taken place in the spring of 1920 at the society at its base, formerly Faberge shop at Kuznetzky Bridge. The second exhibition opened in early summer of 1921, in what has been Mikhailova Salon. It appears, although not confirmed, that OBMOKhU has also taken part in the exhibition timed at the Third Congress of the Comitern, at the Continental Hotel in June 1921.
The event that brought fame to the society is the second exhibition (in some literature this exhibition is called the third). OBMOKhU was represented by A.Rodchenko, K.Iogansson, K.Medunetzky and V.&G.Stenberg. Their works took up an entire hall. In the context of contemporary artistic life of these months, this exhibition served to establish new forms, brought forth by the first working group of the INKhUK Constructivism artists which has formed by spring 1921: A.Rodchenko, K.Iogansson, K.Medunetzky, V.&G.Stenberg, A.Gan, V.Stepanova.
The famous exhibition hall of the Society of Young Artists, 1921.
Color constructions, spatial construction, spatial sculptures and other works presented were the product of experimental Constructivism, creative and practical developments made by this first group. In the eyes of their fellow artists, as well as later generations, the name of OBMOKhU was irreversibly bonded to the early stage of Constructivism; the discussions held in INKhUK in 1921 have also labeled OBMOKhU firmly as "Constructivism Society".
The society has dispersed in early 1922, and the participants of exhibitions formed the following groups: "Constructivists", in 1922, with K.Medunetzky and the Stenberg brothers; "The First Working Artists Organization", in 1924, with G.Alexandrov, P.Zhukov, I.Korolev, K.Loginov, N.Menshutin, A.Rudnev, M.Sapegin, A.Sttepanov, I,Yakovlev. In 1925 N.Denisovsky and S.Kostin joined the OST group.
The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, reconstructed the exhibition hall in 2006.
Photo from "Музеи России" (Russian Museums) website: www.museum.ru