And Paris Was the Gift, Oscar Rabine, Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art

“Legend of Russian Nonconformism And Paris Was the Gift”. Solo exhibition by Oscar Rabine. 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.

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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.

Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art
Erarta is the biggest global project in Russian contemporary art, a must-see institution for gaining insight into modern Russia. At the heart of Erarta lies a totally unique approach to both the art and the viewer, a desire to build a new relationship system between people and art. The museum’s absolute focus and priority are concentrated on the most important person at Erarta – the visitor. All of Erarta’s activities are aimed at growing the number of people who appreciate and love contemporary art because at the core of the institution lies a belief that love of art can make any individual’s life more interesting and fulfilling, thus, ultimately, spreading a passion for art makes the world a happier place.

Erarta is Russia’s largest private museum of contemporary art, a must-see place for gaining insight into modern Russia. Its permanent collection featuring over 2,800 works by Russian artists, along with more than 40 exciting temporary exhibitions staged by the museum every year, have firmly established it on the list of things to do in St. Petersburg. Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art was repeatedly mentioned as a top choice tourist attraction by Lonely Planet guidebooks; ranks among the top 10 museums in Russia on TripAdvisor; was spotlighted as one of the ‘5 Cultural Gems’ among places to visit in St. Petersburg by National Geographic, and became the country’s first contemporary art museum to be featured on Google Arts and Culture Project.

In St. Petersburg, one of the wings of its 10,000 sq. m building is dedicated to the permanent exhibit of the collection of Erarta Museum, the largest private museum in Russia, containing 2800 works by more than 300 artists from all over the country. Another two wings are dedicated to temporary exhibitions and change completely every three months, with over 35 shows in total staged each year. There is also a multi-function Erarta Stage performance hall with a maximum occupancy of 800, which every year hosts over 300 various events such as plays, concerts and film screenings as well as lectures and meetings with renowned figures from the worlds of art, fashion and design. Erarta is open every day except for Tuesdays, from 10:00 till 22:00