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Oleg Prokofiev (1928-1998) was a prominent artist, sculptor and a poet. Son of the great Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, he became a member of a small group of abstract artists defying Soviet socialist realism in the 1950s. His meditative compositions from the 50s and 60s are now exhibited at the Tretyakov Gallery (20th century), the national museum of Russian art in Moscow. He left Russia in 1971, settling in the UK, where his abstract work continued to develop, going through several distinct stages: from thickly textured oil-paintings in pale, dreamy colours, through to vividly coloured, highly rhythmic sculptures. 



The Poet.

I like the music of the spheres

it hasn't punctuation marks

harmony doesn't stumble

poses are not clogged 

and what you hear from one muteness 

imperceptibly moves into another 

the clothes of sounds are thrown over

they can be taken off in layers 

starting with sporadic shouts

— of costumes then to light rustles —

of underwear to the undressed lack of sounds 

down to the mystery of naked silence


Oleg Prokofiev, The Scent of Absence, 1995


Oleg Prokofiev was born in Paris but at the age of seven returned with his parents to Moscow. He lived there for 35 years...

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