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Tradition and Innovation in the Fine Arts

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Since childhood, AR was attracted by art. His first teacher, E. Sagaidachny, was a former member of the nonconformist groups “Youth Union” and “The Donkey Tail”. Later, in Leningrad, AR enrolled in the V. Serov School of Art. In spite of official Socialist Realism, some teachers (Shablovsky, Gromov, Sudakov) introduced their students to Russian avant-garde. AR educated himself, copying the paintings of Old Masters in the Hermitage Museum. During 1959-1963 AR studied Russian Suprematism and Constructivism in the Leningrad's Institute for eater, Music and Cinema under the supervision of N. Akimov. AR considered himself as a follower of Russian Constructivism with the roots in ancient Mediterranean and Byzantine art. After graduating, AR's life was full of different activities. He preferred teaching at the V. Serov School of Art, but was fired for “ideological conspiracy” as a founder of the new courses – Technical Aesthetics, Yu. Lotman's eory of Semiotics and Russian Constructivism. In the 1970s AR became an active member of a nonconformist artist group TEV (Fellowship of the Experimental Exhibitions) and the co-founder of the ALEF group (Union of Leningrad's Jewish Artists). This activity brought close attention of KGB and he was forced to emigrate in 1976. Living in the USA, AR criticized American contemporary art for its un-spirituality, commercialism and rejection of traditions – a necessary basis of existence of art. He belonged to two traditional cultures, Jewish and Russian, and his art is traditional. His art represents his own thoughts turned into his paintings, with a great appreciation to discoveries of the Old Masters. And the circle is not closed.

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