Grisha (Grigory Davidovich) Bruskin – a painter, sculptor, author of objects, installations, memoirist, and an essayist – is one of the most famous and successful Russian contemporary artists. He lives and works in New York and Moscow.
Grisha Bruskin was born in Moscow (1945). He graduated from the Art Department of the Moscow Textile Institute (1968). In the Soviet period, the artist's solo exhibitions were either forbidden or closed the day after opening, and his works were little known to the general public. Everything changed in 1988 when a landmark event took place in Moscow – the first and only Sotheby's auction.
Grisha Bruskin's painting "Fundamental Lexicon" became the top lot and went under the hammer for a phenomenal 220 thousand pounds, which was 12 times higher than had been estimated, bringing the artist world-wide repute and opening a new page in the history of Russian Contemporary Art.
In "Fundamental Lexicon" (1986) the figures, bearing the emblems of official Soviet culture, are placed together in large tables. The whole diptych is divided into rectangles, in each of which there is depicted a white plaster monument symbolising images from Soviet life that has now sunk into oblivion – such as: a female figure with a "Rubin" colour TV set, or a pioneer blowing a horn, a cosmonaut with the Soviet State Emblem on a stick, or a portrait of young Lenin with curly locks.
Employing the structure of an alphabet, one of the artist's favourite methods, he creates an internally harmonious picture of the world, using Soviet mythology, as well as the ideas of the religions and mystical teachings of the Ancient East.
He was awarded the Kandinsky Prize (2012) in the nomination "Project of the Year" for his sculpture project "Time Ch".
In 1999, the German Government invited Bruskin, as the representative of Russia, to create the monumental triptych "Life Above All" for the reconstructed Reichstag in Berlin.
The artist's works are in the Tretyakov Gallery, the Russian Museum, the Pushkin Museum, the Ludwig Museum in Köln, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Museum of Jewish Culture in New York, and other prominent museum collections around the world.
Bruskin's solo exhibitions were held at the Marlborough Gallery, New York (1990, 2009), the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow (1992, 2006). He participated in the Venice Biennale (2017).