He partly belonged to the Komi-Permyak ethnic minority in Russia, whose name he later added to his own, fashioning an artistic nom de plume. Subbotin-Permyak studied painting and music and in the late nineteenth century began a quiet career as a traditional set decorator. But after the Russian Revolution of 1917, he suddenly became impassioned about new art, its theory, and social role. In 1919, Subbotin-Permyak was named the official state representative forthe organization of art studios in the province of Perm. During the next few years, in both Perm and the tiny and remote town of Kudymkar (where he was born), he opened several art schools; woodcarving, pottery, and sculpture studios; ethnic museum collections; and folk theaters. He also developed a theoretical work entitled Techniques and Systems of the New Art. Overworked and largely misunderstood, he died at the age of thirty-five of tuberculosis. Subbotin-Permyak lived and worked in and around Kudymkar and Perm.