Eric Bulatov

Born: 1933, Sverdlovsk

Painter, graphic artist, illustrator. Born in the family of Vladimir Bulatov in Sverdlovsk (1933), where his parents were on a two-year Communist Party trip. Moved with his family to Moscow (1936), where he studied at the Moscow Secondary School of Art (1947–52). Graduated from the Vasily Surikov Institute of Art in Moscow (1958) and attended the studios of Robert Falk and Vladimir Favorsky. Interested in modernist painting under the influence of Robert Falk and Vladimir Favorsky (1963–late 1960s). Crossed over to large pictures based on a mixture of poster stylistics and realistic painting (late 1960s–early 1970s). Worked as a graphic artist and illustrator of children’s books for publishing houses (1958–67). Constructed abstract space and analysed the effects of chiaroscuro (1963–65). Held an exhibition of art with Vyacheslav Kalinin at the Kurchatov Institute of Nuclear Physics in Moscow, which was closed down by the authorities a few hours after it opened (1965). Joined the Union of Artists as an illustrator of children’s books (1966). Forbidden from exhibiting by the censors in the USSR, only able to hold short shows of his works at the Kurchatov Institute (1965) and the Bluebird Café in Moscow (1968). Held his first major one-man show at the Zurich Kunsthalle (1988), curated by Jean-Hubert Martin. Immediately won international fame and was invited to contribute to the Venice Biennale (1989). Famous in the West as a “Perestroika artist” (late 1980s). Lived and worked in New York (1989–92) and Paris (from 1992). Contributed to exhibitions in Russia (from 1957) and abroad (from 1973), including one-man shows at the Kunsthalle in Zurich and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Held his first exhibition of drawings in post-Communist Russia (2003) and a major retrospective at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow (2006).

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