Mikhail Mikhailovich Tarkhanov, (Михаил Михайлoвич Тарханов, 1888-1962) was born in Ukraine.
When thinking of the art of the Soviet Union it is easy to focus on Social(ist) Realism and The Constructivists. In the early days, however, the avant garde flourished, particularly at Vkhutemas ( Вхутемас: Высшие художественно-технические мастерские), the institute in Moscow at which Tarkhanov studied.
V.I Lenin admitted that abstractions in art weren’t really his thing, and doubted the ideological soundness of such work, ‘but what do I know?’ he quipped, ‘I’m an old man’. Later regimes though, were less tolerant of this perceived decadence, and in the 1930s Tarkhanov, whilst producing officially sanctioned graphic designs , privately developed his style of abstract composition, which he called Picturesque-Textured Improvisations.