Grisha Bruskin was born in 1945 in Moscow. Like the majority of Jews of
his generation in the Soviet Union he was growing up in complete ignorance
of his Jewish heritage until he started studying Jewish tradition in the
70s. Until today the myth of Judaism and the myth of communism have
remained his two central topics which he treats in series of paintings and
sculptures. Bruskin is ranking among the most celebrated contemporary
Russian artists, since his works achieved sensational results at the 1988
auction of Sotheby's in Moscow.
Parallel to painting (his most renown works are the Alefbet and
Fundamental Lexicon series and the monumental triptych Life Over
All in the Berlin Reichstag) Bruskin develops traditional arts and
crafts techniques as artistic media. In the style of Soviet chinaware
(which was often employed to convey propagandistic statements) he created
for instance the cycles Alphabetic Truths (34 porcelain plates,
1998) or Life is Everywhere (25 porcelain sculptures, 1998-99).
With On the Edge his present series of bronze sculptures Bruskin
returns to larger sculptures. By pursuing motives from Soviet monuments,
which were omni-present during his youth and had already inspired
paintings from the late 70s on, he investigates with subtle irony the
complex implications of depiction and deliverance.
Bruskin's complex work does not only scrutinize the significant myths of
Judaism and the Soviet Union but also refers to the problem of alienation
of the individual from the society and his vulnerability to the
catastrophe and transitoriness of cultural contexts.
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