Oscar Rabin – Russian and French artist, standing as a living symbol of the whole era of non-official art in the USSR – was born in 1928 in Moscow. Celebrated in the West as ‘Solzhenitsyn in painting’, he honestly and eloquently reflected the moods of the Russian society during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Rabin was one of the forefathers and originators of the Soviet non-conformism, an organiser of the Lianozovo Group which grew up around poet and artist Evgeny Kropivnitski. Over a period of seven years (1958-1965), the former camp barracks in Lianozovo, where Oskar Rabin lived with his wife, Valentina Kropivnitskaya, acted as the centre of forward-thinking Soviet intelligentsia.
After being the main organiser of the “Bulldozer exhibition” in 1974 Rabin ran into a serious conflict with the Soviet system. In 1978 he was sent into an exile from the USSR to France, then stripped of his Soviet citizenship and ended up settling in Paris with his wife, the artist Valentina Kropivnitskaya, and their son Alexander, also an artist.
“I would compare Oscar Rabin with Gustave Courbet, who demolished the Vendôme Column, a symbol of Absolutism. In the same way, Rabin became the legend of unofficial art, which demolished the invisible column of the Soviet official art, ” — testified artist Leonid Sokov
Today, 40 years after moving to Paris and leading a full, creative artistic life, Oscar Rabin acts a bridge between two cultures and countries — Russia and France. This year, the artist celebrated his 90th jubilee. The French agency Russian Day, founded by art-collector Mark Ivasilevich, organises a non-commercial retrospective exhibition of Oscar Rabin’s paintings during the international Art Paris Art Fair, which has been held for 20 years in the historic Grand Palais, on the right bank of the Seine, near the Pont d’ Alexandre III.
The exhibition will coincide with the release of the anniversary catalogue Oscar Rabin 90 Years On, which will be available to purchase and will be signed on request by the artist on the first day of the exhibition. The exposition will feature works from the collections of Katherine and Alexander Usach, the Minchin family and Mark Ivasilevitch himself, as well as the latest works from the studio of Oscar Rabin. The event is supported by the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and the AZ Museum in Moscow. The exhibition opens on Wednesday 4 April 2018 with the evening preview running from 18.00 to 22.00 in the presence of the artist Oscar Rabin. The exhibition will run between 4 and 8 April at the Grand Palais, stand G9.