Nikita Alexeev

Nikita Alexeev (b.1953) received training at the Moscow Institute of Graphic Arts. He was exposed to Western contemporary art from an early age and became interested in contemporary poetry and new currents in visual arts and music.

In the begining of 1970s, Nikita Alexeev was known in Moscow as a poet and participated in underground readings.  His early painting and graphics he himself defines as "surrealistic abstraction". 

In 1970s he linked up with the artists of the group "Sretensky Bulvar", especially Ilya Kabakov, who made a great impression on him.

Together with Andrey Monastyrsky, Nikolai Panitkov and Lev Rubinstein, Alexeev created the group "Collective Actions". This group made about 120 actions aiming to mine the mechanisms of creating the senses and the ways to overcome the limits of conventional meanings. He also conducted his individual actions, more lyrical and existential and also more improvisational.

In 1979 Nikita Alexeev, in cooperation with the other participants of "Collective Actions", organized the Moscow Archive of New Art – an exceptional collection of the works by the artists of Moscow conceptualism.

In 1982 Alexeev opened a gallery in his personal apartment – the famed APTART, which became the venue of choice for the second generation of unofficial artists’ wild performances and absurdist expositions. The result of the gallery's activity for Nikita Alexeev, as well as for the Moscow art situation, was a dramatic transformation of the style. The artists started to use another artistic language – visually more aggressive and textured. During this period, Alexeev often experimented with the surface of the paintings, using different materials (fabric, objects).


In 1985-87 Alexeev played "simulation rock" with the "Central Russian Elevation" group.


In 1987-93 Alexeev lived in France. Soon after his return in Moscow in 1993, he abandoned his artistic practice to work as a critic. He became the Editor for the Culture section of the weekly "Inostranetz" ("The Foreigner").

He resumed his artistic pursuits in 2002 with graphic series "Prehumous Drawings (Every Breath Glorify Lord)". Today Alexeev works on partly autobiographical subjects, creating something of a visual diary.