Marat Gelman

hMarat Gelman was born in Chisinau, Moldova on 24 December 1960, the son of Soviet dramatist Alexander Gelman. As a youth, he danced in “Zhok,” a Moldovan folk ensemble, and entered the Moscow Electrotechnical Institute of Communications in 1977, during which time he worked in a number of Moscow theatres, including the Mayakovsky Theatre. He […]

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The Blue Noses

The Blue Noses, an artistic duo consisting of Alexander (Sasha) Shaburov and Vyacheslav (Slava) Mizin, was founded in 1999.  The group is known for their satirical and oft-times provocative works, which encompass photographs, videos, and performances that parody and critique Russian society, art, politics, and religion. Using decidedly low-tech methods in their artistic endeavors, their […]

The Art of “War:” Voina and Protest Art in Russia

The radical and absurdist art collective Voina (which means “War,” in Russian) was founded in 2005 by husband and wife Oleg Vorotnikov (who goes by “Vor” or “thief” in Russian) and Natalia Sokol (who often goes by the nicknames “Kozlenok,” or “Koza,” both of which refer to goats). Described by supporters as a “street collective […]

Zurab Tsereteli

Zurab Konstatinovich Tsereteli was born in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on January 4, 1934. A somewhat controversial figure, he is a well-known painter, sculptor, architect and decorator, known best for his works of monumental size and often controversial abstraction. He is perhaps Russia’s best politically-connected artist. In addition to serving in the Public Chamber […]

Wassily Kandinsky

One of the pioneers of Russian abstractionism and arguably the world’s first abstractionist, Wassily Kandinsky began to develop his talents in the shadow of Post-Impressionism. Kandinsky, like Malevich, was heavily influenced by his contemporaries and movements such as French Cubism, Fauvism and German Expressionism. An avant-garde impresario and theorist, Kandinsky founded several art associations including […]

Ilya Gaponov & Name Gallery

At the intersection of Nevsky Prospect and the Griboyedov Canal, one can see some of the most famous sites in St. Petersburg – from the Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood to the Kazansky Cathedral. Just a five minute walk from here, past the famous Bank Bridge with the golden-winged griffons, there is […]

Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes

Sergei Diaghilev, Russian art patron, collector, impresario and director of the famed and controversial Ballets Russes, was born in 1872 to a wealthy and aristocratic family.  During his childhood, he was no stranger to chamber music, soirees and serious conversations about literature and poetry, and as befitted his social status, he was sent to study […]

Mikhail Larionov

Michael Larionov was a major force in several Russian artistic movements of the early twentieth century, most notably the Primitivist, the Cubo-Futurist and the Rayonnist movements. His career went through various stages as he explored and overturned new corners of visual expression and the results shook the foundations of Russian art. Michael Larionov was born […]

Natalia Goncharova

Natalia Goncharova, along with her colleague and companion Mikhail Larionov, led the charge in Russian Futurist painting, or Cubo-Futurism, in the early twentieth century. While her early work was heavily influenced by the French Post-Impressionists, she went on to help develop Primitivism, Rayonnism (specifically the brain-child of Larionov) and various Futurist theatrical experiments. When the […]

Ilya Repin

Ilya Yefimovich Repin is “widely, and rightly, acknowledged as the preeminent exponent of critical realism in nineteenth-century Russian art” and was often styled under the Soviet regime as an “ethical painter.” Others have called him a “pivotal figure in…Russian realism,” and during his lifetime, Repin was witness to key moments in the history of Russian art. […]

Igor Moukhin

Considered to be one of Russia’s most brilliant contemporary photographers, Igor Vladimirovich Moukhin was born in Moscow on November 19, 1961.  Although he realized his passion for photography at the age of 16, he worked as a heating technician and yard cleaner for several years before actively pursuing an artistic education. Finally, between 1984 and […]

Mikhail Vrubel

Mikhail Vrubel’s importance in Russian art is now undisputed, but during his own lifetime he achieved little success. He was heavily criticized for his rough, unrealistic forms, decorative use of space and strange motifs. He was a Symbolist and an expressionist at a time when most artists still ascribed to the Realist tradition of the Wanderers. […]

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