Author: Taryn Jones

Russian Protest Art that Isn’t Pussy Riot

When most think of Russian protest art today, they think immediately of Pussy Riot, the long-famous, all-female punk movement. These women have, since their “punk prayer” launched them to international notoriety, been heavily covered in the English-language press and heavily studied in English-language academia. However, Russian protest art is a diverse genre with a long […]

Six Critically Acclaimed Modern Russian Artists

The following are six modern Russian artists who have left their mark on not only modern Russian art, but who are also known beyond Russia’s borders as well. Each has gathered critical acclaim and, as is always the case in the art world, at least some critical derision. Not all are ethnic Russians – but […]

Historians of Russian and Soviet Art

We asked Elena Varshavskaya, who teaches art history at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Eastern Connecticut State University, and who directs the art programs run by SRAS, a simple question: “If a student came to you and said that they were interested in Russian or Soviet art but were unsure where to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Gor Chahal

Gor Chahal was born in 1961 in Moscow to a Muscovite mother and an Armenian father. One of three children and the brother of athlete Sanasar Oganesyan, his early life was less than artistic, and in fact the only artistic education he received was between the ages of 11 to 15 when he studied drawing […]