1938 February 15 - Born in Moscow, Russia. My father Boris Isaakovich Yankilevsky, was a commercial artist working in advertising. He had studied at Vladimir Favorsky’s studio in the thirties. His father was a teacher at the People’s School in Mariupol. My mother Rosa Mendelevna was the daughter of the Moscow Synagogue’s cantor.
1950 - Enters the Moscow Secondary Art School from which I graduate in 1956.
1956 Picasso's exhibition in Moscow, first contact with “live” contemporary art.
1957 Admitted as a student to the Arts Department of the Moscow Polygraphic Institute. Some notable professors with the Department were Andrei Goncharov, Nikolai Chekhmazov, Elii Beliutin.
1958 The Department Professors declare Beliutin “incompetent” and forces him to resign.
Friendship with Nikolai Popov and Victor Pivovarov. First “independent” paintings.
1962 Works for the publishing house Znanie to “put some bread on the table”, later I work for "Znanie - Sila" magazine. Triptych No. 2: The Two Principles, Pentaptych No. 1: Atomic Station, a series of pastels and oils Theme and Improvisation.
Participation in the exhibition on Bolshaia Communisticheskaia (invited by E.Beliutin together with E.Neizvestny, U.Sooster and Yu.Sobolev).
Participates in the Manezh exhibition (dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Moscow Union of Artists) during which academicians stage a provocation. Wait for punitive measures. Forced to use an alias in order to continue to work at the publishing house.
1965 Triptych No. 5: Adam and Eve.
Personal exhibition in the Biophysics Institute of the USSR Academy of Science. (The exhibition was banned after the first night). An exhibition in the Dubna Science Center is banned. An exhibition in the Protvino Science Center is banned.
1966 A joint exhibition in the Capek Brothers’ Gallery in Prague with Ernst Neizvestny (from D.Konechny’s collection). Opens studio in Moscow (Ulanski Lane).
Participates in numerous exhibitions in Czechoslovakia, Poland and Italy. Appearance of the first reviews and articles. Acquaintance with English writer John Berger.
Exhibitions abroad provoke the “holy wrath” of the USSR Ministry of Culture and I am summoned for a “talk”.
1967 Prague National Gallery acquires several of works from D.Konechny’s collection.
Triptych No. 7; Prophets.
1971 Acquaintance with Evgenii Shiffers.
Without any explanation his application to the USSR Union of Artists is rejected.
1973 An exhibition at the Dina Vierny Gallery in Paris (Avantgarde Russe - Moscou 73).
1975 The first officially “allowed” exhibition of avantgarde artists takes place in the Pchelovodstvo pavilion of the VDNH (Beekeeping Pavilion of the Exhibition of Economic Achievement). Triptychs No. 7 and No. 9 are shown for the first time since they were created.
1978 A retrospective in Moscow (jointly with E.Shteinberg). Many of the works are shown for the first time, 10-15 years after they were created.
1979-80 The idea of a plastic conflict between the current and the eternal. Work on Pentaptych No. 2: Adam and Eve, which is shown at the exhibition of 19 artists in Moscow.
E.Shiffers’ article Russia’s Face and Disguises (not published).
1980 Admitted to the USSR Union of Artists.
1981 An invitation to participate in the cultural program of the Biophysics Workshop organized by V.Skulachev (Kara-Dagh, Crimea). An exhibition and a public discussion.
1981-86 Pentaptych No. 3: Sodom and Gomorrah.
Numerous exhibitions in Moscow, Germany, France, USA, Hungary, Italy.
1987 A retrospective in Moscow (Triptych No. 5: Adam and Eve is shown for the first time, 22 years after its creation).
The Tretyakov Gallery acquires the work Light and Darkness.
Musée national d’art moderne (Center Georges Pompidou) acquires 4 gouaches for its collection.
1988 First trip to the West (New York).
A retrospective at Eduard Nakhamkin Fine Arts, New York. Acquaintance and beginning of a long friendship with Belgian journalist and critic Roger Pierre Turine, author of the book Soviet Art from Lenin to Gorbachev and of a number articles and reviews.
Sotheby’s auction in Moscow.
A retrospective in Museum Bochum, Germany. Martha Argerich and Alexandre Rabinovitch’s concert at the opening of the exhibition in Bochum. Travels in Germany (Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, Heidelberg, Bremen, Frankfurt).
1991-92 The idea of the collision of the “previous” harmony with the actuality of the human “anecdote”.
A studio on Greene Street in New York. Work on the series Self-portraits and a series of collages and large pieces Take a Train... .
The Russian State Museum in St.Petersburg acquires Triptych No. 11: Moments of Eternity, 1974.
1992 Moves to Paris.
1995 Dina Vierny launches a private museum: Fondation Dina Vierny - Musée Maillol - which includes Door, 1972-74, in the permanent collection.
Peter Ludwig donates thirty three works of contemporary art from his collection, including Triptych No. 14: Self-portrait (In Memory of my Father), 1987, to the Russian State Museum in St.Petersburg.
The permanent installation of Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union opens at The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at New Brunswick, New Jersey. Exhibited is Pentaptych No. 2: Adam and Eve, 1980.
An exhibition at The Jewish Museum in New York (exhibited is Triptych No. 4: A Being in the Universe, 1984).
1995 -1996 My Retrospective (works from 1956-1995) in the Tretyakov Gallery, one of Russia’s preeminent museums.
1996 A Retrospective in Neuhoff Gallery, New York, NY. I create a new cycle of collages (about 50 pieces).
1997 Participates in Centre Georges Pompidou 20th anniversary exhibition ”Made in France”.
Centre Georges Pompidou Museum acquires Triptych No. 6 We in the World of 1966.
1999 Temmen Publishing House of Bremen publishes a book about Anatomy of Feelings, City – Masks and Mutants (Sodom and Gomorrah) albums of etchings. Return to Self-portrait theme. Work in Gallery Astley, Sweden, on a cycle of serigraphs Women by the Sea and preparation of an exhibition there.
2001-2002 Works together with David Riff on the book: RIFF, David (ed.). Variations of the Other. A Digital-Analog Monograph on the Work of Vladimir Yankilevsky. Published by the Lotman-Institute for Russian and Soviet Culture (Ruhr-University Boshum) and Museum Bochum, 2002.
2002 Personal exhibition at the Museum Bochum: Collages. Exhibited the Woman by the Sea series of paintings-collages and collages from the series City, Self-portraits and Artist and His Model.