Petr Belenok’s main theme, alienation of the individual confronted by immeasurable forces, was something he experienced in his own life. Born in Korogod, Ukraine in 1938 (a village so close to Chernobyl that it was abandoned after the 1986 disaster), Belenok studied sculpture at the Kiev Art Institute, graduating in 1963. Later, he moved to Moscow, joined the official USSR Union of Artists (as a sculptor), but at the same time became friends with many unofficial artists. Belenok’s first solo exhibition was in 1972. He has exhibited in Russia, Europe and the United States since 1970, including the ground-breaking nonconformist exhibitions in Moscow in 1975. His work is represented in several museum collections, including the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum (New Brunswick, NJ), The State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), and The State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow). Belenok died in Moscow in 1991.
“I am the representative of a new direction-panic realism. I am not interested in the minute observations of life; I observe the world and its problems from a detached position in space. Some of my art is prophecy. The creativity of Kafka, Joyce, and Dostoevsky is akin to mine.”—Petr Belenok
This exhibit is on view in conjunction with the Chornobyl Commemoration.