The artist Kirill Sokolov who died on 22 May 2004, had a long-standing association with Jon Silkin, who commissioned several of his works for the covers of Stand. In 1976, Kirill also designed the cover and provided a vignette for The Little Timekeeper and in 1986, he designed the set for Silkin's play Black Notes.
Kirill Sokolov began his artistic career in Moscow in the mid-1950s, achieving distinction as a highly original engraver and illustrator of some 50 books, including works by Bulgakov and Trifonov. These reveal the fantasmagoric rhythms and the sense of threatened individual consciousness in a disintegrating world which, in one way or another, remained the subject of his art.
In 1963, he married in Moscow the English writer and biographer of Blok, Avril Pyman, with whom he subsequently collaborated on a number of works, including an edition of Blok's Selected Poems, Akhmatova's Requiem, and - as recently as last year - a selection of poems by Tiutchev.
In 1974, he and his wife left Russia for England, where he continued to paint, engrave and sculpt prolifically. In the 1980s he discovered a powerful link between past and future, Russia and the West, in Greece (Crete, Athos, Patmos), alive with memory of ancient myth and the birthplace of Byzantine Christianity, which meant so much to him.
His work was widely exhibited in this country and in Russia, where his last exhibitions in the spring of this year were devoted to Blok and Goethe's Faust. Right to the end, he was planning new works, including a series of woodcuts on the Apocalypse.
At his request, his ashes were buried in the cemetery of Peredelkino, the writers' village near Moscow, close to the graves of his mother and grandmother.
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