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Anatoly Zverev


Soviet Nonconformist Art from A to Z


Museum Story



Life and adventures of Anatoly Zverev

October 25, 2019 - March 22, 2020
100 | 200 ₽



The new exhibition “Life and Adventures of Anatoly Zverev” at the AZ Museum will present over 250 drawings and paintings by this legendary artist from the collection of Dimitry Apazidis.

Dimitry Apazidis (1918-1994) was an employee at the Greek Embassy in Moscow and later worked at the Swedish Embassy in Moscow. He was also a personal friend of George Costakis who introduced him to Anatoly Zverev. This friendship gave rise to one of the most significant private collections of Zverev’s works.

Polina Lobachevskaya, author, artistic director of the AZ Museum and curator of this show explains the importance of the upcoming exhibition and the significance of Apazidis’ collection: “The AZ Museum cannot wait to share our latest discovery with the public! We had heard about the collection of Dimitri Apazidis, a friend of George Costakis; we had even exhibited drawings and portraits from it. However, we never imagined that such a large and unique collection of Anatoly Zverev's early work (from the 1950s and early 1960s) exists in Stockholm. Dimitri Apazidis worked in the Soviet Union in the Greek and, later, Swedish Embassies. His sons Georgios and Nick have carefully preserved their father's collection of paintings and allowed us to present the most interesting works from it to the Russian public.

The Dimitri Apazidis Collection has over 1,500 works from Anatoly Zverev's very significant early period. We tried to select the most interesting, surprising and brilliant paintings and drawings. The exhibition includes a series of landscapes, a series of genre scenes from the Sokolniki district of Moscow, and, for the first time ever, Zverev's illustrations to Ilf and Petrov's novels The Twelve Chairs and The Little Golden Calf. Of course, it also has a series of portraits of Zverev's inner circle: the artist's own family and the family of Dimitri Apazidis. In all, over 250 works are on display.

We hope that our exhibition will be fun. After all, Zverev was beaming, sparkling, reckless and extremely jovial in his youth.

As usual, we shall also present video art made by the project's art designer Anatoly Golyshev and cameraman Yuri Yermolin, as well as a film by director Irakli Kvirikadze about Anatoly Zverev's adventures recounted in Stockholm by two Greeks and in Tarusa by the children of buoy keepers, artists and writers.

Anatoly Zverev was born in 1931 and died in 1986. Yet despite having lived a rather short life Zverev left behind a huge artistic legacy of these 55 years. He was truly a man of many talents: a genius painter, a virtuoso graphic artist, an avant-garde poet and an ironic theoretician. Pablo Picasso famously referred to Zverev as “the best Russian drawing artist”, and Jean Cocteau argued that he was “the only artist who had worked all the way through Western painting, from early Picasso to the present day.”

Today Anatoly Zverev’s works can be found in the world’s leading museums, from the Tretyakov Gallery to New York’s MoMA, as well as the most famous private collections in Russia. Europe and North America.

Natalia Opaleva - producer
Polina Lobachevskaya - author and curator
Anatoly Golyshev - artistic director
Natalia Volkova - chief conservator

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