Pavel Pepperstein (born Moscow, 1966) is Russia’s leading artist of his generation and the protégé of Ilya Kabakov and his own father Victor Pivovarov. Pepperstein has shown widely in Europe, including representation of Russia in their pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009.
Notoriously mysterious and elusive, Pepperstein works across many platforms and mediums. In addition to painting, he is a poet, writer, critic, curator, theorist and rapper. His talent and style embody the contradictions and complexities of Soviet and Post Soviet Russia. Text plays an important but enigmatic role in his paintings, and he uses the English language that he acknowledges transcends barriers and helps to make his work universally legible. Pepperstein uses a mix of Suprematist iconography with surrealism, and a masterly draughtsman skill to forge an idiosyncratic style as he reframes the past into a witty but enduring vision. He invented his name at the age of 13 in homage to the Thomas Mann character “Pepperkorn” but wanting to sound more Jewish.
Among the many honors, and exhibitions that Pepperstein has achieved are the 40,000 Euro Kandinsky Prize in 2014, solo shows at the MMAM (Mulitmedia Art Museum in Moscow, 2015), Kunsthuas Zug in 2000, 2002 and 2017, the Kunstverein in Hamburg (1993), Kunstmuseum Basel (2006), and many private galleries including Regina and Pace, London (2014). His work was introduced in the US in the 2011 Ostolgia show at the New Museum after appearing in a few early group shows in the US at Phyllis Kind, Ronald Feldman, and Exit Art.