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Yurii  Dyshlenko  (1936 -1995)

An important member of the Leningrad nonconformist art movement, Yurii Dyshlenko participated in the first unofficial art exhibition in Leningrad at the Gaz Palace of Culture in December 1974. However, Dyshlenko regarded the Moscow-based Conceptualists, a group of artists that conducted an ongoing critique of representational painting, as his closest colleagues. Dyshlenko received his formal art training at the Leningrad Institute of Theater, Music and Cinematography with the eminent stage designer and theater director Nikolai Akimov. After graduation he worked as a stage designer and book illustrator. In the early 70s he had created a unique theory of color combinations which were suggestive of changing chords in jazz compositions. At the same time Dyshlenko adapted a distinctive approach to the language of representation and started to paint in series. Series Characters (1973), Fable (1975), Concise Guidebook (1976) were followed by Authenticity, his favorite series of 24 painting (1978-1985) and other series. Beginning in 1989, he lived and worked in New York where he had the first personal exhibition at Phyllis Kind Gallery.

The language and methods of advertising, the technology of reproduction: all became material for creative transformation and irony in Dyshlenko's work. His art is instantly recognizable: its origins are rooted in contemporary cultural symbols, which are manifested through the artist’s manipulation of color and beauty. His paintings appear to be almost palpably real: some are as smooth as metal, some spiky, other soft and silky, or elastic, or sharp and lively. Dyshlenko’s paintings defy explanation through the signs and inscriptions they carry. The artist deliberately shows objects as semi-recognisable. The onus is the spectator to formulate a personal interaction with the works. To create his paintings, the artist employed motifs derived from advertising and other forms of popular culture, often including reproductions of slogans, product labels, and cartoons.

Selected Public Collections

J.V. Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers State University, New Jersey. USA

Duke University Museum of Art, North Carolina, USA

The Ludwig Museum of Art, Cologne, Germany

The Russian State Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

The Museum of Nonconformist Art, St. Petersburg, Russia


Selected Works

"Table top wars" 1989. triptych.
"Imaginary Landscape" 1980.
“Menu” 1988.
“Solitaire on the Road” 1988.
"Flowers of the North” 1980.
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