Ionaitis Boris

A short inter vivos biography.
"I was born in 1944 in Harbin (China). For certain reasons back in 1955 my parents made an uneasy decision to return to the Soviet Union. Which they did.

What was Harbin like… “Harbin was founded in 1989… After the civil war the town turned into a political and cultural centre which during 40 years after the well known events in Russia was like a museum, preserving the pure Russian spirit, the pure and accurate Russian language, the life style and unique atmosphere of the orthodox Russia…”.

As fait willed, the Harbin community disappeared, the community which created a unique center of Russian civilization preserving the pre-revolutionary culture. It was gone forever remaining only in the memories of people. The population of the “Russian Atlantis” moved to different continents. More and more cultural civilizations will perish with time.

In 1959-1969 I was a student of the Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg) fine arts school. The teaching standards there were extremely high and the teachers were very professional. Later on each student found his own way in art through a collision with “socialist realism” which was the only system existent in those years, the system which was aggressive and corrupt at the same time, with a unique and even mystical capability of identifying “friend or foe”. Artists took their stand on the basis of such a collision between the ideology and art.

It was 1972 that the exhibition “Young artists of Russia” was held in the building of the Russian Academy of Arts in Moscow (catalogue). That was the beginning of my exhibition activities.

Among several dozens of exhibitions we should point out a unique and symbolic one which was held in Manezh in Moscow in 1991 – “From the bulldozer exhibition to Manezh” organized by the union of artists “Malaya Gruzinskaya 28”. The whole layer of non-conformism which had been in opposition to the official art was a fully displayed for the first time without any censorship. The exhibition was bound to succeed. Succeed for the first and the last time. It was a brilliant parade of non-conformism as a sub-culture in the communist society, revealing a diversity of artistic manners, demonstrating the works of painters, whose names already belonged to the history of arts. The parade was at the same time a demonstration of failure – the failure of communist ideology and the non-conformism art school.
The year 1991 was the end of the cultural epoch, which disappeared forever. However, the time will inevitably reconstruct, comprehend and evaluate the culture of that epoch, it`s merits and independent artistic values".

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 © The Valentine Ryabov Gallery. Contemporary and modern art. Painting, sculpture, graphics, photo.