Lev Povzner, born in Moscow in 1939, is a painter from the movement of Russian nonconformists who participated in unofficial exhibitions in private flats in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1967 he graduated from the Moscow Polygraphic Institute, and has been painting and drawing ever since, but despite a number of exhibitions remains on the margins of official artistic life in Russia.
He works in his own flat and uses domestic materials, painting on oilcloth and homemade cardboard. Povzner draws inspirations from the classics of Russian literature and from the prose of life in the Soviet utopia. Using surrealistic optical games—mirror reflections and paintings within paintings—he conveys the liberating power of psychedelia. Allusions to psychoanalysis and non-obvious images or emotions recorded in the subconscious make his works an inspiring source of secret knowledge on contemporary Russian society.
Unlike the escapist tendencies popular in the last decade, Povzner’s elaborate, individual brand of surrealism represents a return to the political potential of the genre. It is the artist’s secret language, protecting his independence and noble position as an outsider. From this perspective he can perceive more and attempt more, guided by the titles of his own cycles of drawings and paintings, such as Field of Miracles and Weed. At this exhibition, the first-ever for Lev Povzner in Poland, we present a selection of his newest works. The opening will be held on the artist’s 80th birthday.