Oleg Vladimirovich Vassiliev
Oleg Vassiliev was one of the leading artists of the 'unofficial' art movement in 1960's - 1970's, Non-conformism, and profoundly influential and highly respected figure on the Contemporary Russian art scene. Though the artist has never identified himself as a part of any revolutionary modernist art movements, he displayed an incessant but subdued manner of resistance to the system. The artist's many extraordinary works ambitiously, though not obviously, combine in a very modern way inspirational traces of the traditions of Russian Realism of the nineteenth century with the early twentieth-century Russian avant-garde art. A close lifelong friend and collaborator to Vassiliev, Eric Bulatov, claimed that, 'I believe that Oleg Vassiliev is the most Russian of the Russian artists living today, because he does not just express one particular quality of Russian art but its essence, its very core from which the various qualities of Russian art spring forth'. Vassiliev was born on November 4, 1931, in Moscow. The artist remembered in his autobiographical essay of 1997: 'In childhood, I loved to copy postcards. I liked Shishkin and Germashov: Germashov especially, because his work was comprehensible and not as busy as Shishkin's'.