Bulatov Erik

  Through my paintings I wanted to express that reality and life we were submerged into. The space we inhabited was entirely deformed by our frighteningly aggressive ideology. But because people had lived all their lives in this space, they had begun to perceive it as normal, as natural. I personally wanted to show the abnormality and unnaturalness of this normal space.

Born in 1933

Erik Vladimirovich Bulatov is one of the founders of the Moscow conceptual school. In his early works from the 1960s, Bulatov studied the principles of interaction between surfaces and space as a philosophical conception of the painting and space. This was an important stage for his work and clearly exhibited the influence of Falk on Bulatov, who called Falk, as well as Favorsky, his teacher. In the early 1970s, beginning with his work “Horizon” Bulatov started developing a new, personal style, bringing together standard natural landscapes with large symbols from posters and transparent slogans. As a result the artist manages to illustrate the absurdity of a reality, overflowing with symbols of Soviet propaganda, in an extremely accessible way. For Bulatov, space was always many-layered: either texts from slogans or recognizable symbols were placed over the tops of images. Underlining the contrast between propaganda and reality, Bulatov’s work approaches Sots Art, but his main goal remains studying the border between the art space and the social space. Bulatov sees his artistic mission is “to show and prove, that social space, however meaningful and aggressive it may seem, is actually boundless. It has limits, a border, and human freedom and in general the meaning of human existence is on the other side of that border. The space of art is over there, on that side of the social border.”

Regarding Bulatov, Andrey Erofeev, an exhibition curator and one-time head of the Modernism Department at the Tretyakov Gallery, said that an increasing number of fellow countrymen now recognise that Erik Bulatov is a national asset, that Bulatov is one of the great Russian artists of the 20th century, a first-rate painter of the second half of the century.
The artist's work can be found in the following museums and collections:
The State Tretyakov Gallery
Russian 20th Century
Contemporary Art Museum
Kolodzei Art Foundation