leonid borisov


Leonid Borisov was born in 1943 in Leningrad and graduated from the Leningrad Electrotechnical Institute of Communications in 1968. In 1975 the artist took part in his first exhibition at the Nevsky Palace of Culture, which was one of the first official exhibitions of non-conformist artists in Leningrad and marked a major milestone in the city's independent culture. A wide variety of artistic movements-- from abstractionism to pop art-- were displayed before the public, which resulted in a major growth of public interest in contemporary art. Evidently, the socio-political environment during this era was conducive to Borisov's creative work. During the late 70'-s Borisov became associated with members of Dvizhenie, as well as artists such as Vladimir Nemukhin and Eduard Steinberg.

Borisov is well-recognized in Moscow, where his geometric, minimalist style fits more closely within the city's artistic traditions. As stated by Alexander Borovsky, Curator of Contemporary Art at the State Russian Museum, "Borisov is devoted to geometry. Passionately, if not fanatically. It is in Moscow that the geometrical tradition has been flourishing for the last decades." The artist is an icon of minimalist, geometric non-conformist works. Borisov lives and works in St. Petersburg.

selected personal exhibitions

Photographies, Galerie Blue Square, Paris


, Gallery Atelier No.2, Moscow

I live - I see, Tumenskiy Regional Museum

People of Malevich, Gallery Borei, St. Petersburg

Concrete Art
, Gallery Kino, Moscow

Italy, Switzerland, Photos, Gallery Kino-Fot, St. Petersburg

Leonid Borisov. Paintings, Objects, Sculptures, Central House of Artists, Moscow

Black Nights
, Gallery Tochka, St. Petersburg

Dada De-formalized, Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow

Dedicated to Malevich, Center of Modern Art, St. Petersburg

Geometry Lessons, Ros-lzo Gallery, Moscow

Leonid Borisov, Works 1975/1995, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Cubism, Galereja-21, St. Petersburg

Krupskaya Palace of Culture, St. Petersburg

selected group exhibitions

Russian Artists : an Art Superlative
Saint André Abbey Contemporary Art Cente, Meymac, France

Self-portrait, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow

Slovak National Museum, Bratislava

Étude to Art Object, Moscow museum of modern art (MMOMA), Moscow

New Angelerium
, Museum of Modern Art, Moscow

Adventures of the Black Square, Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

New Ideas for the City, Museum of City Architecture, St. Petersburg

Architecture: Ad Marginem, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

All Petersburg, Central Exhibition Hall Manezh, St. Petersburg

Twelve Letters to Rembrandt
, Gallery DO, St. Petersburg

International Neoconstructivism, Museum of Modern Art, Moscow

Time of Change, Soviet Art 1960-1985, Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Collage in Russia, 20th Century, Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Perestroika + 20
, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York

ARTFIELD: Outdoor Sculpture Installation, Aidan Gallery, Moscow

Christmas Present: Academy of Porcelain, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

From Leningrad to St. Petersburg: 25 Years of Art, Chelsea Art Museum, New York

Contemporary Russian Photo, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Acquisitions and Gifts, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Russian Constructivist Roots: Present Concerns, University of Maryland, College Parks, Maryland

Nonconformists (Bar-Ger Collection), State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; Stedel Art Institute, Stadtgalerie, Frankfurt, Germany

Petersburg '94, Manezh Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg

Knigomania, Manezh Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg

Kruititsa-Vertitsa (The Kinetic Art), Cinema Center, Moscow

Petersburg '93, Manezh Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg

The History of Unofficial Art of Leningrad, Museum of the History of Leningrad- St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg

Carnaval, Manezh Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg

From Pleistocene to Halocene, Paleontology Museum, Moscow

Towards Malevich, Vienna, Austria

Modern Art from the Anna Gallery, Brugge Art Center, Brugge, Germany

Garderop, Manezh Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg Art '91, Porvo, Finland

Contemporary Artists to Malevich, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Crazy, Sovincenter, Moscow

Big Sharp-Cornered Triangle (125th Anniversary of Kandinsky), Kuntsevo, Moscow

Biennale, Kalinin Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg

The 3rd Exhibition of Gifts to the Soviet Culture Foundation, Soviet Culture Foundation, Moscow

Scientific and Artistic Developments, Moscow House of Artists

Keepers of the Flame, Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

From Official Art to Perestroika, The Gavan, St. Petersburg

The Kolodzei Collection, State Art Museum, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Cube, Helsinki

