Dmitri Prigov (born in 1940 in Moscow, Russia. Died in 2007 in Moscow, Russia)
Dmitri Prigov is one of the most prominent figures of the “unofficial art” of the era of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Prigov was a poet, graphic artist, sculptor, installation artist, performance artist, and culture theorist, who appeared as an actor and vocalist in various films, TV, and musical projects. His literary works and visual art are often tied to each other.
Prigov started writing poetry in 1956. In 1966, he graduated as a sculptor from the Higher Industrial Art School (known as the Stroganov). His fellow students at the time were Boris Orlov, Komar and Melamid, Leonid Sokov, and Alexander Kosolapov, who later formed the nucleus of Sots Art.
In 1972, he and Boris Orlov rented a studio, which became a meeting place for underground artists and poets. In 1982, with Victor Erofeyev and Vladimir Sorokin, they formed the EPS group, whose cultural mission was to deconstruct various forms of the Soviet ideology. On the eve of Perestroika, he did a street action by posting up a series of his poems, “Forewarnings,” in street walls. As a consequence, he was hospitalised in a mental institution and released only after the intervention of famous cultural figures. During the 1990s, Prigov started to design installations on paper, which he called phantoms - numerous series of sketches with ideas for unrealised installations.
Prigov was drawn to everything fragile and ephemeral such as newspapers, which he considered a metaphor for the human being - a perishable body filled with ideas and thoughts.
Dmitri Prigov’s work was never officially exhibited in the USSR. He was able to publish his texts in his homeland only in 1989, in journals such as Znamia and Ogonyok. Before that, his works were published abroad in periodicals such as the almanac Catalog in the USA and the magazine A-Ya in France. In 1991, he became a member of the Russian PEN.
In 2020, Dmitri Prigov will be the subject of a solo exhibition at MMOMA, Moscow, The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; the Contemporary Art Museum, Perm and Yekaterinburg. Recent solo exhibition include The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia (2014); The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (2012); Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten, Graz, Austria (2011) and Weserburg Museum für Moderne Kunst, Bremen, Germany (2010).