Francisco Infante-Arana

Born: 1943, Vasilyevka (Saratov Region)

Painter, performance artist. Born in the village of Vasilyevka in Saratov Region in the family of a Spanish Communist and member of the Republican government who fled to the Soviet Union after the Spanish Civil War and married a Russian woman (1943). After his father’s early death, moved with his family to Moscow (1946), where he studied at the Moscow Secondary School of Art (1956–62) and the Moscow School of Art and Industry (1962–66, dropped out before graduating). Discovered modern art in foreign magazines at the Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow (1961). Joined Rimma Zanevskaya, Anatoly Krivchikov, Lev Nussberg and Victor Stepanov to form the first group of artists in the Soviet Union to turn to Kinetic Art (1962), later known as Dvizhenie (1964). Created Galactica, the first Soviet kinetic object, at the Exhibition of Economic Achievements in Moscow (1967). After breaking with the group’s ideological leader, Lev Nussberg, he decided to follow his own independent path in art (1968). Worked on “cosmic architecture” (graphic series reminiscent of celestial maps), took part in the first happenings (theatricalised performances) and showed installations in the open air (from 1968). Founded the Argo group (1970 or 1973). Member of the Union of Artists (1973). Developed the concept of an “artefact,” which involved creating an object with an artificial geometric form, mounting the object in a natural environment and photographing the altered landscape (from 1976). Winner of the State Prize. Lives and works in Moscow. Contributed to exhibitions in Russia (from 1963) and abroad (from 1965), including Francisco Infante and the Argo Group at the Centre of Spanish Friendship in Moscow (1974), Art–Nature–Technology at the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Technical Aesthetics in Moscow (1979), Artefacts at the House of Cinema in Moscow (1988), Artefacte Franciso Infante at the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum in Ludwigshafen (1989), Minus Square, Minus Circle, Minus Triangle, Plus Rectangle at the Tsaritsyno Museum Complex in Moscow (1994), Francisco Infante’s Artefacts at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow (1993), solo retrospective at the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum in Ludwigshafen (1980s) and a one-man show at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow (1992–93).

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