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ANATOLY

ZVEREV

(1931-1986)

 

SELF-PORTRAIT

1961

Oil on paper

78,5х50 cm

He was born in Moscow, in Sokolniki, in a family of the civil war disabled veteran. His mother was a worker. He studied drawing at school, at the lessons of graphic artist N.V. Sinitsyn (a pupil of A. Ostroumova-Lebedeva). In 1954, he entered the Moscow Regional Art School to Memorize 1905, from which he was soon expelled for Bohemian and anarchic behavior.

He participated in apartment-based exhibitions of 1959—1962. The first foreign exhibition was in the Parisian gallery of Mot (1965).

Anatoly Zverev’s creative life was largely a challenge to the ordinary people’s “common sense”, self-realized self-rejection from the deadly conventionalism of well-established standards and generally accepted notions of art. The impact of his innovative creative experience on the entire modern painting is still tangible.

The peak, the maximum personal ascent of his creative work occurred at the turn of the 1950’s and the 1960’s. It was a sort of the live embodiment of the then free “independent/ underground” art trends. He was an indisputable leader in the context of non-conformism of the 1960’s. He was too own self, to be carried away by any doctrinarianism or group engagement, even though the path of a sole artist was not typical of the underground of that time. Among most artists of his generation and his allies from independent art, he was distinguished even by not fitting into any of the communities that took shape there.

Anatoly Zverev’s creative heritage counts over 30,000 works. The diversity of circumstances in which the artist’s works were created, the variety of materials used for this and the mixture of schools make it difficult to conduct a reliable art-study expertise to separate genuine works from fakes available on the market now. In these conditions, being an “expert” is the only way to handle A. Zverev’s legacy.