top of page

The Russian Avant-Garde: From Communism to Modernism - avant-garde art by Gosha Ostretsov

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Gosha Ostretsov is a well-known Russian artist who was one of the most prominent figures in the 1980s Moscow avant-garde art scene. In Russia, he practically invented the genre of man-style and declared fashion and style to be the new language of modern art. Ostretsov's work heavily references comic books; hero and villain are crystal clear, and the struggle between humanity and a ruling government is evident.

Ostretsov was born in 1967 in Mosow. In 1984, he graduated from the Bolshoi Theatre's School of Theatre Design and began working as an artist, exhibiting his work in numerous exhibitions. In 1988, he relocated to Paris, where he spent ten years living and working, including three years as an artist and designer at Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.

The artist continues to achieve the provocative ambiguity of his whole project while remaining in an invincible position of autonomous social critique, dependably quick-witted and accurate.

The large canvases and installations are executed in the aesthetics of comic books, mixed, as it were, with the accidental intrusion of the street, which spoils the totalitarian message with its colorful blotches and dirt.

Ostertsov's approach is reminiscent of techno folk art, as he splatters bright colored graffiti throughout the picture plane. His images of capitalists being destroyed and greedy authoritarian systems of control imply a redistribution of energy and power.

The artist does not portray Fascism, Stalinism, or Capitalism as implicit 'enemies', but rather any system of government that seeks to gradually tailor society as such. His paintings' strength stems from his worldwide message and aim.

Russian artist Gosha Ostretsov was born in Moscow in 1967. In the 1980s, he abandoned the Soviet-style study of academic art and joined a group of avant-garde artists who worked in a kindergarten. He went to Paris in 1988. It was the age of perestroika, and the West wanted to know about young Russian artists and what they had to say about their experience. Ten years later, Gosha returned to Moscow where he tried his hand at a variety of artistic forms, including performance, sculpture, and painting. He found inspiration in illustrations for science fiction and religious books, comics, fiction, Soviet films from the 1950s and 1960s, icons, and much more.

Gosha Ostretsov tells us fantastic stories through his painting and performances. In 2010, he brought together a group of about 20 artists and called it VGLAZ. In 2012, art collector and gallerist Charles Saatchi chose some of their works for a group show called «Gaiety Is The Most Outstanding Feature of the Soviet Union», and later bought some of them.

Ostretsov’s works are on display at the Russian State Museum (St. Petersburg), the Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), the National Center for Contemporary Arts (Moscow), the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Saatchi Gallery (London), the Zabludowicz Collection (London), the Tiroche DeLeon Collection (Tel Aviv), as well as several private collections.

Gosha Ostretsov - JM Art Management

View Gosha Ostretsov's work on ARTSY

Request catalogue:


JM Art Management


83 views0 comments


bottom of page