Selected works by Boris Orlov

Boris Orlov
Iconostasis in the Imperial Style

1989

Installation, wood, silk, plastic, cardboard

400 x 400 x 500 cm
Boris Orlov
From the series 'Additional Element'

2001

Enamel on black and white photograph

70 x 100 cm
Boris Orlov
From the series 'Additional Element'

2001

Enamel on black and white photograph

70 x 100 cm






Other artists in
Post Pop: East Meets West

AES + F    He An    Qiu Anxiong    Daniel Arsham    Jean Michel Basquiat    Ashley Bickerton    Mike Bidlo    Blue Noses Group    Glenn Brown    Grisha Bruskin    Eric Bulatov    Luis Chan    Agi Chen    Hou Chun-Ming    Michael Craig-Martin    Liu Dahong    Mei Dean-E    Vladimir Dubossarsky    Dubossarsky & Vinogradov    Zeng Fanzhi    Rimma Gerlovina & Valeriy Gerlovin    Robert Gober    Wang Guangyi    Zheng Guogu    Peter Halley    Keith Haring    Tim Head    Jenny Holzer    Gary Hume    IMH    Sui Jianguo    Yao Jui-Chung    Wu Junyong    Iliya & Emilia Kabakov    Zhanna Kadyrova    Alexey Kallima    Clay Ketter    Tsang Kin-Wah    Komar & Melamid    Jeff Koons    Irina Korina    Valery Koshlyakov    Alexander Kosolapov    Vladimir Kozin    Oleg Kulik    Tseng Kwong-Chi    Rostislav Lebedev    Sherrie Levine    Fang Lijun    Michael Lin    Linder    David Mach    Mamyshev-Monro    Yang Mao-Lin    Paul McCarthy    Feng Mengbo    Lisa Milroy    Paul Morrison    Irina Nakhova    Anton Olshvang    Julian Opie    Boris Orlov    Anatoly Osmolovsky    Zhang Peili    Pavel Pepperstein    PG Group    Richard Prince    George Pusenkoff    Qiu Qijing    Marc Quinn    Recycle Group    Tom Sachs    Aidan Salakhova    Michael Sandle    Andres Serrano    Sergey Shekhovtsov    Cindy Sherman    Kwan Sheung Chi    Yinka Shonibare    Sergey Shutov    Leonid Sokov    Mickalene Thomas    Zhou Tiehai    Wu Tien-Chang    Oleg Tselkov    Chuang Tsung-Hsun    Dmitri Tsvetkov    Hung Tung-Lu    Gavin Turk    Liu Wei    Yeh Wei-Li    Ai Weiwei    Gu Wenda    Rachel Whiteread    Jonas Wood    Bill Woodrow    Richard Woods    Thorsdottir & Shanzhuan    Wang Xingwei    Yu Youhan    Xu Zhen    Qiu Zhijie    Wang Ziwei

Boris Orlov's Biography

Boris Orlov
“In some ways Ilya Kabakov and I are a pair… he depicted the backwards, dark side – he dug it out of the communal garbage. I, on the other hand, seized on the showy façade. Although I have a series of things, where I combined both of these sides, the obverse and the reverse: the front is bright, painted, showy, but the back, like a Dembel chest, covered with beautiful girls, packs of cigarettes, labels from old wine bottles, with song lyrics written on it – this is like the inside of my iconostasis. This idea came to me at the time in Petersburg because when you walk along Nevsky, it’s full of these splendid facades. But it is worth it to go into the courtyards, because God knows what’s there - peeling walls, the smell of mold, there was still garbage there, in the 1970s half of Petersburg was covered in garbage… and I thought at that point: this is the essence of empire.”

Born in 1941
Boris Orlov is one of the originators and most brilliant representatives of Sots-art. He defined himself as an “imperial artist.” He was similarly drawn to ancient totems, Roman portraits, Byzantine materials, Baroque art, classicism and Stalinist monumentalism. As Orlov noted “I was immediately interested by the foundations of the imperial style: why, during a period of many thousands of years, were some models repeated time after time. Realizing that I live in an imperial time, I saw that some travelling subjects are blossoming again in the modern realities, but the framework which this exterior is pulled over has the very same structure. I began to study this framework, isolate it, and to search for it like an architectural model. Becoming infatuated with these architectural models, I ended up in Ancient Rome, and in the Byzantine Empire, and in Peter’s baroque. Here we have Rastrelli, David and Napoleon in flowing silk.” In the traditions of the imperial style, Orlov began with sculpture, combining constructivism, the posters and laminates in the ancient style. The Suprematic rectangles in Orlov’s work are wrapped in the ribbons from medals, architectural models become imperial totems, and ancient heads crown the bodies of generals, soldiers and sailors. In the 1990s Orlov left pure sculpture, moving to installations and photography as his means to portray the authentic remains of the Soviet empire.

“Having earlier declared himself a talented sculptor, he developed his own, original understanding of the conception of “Sots-art”. His works speak in their own voice, which the viewer always will distinguish from the voices of the other participants of this historic choir. The impressive “imperial decoration” inherent to Boris Orlov’s works has gradually put them on the same level with the most outstanding artists produced by the Soviet Union.” Vitaly Komar.