Oskar Rabin

Oscar Rabin is a Russian-born artist who has lived and worked in Paris since 1978. Before emigrating he studied at the Surikov Institute in Moscow in 1950 and then moved to Lianozovo in the suburbs of Moscow. With other non-conformist artists he formed the Lianozovo Group in the 1970s, which included Evgenii Kropivnitsky, Valentina Kropivnitskaia, Lev Kropivnitsky, Lydia Masterkova and Vladimir Nemukhin among others. Their work was opposed to the official dominant art of the day. Rabin was one of the principal organisers of the Bulldozer exhibition in 1974 which was destroyed and condemned by the government as degenerate art. A few years later, in 1978, he was exiled to France and didn’t return to Russia for almost fifteen years. The style of his painting is easily recognisable through the large black contours surrounding objects of everyday life and architecture. His realistic subjects are depicted with expressive brushstrokes. The objects he chose after his exile, such as the Russian newspaper, Orthodox Church or dried fish, were often symbols drawn from his memory during his life in Russia. Some of his works create a Chagallian atmosphere with violins and Russian villages. Oscar Rabin had major solo shows in the State Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg in 1993. He also participated in group shows at the Centre Pompidou in 1996 and at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow in 1998.