The MIT List Visual Arts Center brings to the United States the first one-person survey of Soviet painter Erik Bulatov, considered one of the most important and influential figures in contemporary Soviet art.
Born in 1933, Bulatov lives and works in Moscow, operating within the official art structures as an illustrator while simultaneously pursuing private and, until recently, unacceptable artistic and ideological ends. He showed his work openly in the Soviet Union for the first time in February 1987. Bulatov’s large, colorful canvases record scenes of contemporary Soviet life rendered ambiguous and unsettling, often by immense texts emblazoned across the foreground.
Organized for the Kunsthalle of Zurich, this exhibition was received with great excitement during its European tour to Zurich, Frankfort, Bonn, Berlin, Paris, and London. List Center Curator and Acting Director Katy Kline has commented: “This is a particularly significant moment in visual expression in the Soviet Union with the apparent relaxation of earlier rigid restrictions on artistic modes, exposure, and ideological content.”
Erik Bulatov: Paintings 1971-1988 is accompanied by a gallery talk by Richard Lourie, novelist translator, and frequent visitor to the Soviet Union (May 7, 3pm), a gallery talk given by Dana Friis-Hansen, List Center Assistant Curator (May 9, 7:30pm), and another gallery talk by Katy Kline, List Center Curator and Acting Director (June 11, 3pm).
The US presentation of this exhibition is made possible through the support of the Arts Exchange Program of the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities.