RU : REUNITED Group Exhibition

AP Contemporary proudly presents “RU : REUNITED” group exhibition by Oleg Tselkov, Alexander Zakharov, Olga Tobreluts and Gago Chtchyan from 7 July to 31 August, 2015.

Opening Reception on 7 July 2015 ( Tuesday) from 6pm – 9pm

Russia has the longest persistence in socialist realism art and restriction was until the dissolution of Soviet Union. Starting from 1950s, the rise of Soviet Nonconformist Art ( also name as Unofficial Art) brought the attention to those Russian artists who were not following the restriction in the country. Oleg Tselkov, as one of the most influential contemporary Russian artists, had been actively participating in the underground art world in Russia since 1960s. The artist started to organise exhibitions in Moscow since 1956 and there were uncountable celebrities visiting his studio in the 1960s – 1970s, however, due to the strict policy of the former Soviet Union, many of the sold art works were being rejected to ship outside the country. Later in 1966, the artist’s solo exhibition in an art institute was forced to shut down after 2 days because the show was “ idealogical unacceptable”. The artist finally moved to Paris in 1977. He developed his career and his art works are acquired by The State Museum of Modern Art in Moscow, Yokohama Art Museum of Tokyo, The Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam and private collectors such as Colin Franklin, Arthur Miller and Vladimir Spivakov.


Followed by the dissolution of Soviet Union in 1991, Russian government finally dismissed the restriction on the Soviet Nonconformist Art, however, many young artists were still lost in the big gap between traditional art education and adapting themselves as an emerging artists since most Russian galleries were still under the influence from the government. One of the examples is Alexander Zakharov, who received traditional art training with miniatures from the Academy of Art in Moscow in 1980s. Coincidently in 1987, he sold his first art work to Mr. Per Lundberg, the vice-president of Swedbank at that time. It was his life-changing experience since he had no idea of selling art works before especially without any support from Russian government and galleries. He decided to move to the US in the early 1990s and he started his career there together with exploring the printing technology on different media. His art works are acquired by Russian Club of United Nations in New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Fogg Museum of Art and private collectors such as Nicolas Cage, Whoopi Goldberg and David Bowie.

Oleg Tselkov and Alexander Zakharov are two examples of how Russian artists breakthrough all the barriers and restriction of their era. Because of their courage and the passion for art, the world is able to see these great art works outside Russia. Meanwhile, there are artists who also found their way through even in Russia. Olga Tobreluts, an acclaimed artist from St. Petersburg who was the pioneer of using digital technologies on contemporary art work in the region. She graduated from its architectural college in 1989 and completed a course in computer graphic in Berlin which enlightened her with applying different technologies. The artist has more than 10 solo exhibitions in different museums since 1994. Her art works are acquired by Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg, MOMA in New York, Museum of Photography in Moscow and many other private collectors.

As part of the former Soviet Union, Armenian artist Gago Chtchyan started his career in his homeland, however, his career was well-developed since he moved to Moscow in 1992. He started to cooperate with galleries and later on won a competition which was organised by Sotheby’s. Moving to Moscow was a milestone in his career and his art works are highly appreciated by private collectors in different regions.

AP Contemporary is honoured to present four different Russian artists from different eras in this group exhibition and finally united at this group exhibition.

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