Vagrich Bakhchanyan (1938 - 2009) is a well-known international artist, writer, one of the progenitors of Sots Art and "Moscow Conceptualism". He was called the "last futurist" or the heir to Dadaism, his legacy is not only a set of artifacts, but unique examples of creativity as communication, incl. performance, mail art, author's book, actions that have not been interrupted for many years, Internet exhibitions. In all these areas, he was one of the pioneers in Russian art, although by the very example of life he put the national or ethnic boundaries of art under conditionality.
Vagrich Akopovich Bakhchanyan was born into an Armenian family in Kharkov, the then recent capital of Soviet Ukraine. He did not receive a professional art education, but in his youth he studied at an art school, in the studio of Alexei Shcheglov and with Vasyl Yermilov, one of the leaders of Ukrainian constructivism, a close associate of Malevich and Tatlin. Already at the turn of the 1950s - 1960s, he created works of an independent nature, interpreted in the social environment as "anti-Soviet". In 1964 he moved to Moscow, where he worked for Literaturnaya Gazeta. Here Bakhchanyan gained fame both as an artist, including an illustrator, and as a writer - especially as a master of short absurdist texts and aphorisms. In 1974 he emigrated to the USA. Lived in New York. Bakhchanyan has participated in dozens of group exhibitions around the world. His own retrospective exhibitions were held both during his lifetime (Era Foundation, Moscow, 2007) and after his death (Stella Art Foundation, Moscow, 2010).
Vagrich Bakhchanyan's works are in the collections of:
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow
Museum of National Art of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum, Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
Bar-Gera Collection, Cologne, Germany
Paul and Berty Quaedvlieg Collection, The Netherlands
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