Oleg Vassiliev

Oleg Vassiliev is a Russian-born artist who has lived and worked in the United States since 1990. Before emigrating to the States he worked as an official book illustrator in Moscow during the era of the Soviet Union alongside colleagues Erik Bulatov and Ilya Kabakov. In parallel with their official work the three artists were part of the Moscow Conceptualists. Oleg Vassiliev works mainly with oil on canvas and paints realistic figures and landscapes using skills acquired as an academic painter after graduating from the Surikov Academy of Art in Moscow. In Vassiliev’s theory memory is a constructed image and our vision combines past perceptions with our imagination. The reality he shows is often questionable; it can either be a window to an imagined world or a projection of the artist’s memory, as in the oil on canvas piece titled From the Past (1994). Oleg Vassiliev has had major solo and group shows, including the 2004 major retrospective at the Russian State Museum in Saint Petersburg titled Memory Speaks. He has also exhibited internationally, for example in 2010 at the Haunch of Venison Glasnost show and the Russia! exhibition at the Guggenheim in 2005.