Forty Artists (the Tarasov Collection), Vilnus, Latvia

Geometry in Art, Moscow

Contemporary Art of Leningrad, Manezh Exhibition Hall, St. Petersburg

Labyrinth, Moscow Palace of Youth, Moscow

Express- Vanguard, Soviet Culture Foundation, Moscow

Cube, Leningrad Artists Union

Novie Russkie, Warsaw

14 Artists, Leningrad Youth Palace, St. Petersburg

Leningrad Artists, Alexandria, Virginia

Leningrad Artists, Tartu, Estonia

1979 - 1990
(annual exhibitions of Leningrad unofficial artists)

New Art from the Soviet Union, Washington, DC; Ithaca, New York

Painting, Graphics, Object, Ordzonikidze House of Culture, St. Petersburg

Exhibition of Painting, Sculpture, and Graphics, Nevsky Palace of Culture, St. Petersburg

selected museum collections

State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

All-Russian Pushkin Museum, St. Petersburg

State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Russian Culture Fund, Moscow

Free Culture Fund, Moscow

Pensa Art Museum, Russia

Museum of Modern Art, Moscow

State Dresden Gallery, Germany

Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers University, Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union, New Jersey

Russian Culture Foundation, St. Petersburg

Tatiana and Natalia Kolodzei Foundation

Bar-Ger Collection, Cologne, Germany

Collection of the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg


press and bibliography

"Leonid Borisov is not the worldly artist and not the one of the crowd, unlike many colleagues of his age, not counting the younger generation; neither is he socialized. Not for these reasons would I define his position in the St.-Petersburg's artistic life as that of an outsider. He is a well-renowned artist, having participated in virtually all the exhibitions of significance since the 70'-s. The reason is that the problematics, which he has been consistently pursuing in his artistic career for the last two decades, belong to the Moscow rather than the St.-Petersburg school. The thing is that L. Borisov is devoted to geometry. Passionately, if not fanatically. It is in Moscow that the geometrical tradition has been flourishing for the last decades." 

Alexander Borovsky, Leonid Borisov: 1975/1995, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, 1995.

Bown, Matthew Cullerne, A Dictionary of Twentieth Century Russian and Soviet Painters.  London: Izomar, 1998.

Dodge, Norton T., and Alison Hilton, New Art from the Soviet Union: The Known and the Unknown. Washington: Acropolis Books, 1977.

Holo, Selma.  Keepers of the Flame: Unofficial Artists of Leningrad. Los Angeles: Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, 1990.

Riese, Hans-Peter.  Nonconformists. Second Russian Avant-Garde: 1955-1988, Bar-Ger Collection. Cologne: Wienand, 1996.

Rosenfeld, Alla, and Norton T. Dodge, From Gulag to Glasnost: Nonconformist Art in the Soviet Union. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1995.

Russian Constructivist Roots: Present Concerns.  College Park, M.D.: University of Maryland, 1997.


Leonid Borisov : Casserole  2005 Color photograph ed.3 48.5x67.5 cm
Leonid Borisov : Iron  1998 Color photograph ed.3 50.5x70.5 cm
Leonid Borisov : USSR  1998 Color photograph ed.3 50.5x74 cm
Leonid Borisov : Black Square No. 1  2005 Color photograph ed.3 67.5x50.5 cm
Leonid Borisov : Selfportrait 1  1999 Color photograph ed.3 50.5x71.8 cm
Leonid Borisov : Trio 2  2005 Colour photograph 75.5x50.5 cm
Leonid Borisov : Diagonal 2007 Acrylic on canvas 60x50 cm
Leonid Borisov : Mug Shot  1998 Color photograph ed.3 50.5x70.5 cm
Leonid Borisov : In Memory of Alexei Khvostenko 2008 acrylic on canvas 50 x 65 cm
Leonid Borisov : Sign 2008 Acrylic on canvas 65x50 cm
Leonid Borisov : V.87 1987 huile sur toile 58 x 69 cm
Leonid Borisov : Nature morte à la poire 2005 Color photograph ed.3 70.5x50.5 cm
Leonid Borisov : Quartet 1 1998 Color photograph ed.3 50.5x64cm
Leonid Borisov : Tomato 1998 Color photograph ed.3 71.5x50.5 cm
Leonid Borisov : Trio 1998 SOLD
Leonid Borisov : Antique iron 2005 Colour photograph ed.3 45.5x30.5 cm
Leonid Borisov : Squares 2000 oil on canvas 60 x 50 cm
Leonid Borisov : Still Life 2008 color photograph 70.5 x 50.5 cm

click to enlarge