Pavel Andreevitch Mansurov was born on March 26, 1896 in St. Petersburg. From 1909 to 1911 he studied in St. Petersburg at the Istituto di Disegno Tecnico (the Institute of Technology Design) directed by Barone Stieglitz. From 1912 to 1915 he frequented Design School at the Society of Encouragement for Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. In 1915 he enrolled himself in the Imperial Aviation unit and became a designer in collaboration with Yakolev at the technical office of Fontanka under the Army's command. During this time, until 1917, he exhibited his first fundamental group of abstract design that would later influence all of his shows.
In August 1928 he traveled to Italy and spent most of his time in Rome. In January 1929 he held an exhibition called “Bragaglia-fuori commercio” in Rome. He then moved to Paris, where he stayed with the Delaunay family, met Picasso and his works in his Russian period. Mansurov's original made of painting during these years between 1929-1935 were less understood.
After a period marked by poverty and economic hardship he returned with a new passion for his work. He was visited, in 1956, by George Costakis, an important collector in Moscow. In 1957 he had a part in the exhibition “50 anni di pittura astratta” (50 years of abstract painting) at Paris's Galerie Creuze and at “Arte Astratta delle Prime Generazioni: 1910/1939” at the Musée d'Art et Industrie of St. Etienne. During these years, 1959-1960, Mansurov was constantly invited to participate in exhibitions of both abstract art and avantguard Russian art.
In 1962 he held another personal exhibition at the Cavalero Gallery in Cannes. After being introduced to Lorenzelli, Mansurov held an exhibit at Galleria Lorenzelli in Milano. The same year Carlo Belloli published his important monograph: "Mansouroff o delle funzioni lineari," in Milano. In 1964 he took part in “Il Contributo Russo alle Avanguardie Plastiche” at Milano's Galleria del Levante, in “44 protagonisti della visualità strutturata” organized by Galleria Lorenzelli of Milano, and “Cinquante ans de collage” at Galleria St. Etienne in Paris.
In 1966 he held two important shows at Galleria Lorenzelli of Bergamo: “Stile e Grido” from April to May, and “Goncjarowa, Larionov, Mansurov” in December. In 1967 the Galleria Lorenzelli of Bergamo organized “4 pittori dell'avanguardia russa: Goncjarowa, Larjonov, Mansurov, Šaršun” which took place at: Museo Municipale d'Arte Moderna.
In May 1971 he exhibited at Bergamo's Galleria Lorenzelli at a show entitled “8 Pittori Russi” (8 Russian Painters). From 1972 to 1973 he held ezhibitions at: Musée National d'Art Moderne and Galerie Hanestern, both in Paris, and participated in “Nove maestri della pittura contemporanea” in October at Lorenzelli of Bergamo.
From 1973 to 1975 Mansurov was invited to important exhibitions including: “Mansouroff. Quelques Nouvelles Formules Picturales” at 25 Avenue Torville, Paris, “Vor der Flache zum raum”, and “Die 20er Jahre in Osteuropa”, both held at Galerie Gmurzynska in Colonia. A new personal exhibit titled “Pavel Mansurov 1917/1975-Sessant'anni di pittura” and an exhibit of ten masters also took place at Galleria Lorenzelli of Milano in 1975. In 1977 he participated in the X Quadriennale Nazionale d'Arte of Rome, during this he took part in an international composium organized by Malevič at Paris's Georges Pompidou Center (and then in Moscow at the State Museum in 1981) and “Origini dell'astrattismo” at Palazzo Reale of Milano. The same year Galleria Lorenzelli of Milano organized an exhibit of his works from 1918 to 1939. Other important exhibitions in 1980 include: “Die Kunst Osteuropas in 20 Jahrhundert” in the Museum of Bochum, “The Avant-Garde in Russia 1910-1930. New Perspectives” at the County Museum of Los Angeles, and and the Hirshhorn Museum, Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C.
Pavel Mansurov died in 1983. The same year a grand exhibit was organized in his honor at Palazzo Reale of Caserta. He is remembered for the numerous exhibits through 1984 and still through those dedicated in his honor at Galleria Lorenzelli of Milano, Galleria d'Arte Contemporanea of Rome, and a large retrospective at Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara. In 1987 Lorenzelli Arte in Milano held the last grand anthology of Mansurov's works in Italy. This included his works from 1975 and was accompanied by a catalogue put together by John E. Bowlt.
Pavel Mansurov, Milano, 1974.
Lorenzelli Arte Archive, Milano.