Oleg Tselkov

Born: 1934, Moscow

Artist. Born in Moscow in the family of an economist called Nikolai Tselkov employed at an aviation factory (1934). Studied at the Moscow Secondary School of Art (1949–53), Minsk Institute of Theatrical Design (1954, expelled for Formalism), Ilya Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Leningrad (1955, expelled for Formalism) and the Leningrad Institute of the Theatre and Cinema (graduated in 1958). Influenced by the International Exhibition of Modern Art held during the VI International Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow (1957). Moved to Moscow (1961). After painting Portrait (1960) spent the next forty years developing one single motif – images of a deformed human face and figures recalling ominous masks or mutants (“bum faces”) – in reaction to the new formal devices of the severe style. Forced to emigrate to France by the Soviet authorities (1977). Lives and works in Paris. Contributed to exhibitions (from 1965), including exhibitions in Europe and the United States (from the 1970s) and one-man shows at the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow (1965) and the Russian Museum in St Petersburg and Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow (2004).

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