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 Nicolai S. (Nicola) Cikovsky  (1894 - 1984)



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Lived/Active: New York / Russian Federation/Poland      Known for: shore landscape, figure and portrait painting, printmaking

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BIOGRAPHY for Nicolai Cikovsky
1894 (Pinsk, Poland)
1984 (Washington, D.C.)

New York / Russian Federation/Poland

Self portrait

Often Known For
shore landscape, figure and portrait painting, printmaking

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Landscape and figure painter Nicolai S. Cikovsky, 1894-1984, was born in Russia, where he studied at the Vilna Art School, 1910-1914; the Penza Royal Art School, 1914-1918; and Moscow High Tech Art Institute, 1921-1923.  He emigrated to the United States in 1923, exhibiting in that year in New York City at the Charles Daniels Gallery.  In 1942, Cikovsky began spending summers on Long Island, New York, in the North Sea area, where he moved permanently in the late 1970s.  He painted many land and seascapes there, and is said to have been an influence on two well-known area painters, Jane Freilicher and Fairfield Porter.

Cikovsky was a member of New York City institutions, including the National Academy of Design (Associate 1968; Academician 1970); National Institute of Arts and Letters; and Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers.

Some of the artist's exhibitions include:
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Whitney Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1932-1949
National Academy of Design, New York, 1947-1949; Purchase Prizes: 1959, 1960, 1964, and Isaac N. Maynard Prize in 1964
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1932-1955, 1966
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh
New York World's Fair, 1940
Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, 1931 (medal), 1932 (Harris Bronze Medal and Logan Purchase Prize), 1933 (prize), 1960-1961
Downtown Gallery, New York, 1933, 1938
Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1930-1957, also solo
Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio
Worcester Museum of Art, Massachusetts, 1933 (first prize)
Society of Washington Artists, 1937-1939 (medals), 1940-1941
Newark Museum of Art, New Jersey
Glasgow Museum, Scotland
Salons of America
Whyte Gallery, Washington, D. C., 1939, solo
Associated American Artists, New York, 1944, 1946, 1949, 1952, 1956
Studio Gallery, solo
Washington D. C. Public Library, solo
IFA Gallery, solo

Nicolai Cikovsky's work may be found in the following collections:
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Brooklyn Museum, New York
Art Institute of Chicago
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri
Los Angeles Museum
Worcester Museum of Art
University of Arizona, Tucson
Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.
W. R. Nelson Gallery, Kansas City
Milwaukee Art Institute
Phillips Memorial Gallery, Washington, D.C.
University of Minnesota

The artist's extensive teaching experience includes:
Ekaterinenburg Higher Tech Art Institute, Russia, 1919-1921
St. Paul School of Art, 1934-1935
Cincinnati Art Academy, 1935-1936
Art Institute of Chicago, 1937
Art Students League of New York
College of Notre Dame, Maryland
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.

Sources include:

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
MEMBER: The Hamptons Bays Art Colony. Established before the start of WW II by fellow fauvist, David D. Burliuk, it was a summer art colony away from the rat race of nearby New York City.

Burliuk bought a small house in early 1941 in a quiet area in the East End still easily accessible to New York City. Soon Nicolai Cikovsky joined him as did other Russian émigrés, brothers Raphael and Moses Soyer. Moses bought a house on the same street, Squiretown Road, while his brother Raphael Soyer and Cikovsky took residences in North Sea.

Burliuk led the group because he was the oldest member and because his property included a gallery for all. Consequently the group congregated at Burliuk’s place; it became their salon.

A photo of the Hamptons Bays Art Colony members posing (Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company) had this caption:  "Standing, from left, in 1952, Nat Werner, Moses Soyer, David Burliuk and George Constant; in front, Raphael Soyer, left, and Nicolai Cikovsky."

Submitted by Mark Grove

Biography from Vered Gallery:
Royal Art School, Vilna
Penza Royal Art School, 1914-1918
Technical Institute of Arts, Moscow

Permanent Collections:  (Selected)                                                      
Art Institute of Chicago
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Cleveland Museum of Art
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.         
Frederick R Weisman Art Museum
Hirshhorn Museum
Hunter Museum of American Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Milwaukee Art Institute
Minnesota University Museum of Art
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Modern Art, NY
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas  City, MO
Newark Museum
Parrish Museum of Art, Southampton NY
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Portland Art Museum
Smith College Museum of Art
St. Louis Art Museum
University of Arizona Museum of Art
W. R. Nelson Gallery, Kansas City
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art        
Whitney Museum of American Art
Worcester Art Museum, MA

Mural, Interior Department, Washington   DC
Mural, US Post Office, Towson MD
Mural, US Post Office,  Silver Springs MD

Exhibitions:  (Museum)         
Museum of Modern Art, NY
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis MN
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh PA
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Boston Museum of Fine Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Toledo Museum of Art, OH
Worcester Museum of Art, MA
Newark Museum of Art, 1940-1941
Glasgow  Museum
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Whitney Museum of American Art, NY
National Academy of Design, NY
Parrish Museum of Art

One Man Exhibitions:                    
Corcoran Gallery, 1933, 1938
Whyte Gallery, Washington DC, 1939
Allied Artists of America, 1942-44, 1946,  1949, 1952, 1956
Downtown Gallery, New York, 1960-1961
ACA Gallery, 1959, 1963, 1967
Vered Gallery, East Hampton NY 1991,  1995

Instructor - Ekaterinenburg Higher  Technical 1919-1921                        
Art Institute, Russia
Columbus OH Museum of Arts and Craft
St Paul School of Art
Art Academy of Cincinnati
Corcoran School of Art
Cincinnati Art Academy, 1935-1936
Chicago Art Institute School 1937
Art Students League, NY

Norman Wait Harris at the Art Institute of  Chicago, 1932.  Bronze Medal
Mr and Mrs Frank G Logan Medal 1933
Worcester Art Museum.  First Prize
1959, 1960, 1964, the Isaac N. Maynard Prize
1964 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts,
1932-1955, 1966 Carnegie Institute,  Pittsburgh
New York World’s Fair, 1940
Art Institute of Chicago, 1931 (medal),
1932 (Harris Bronze Medal and Logan  Purchase Prize),
1933 (first prize) Society of Washington Artists

American Art: New York World’s Fair   1939;
Baigell,The American Scene: American Painting of the 1930s
Cheney, Modern Art in America; The Emergence of American Art
Falk, Who Was Who in American Art
Hall, Eye on America: The United States

Biography from Charleston Renaissance Gallery:
Nicolai Cikovsky arrived in New York in 1923 with impressive academic credentials, having studied in his native Russia at the Vilna Art School, Penza Royal Art School, and Moscow Higher Technical Art Institute.  He quickly gained representation with the Charles Daniels Gallery, which exhibited only the most promising modern artists. Best known for his landscapes—especially of Long Island—and figurative works, Cikovsky was lauded for his ability to infuse his canvases with mood, capturing a spirit of place.

Cikovsky’s works were featured—and often won prizes—in some of the most important exhibitions of the day, including the 1926 International Exhibition of Modern Art at the Brooklyn Museum, National Academy of Design and Art Institute of Chicago annuals, and the New York World’s Fair. Other exhibition venues include New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Carnegie Institute, among many others.  He was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the Society of Painter, Sculptors, and Engravers. In addition to his painting, Cikovsky served as an instructor at the Cincinnati Art Academy, Art Institute of Chicago, Art Students League, and Corcoran School of Art.

This essay is copyrighted by the Charleston Renaissance Gallery and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from the Hicklin Galleries, LLC.

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