Erik Bulatov is a modern classic of conceptualism

Door, 2009–2011
Door, 2009–2011

Erik Vladimirovich Bulatov (born September 5, 1933) is a Russian avant-garde artist of the XX-XXI centuries, whose biography is inextricably linked with art. The work of the genius Erik Bulatov goes beyond the social space, but does not reject it. The master’s paintings are an experimental juxtaposition of Art Nouveau and traditional painting.

Freedom is freedom II, 2000-2001
Freedom is freedom II, 2000-2001

Biography of Eric Bulatov

Erik Vladimirovich Bulatov was born on September 5, 1933 in Sverdlovsk in the family of a party worker and stenographer. The profession of an artist was chosen by Bulatov during his school years. The passion for the visual arts was supported in every possible way by the parents. Since 1947, the young man studied at the school at the V.I.Surikov State Academic Art Institute. Then, as the best student, he entered the painting faculty of this famous university without exams.

Erik Bulatov understood that after graduation, for further development, he should not depend on government orders. For this reason, Bulatov chose the position of illustrator at the Detgiz publishing house as a source of livelihood. The artist devoted about three decades to the design of books for children and youth. His colorful and poetic images are imbued with light and a sense of joy. In the fall and winter, he was engaged in publishing, and in the spring and summer in painting.

Glory to the KPSS II, 2002-2005
Glory to the KPSS II, 2002-2005

Erik Bulatov began to participate in Moscow exhibitions only in 1957

And since 1973 his works have already been exhibited abroad. The artist interested experts and art lovers with a deep philosophical approach to creativity and the ability to demonstrate modern social trends in his paintings.

Since 1989, the master has lived in New York, and in 1992 he moved to the capital of France, where he lives and works to the present, sometimes coming to Russia. In 2003, an exhibition of Bulatov’s graphic works was held within the walls of the Tretyakov Gallery. There, three years later a retrospective demonstration of his unusual paintings.

The master expressed his views on the purpose of art and its value in the modern world in the book I Live Further, published in 2009 by the Artist. Director. Theatre”. The theory of interaction between the picture and the imaginary space, developed by the author, showed that the social environment that affects human perception has limitations, and freedom exists outside of boundaries.

Horizon, 1971-1972
Horizon, 1971-1972

In 2015, commissioned by the Yeltsin Center, the artist wrote the famous work “Freedom”. The author used the room where the viewer was. At the same time, the picture became an exit into the heavenly space from the real world.

In recent years, the genius has been creating large-scale works of art the eighteen-meter composition “Forward”, the seven-meter monument “Everything is not so scary.” These expressive images clearly reflect the state of the present era.

Krasikova Street, 1977.
Krasikova Street, 1977.

The most famous paintings by Eric Bulatov

The main principle of the artist’s works is the powerful opposition of the surrounding real space and the picture plane. Let’s name the most famous paintings by Erik Bulatov:

  • Self-Portrait (1968) is an early work in a private collection in Paris. “Horizon” (1971-1972) is the most famous painting of the early Bulatov, a feature of which is not only the concept, but also unusual color combinations.
  • Krasikova Street (1977) is a collision of multidirectional movements: anxious people walking along the sidewalk and Lenin, who is walking briskly towards them, depicted on a white poster.
  • “I Wanted Before Dark, Well, I Didn’t Have Time” (2002) is one of the artist’s most beloved paintings, reflecting the inevitability of a fleeting time.
  • “Glory to the KPSS” (2003-2005) opposition of the propaganda slogan to freedom. Red letter symbols represent a lattice that blocks the sky, does not allow a person to reach high dreams. The author calls for going beyond the limits of false slogans.

The paintings of Erik Vladimirovich Bulatov are recognizable all over the world thanks to their unique technique and encrypted symbols. They are considered to be some of the most expensive contemporary pieces of art. For example, the masterpiece “Soviet Space” at the Phillips auction was sold for 1.6 million.

Welcome, 1974
Welcome, 1974
Erik Bulatov, Louvre. La Gioconda, 1997-1998 - 2004-2005
Louvre. La Gioconda, 1997-1998 – 2004-2005
Erik Bulatov, Painting and viewers, 2011–2013
Painting and viewers, 2011–2013
Erik Bulatov, Section, 1965-1966
Section, 1965-1966
Erik Bulatov, The clouds are growing, 2007
The clouds are growing, 2007
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