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AP Contemporary is pleased to present OLEG TSELKOV: UNOFFICIAL ART, which recalls Moscow’s fecund period of underground creativity by displaying recent work of iconic artist Oleg Tselkov. He was one of the artists who were active in the experimental art in the Soviet Union during the 60s and 70s. Till now both Tselkov’s remarkable work and dramatic life have received international attention.

During the 1950s the Soviet Union denounced Western cultural influences, many young artists worked in the underground since official attitudes towards experimental art remained negative; many artworks were seen as ‘nonconformist’. Oleg Tselkov was among them and became a significant figure of the Unofficial Art during the 60s. He was expelled from art school for ‘formalism’ in 1955, later was forced into exile in the late 70s and went to Paris, where he still resides.

Oleg Tselkov, “Mirror,” oil on canvas, 100x100cm, 2009

Tselkov’s work consists of very different components. There are elements of the theatre of absurd in his work, or tragic buffoonery. He is a genius to invent his own theater, where inflatable rubber puppets that look like homunculi are created to perform various scenes – funniness, horror and tragedy. The somnambulistic atmosphere of his paintings is matched by a mysterious luminescence of colors that reminds us of Rembrandt, and a slight vibration of the background, created with the use of the barely noticeable relief of the canvas.

For over 40 years, day after day, he has been painting countless canvases, one after another. Something changed in them, with time, coming out of the light, or sinking into darkness… but always – these faces, these portraits of faces, repeat themselves.

Oleg Tselkov, “Meal,” oil on canvas,120x120cm, 2009

Born in 1934, Oleg Tselkov is one of the most influential contemporary Russian artists. His work can be found in State Hermitage Museum of St.Petersburg, Tretyakov State Gallery, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts of Moscow, the State Russian Museum, Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam, Zimmerly Art Museum New Jersey and various public and private collections in Russia, the US, France and Japan.

Please join us for the show launch at 6pm on May 23. Enjoy the mysterious artwork, have a glass of wine, feel detached from the day-to-day routine.

  • AP Contemporary HK - Oleg Tselkov 01

    AP Contemporary HK - Oleg Tselkov 01

  • AP Contemporary HK - Oleg Tselkov 02

    AP Contemporary HK - Oleg Tselkov 02

  • AP Contemporary HK - Oleg Tselkov 03

    AP Contemporary HK - Oleg Tselkov 03