“And Paris Was the Gift”. Solo exhibition by Oscar Rabine
27 February 2015 — 27 April 2015
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An exhibition by Oscar Rabine presented at Erarta from February 27 to April 27


Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art presents a solo exhibition by Oscar Rabine (b. 1928), the leader of Russian Nonconformist Art, organizer of the famous “Bulldozer Exhibition” and one of the founders of unofficial Lianozovo Group of artists.

The group was formed by artists and poets which used to meet in Oscar Rabine’s barrack at the suburbs of Moscow from 1958 to 1965. Being one of the originators of new underground art, he became a political “undesirable” for the Soviet regime and had to emigrate to France in the late seventies.

Oscar Rabine’s works present harsh reality in angular forms and dark colors, featuring motifs of deep personal experience. The artist has always depicted what was around: outlines of plain houses, still lives with everyday objects — fish, newspapers, bottles. This subjective vision grew into original author’s iconography of the whole era. As symbols of that time, his works are presented in major museums and private collections of Russian post-avant-garde art. Exhibitions by Oscar Rabine took place in the Russian Museum, the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the State Tretyakov Gallery and the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow. 

Unlike previous exhibitions by Oscar Rabine in Russia, the project in Erarta museum will show only new works, created over the past ten years. Thus, the exposition will create a lively dialogue between the legendary author and the contemporary audience.

In France, Oscar Rabine did not abandon his traditional themes. He still depicts life through the lens of his memories of Moscow suburban landscapes, constructing concept assemblages with his barrack interior in Lianozovo. Though the compositions of his new life organically include views of Paris, French newspapers, cheese and wine.

New Rabine’s works are still emotional and tragic. He portrays inaccessibility of the surrounding reality and even after thirty years in France he feels as a stranger and keeps remembering the past which is impossible to have back. But although the forms of his art do not change, he continues to search for new expressive media. 

One of them is the color that’s been particularly dramatic in the recent works. This new color in its bright violet-purple sounding is a sign of culmination, a fiery flash, foreboding fall of civilization and beginning of a new era, which is incomprehensible either to the author or to the audience. 

Along with the paintings, the exhibition will feature documentary film about Oscar Rabine’s life, including the premiere of Alexander Gutman’s new film “Herring and Veuve Clicquot”, dedicated to the conflict of the artist's and the society. The film shows how Oscar Rabine’s art breaks the perception of mass culture. 

Elizaveta Shagina

With the participation of Marc Ivasilevitch group.

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