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Leonid Borisov

  • Russia
Leonid Borisov

Biography & exhibitions:

Leonid Borisov — St Petersburg-born (Leningrad) artist is a leading figure within Soviet Nonconformist Art (unofficial art, underground art) and is renowned for geometric abstraction. Articulating the geometric aspects of the historical Russian avant-garde would lead to his participation in the first exhibition of unofficial art in St Petersburg in 1975.

Although taking part in all significant St Petersburg unofficial art exhibitions since the 1970s, Borisov’s passion for geometry made him even more of an “outsider” in his hometown. He looked towards Moscow Conceptualism (early 1970s – 1980s) rather than Soviet Nonconformist Art's initial preoccupation with quasi-modernist painting techniques.

Like many of his contemporaries applying conceptual art and appropriation to subvert socialist ideology, Borisov’s style is also directly linked to Kazimir Malevich (1879 - 1935), the founder of the nihilistic Suprematist movement.

Borisov did not only follow Russian art, but also drew inspiration from 20th century art from the West, such as that of Rene Magritte and Donald Judd.

Leonid Borisov graduated from the Leningrad Electro-Technical Institute of Communications (1968). He associated with Vladimir Nemukhin, Eduard Steinberg and members of the Dvizhenie (second half of the 1970s). He was also a member of the International Federation of Artists (1992). Borisov died of a heart attack on Russian Orthodox Christmas Eve whilst leaving his St Petersburg studio (2013).

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