Uspensky, Boris (1927-2005)

Boris Aleksandrovich Uspensky was born in Moscow, into a family of musicians and clergymen. As a young boy, he loved music, but he found his real passion in the fine arts and in 1942 enrolled at the 1905 Art School. In 1947 he entered the Surikov Institute in Moscow, in the department of painting, but later transferred to the poster studio of the graphics department to study under the famous avant-garde artist Mikhail Cheremnykh, who was to exert a strong influence on the shaping of the young artist. After graduation in 1953, he started a working partnership with fellow student Oleg Savostyuk. Their friendship and collaboration lasted for many years and proved to be a brilliant success, when they made a complete breakthrough in the poster genre by creating a new style inspired by the Russian folk art Lubok – brightly coloured stories, sometimes in a primitivistic style. n the 1960s Uspensky started working with the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, where he was acquainted with the ballet choreographer Yuri Grigorovich and the dancer Vladimir Vasiliev. For the Ballet, Boris Aleksandrovich painted posters and drew illustrations for programmes and librettos, his first poster being “Swan Lake” for the ballet’s tour of France in 1958. This opportunity to see the life of the theatre from the inside, drawing sketches and recording impressions, was decisive in creating a life-long passion for the artist – the ballet. With great enthusiasm he drew and painted ballerinas, danseurs and choreographers in a variety of situations - during and after rehearsals, at the barre, or resting, tired.

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