Alexander Kaletski is a New York-based Russian contemporary artist who works in a wide range of media including painting, collages, sculptures and videos.
Kaletski was born in Russian town Monchegorsk in 1946. His father, who died when Kaletski 13, was the president of a construction company, while his mother taught German at several high schools and universities. Although he was born in the family of dedicated Communists, Kaletski always felt strangled by the regime’s practice of excessive restrictions. During his studies of acting in Moscow he composed political protest songs and hold underground concerts.
As an actor he had a successful career and worked professionally in films and television in USSR. One of his well-known role was in a movie about life of four time Olympic gold medalist, gymnast Olga Korbut.
Because his freedom of pure expression was limited to the underground, Alexander Kaletski decided to leave the USSR, so in 1975 he emigrated to the United States. During his first years in the US he didn’t have money to buy expensive art supplies, so he had to use the cardboard boxes strewn around the city as the basic materials for his works. The artist has transformed the commercial cardboard packaging through the use of line, color and collage. The boxes provided original components for the creative process.
Since then, Alexander Kaletski has explored mediums and techniques such as burlap, oil on canvas, pastel and watercolors on paper, and acrylic on wood, gaining a reputation of an internationally acclaimed artist.
Alexander Kaletski is most famous for his series of works entitled Cardboard People presenting the people that the artist encountered in the city. The artist captures their images with the lines and hints of color, utilizing the lavish thrown materials of the streets of New York City.
Kaletski has exhibited his Cardboard works in many galleries and museums around the world, including the Cardboard People, Dillon Gallery, New York City, 1996; Paper Heroes, Museum of Contemporary Art, Minsk, 1999; Cardboard Box, the Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut, 2001; and Cardboard Museum at the Nassau County Museum, Roslyn Harbor, New York, 2002, to name a few.
One of Kaletski’s recent solo show entitled Red Carpet was on view in concurrent exhibitions at Anna Zorina Gallery and Mary Boone Gallery in 2014. The exhibition featured Kaletski’s latest body of work inspired by the American culture fueled by celebrities, fame and red carpet iconicity. Kaletski grew bitter toward the color red due to the years he spent in the USSR where red embodied authority. With Red Carpet, the artist has produced a collection of paintings that are amusing, refined and thought provoking, as well as complex and culturally telling.
Kaletski has also participated in many individual and collective exhibitions around the world, including Dillon Gallery, New York City; Mary Boone Gallery, New York City; MAD, Saint Gervais, France; Kato Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Valette Foundation, Martigny, Switzerland; and Looshaus, Raiffeisen Bank, Vienna, Austria.
His work is in many notable collections including Caldic Collection, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Linklaters and Paines Corporate Collection, New York City; Museum of Contemporary Art, Minsk, Belarus; and Contemporary Museum of Miniature Art, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, among others.
Alexander Kaletski’s semi-autobiographical novel Metro, pulished by Viking Books in 1985, became an international bestseller. In the book, Kaletski deals with serious issues which pervaded Soviet Union, including corruption, hopelessness, desperation and alcoholism.
Kaletski also published Darkness of Light, Love Thief (Darkness of Light Book 2), and Fallen Angel, a poetic diary in poems and songs, 1963-2004.
Amongst artistic practice in the United States, Kaletski taught Russian, designed many fashion fabrics, and illustrated numerous books. He also gave a nationwide concert tour of his Moscow underground songs, and was on the American television talk show Merv Griffin Show twice, once with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Alexander Kaletski lives and works in New York City.
|2015||Inspirations||(Le) Poisson Rouge, New York City||Solo|
|2015||Reincarnations||Anna Zorina Gallery, New York City||Group|
|2014||Red Carpet||Anna Zorina Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|2014||Red Carpet||Mary Boone Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|2014||Retrospective: Forty Years in America||Claryville Art Center, Claryville, New York||Solo|
|2014||Primitive – Prime Time||Anna Zorina Gallery, New York City||Group|
|2013||Handle with Care||Anna Zorina Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|2013||Heart of Art||Anna Zorina Gallery, New York City||Group|
|2012||Cardboard Cafe||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|2012||Beach Shack||Art Southampton, Southampton, New York||Solo|
|2012||Cardboard People Around the World||MAD, Saint Gervais, France||Solo|
|2012||Designer’s Trash||Bonbright Gallery, Los Angeles, California||Solo|
|2012||Cardboard People Around the World||Valette Foundation, Martigny, Switzerland||Solo|
|2011||Contemplation||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|2011||Cardboard People Around the World||Looshaus, Raiffeisen Bank, Vienna, Austria||Solo|
|2011||Detritus||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Group|
|2010||Carton of Eden||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|2010||From New York to Tokyo||Kato Gallery, Tokyo, Japan||Solo|
|2009||Nelson Macker Gallery||Port Chester, New York||Group|
|2008||Wet Dreams||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|2008||SCOPE Art Fair||London, United Kingdom||Solo|
|2008||Alexander Kaletski||Lasandr-art Gallery, Minsk, Belarus||Solo|
|2007||Cardboard Castle||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|2006||Familiar Strangers||Nelson Macker Gallery, Port Chester, Connecticut||Solo|
|2006||Summer Group Exhibition||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Group|
|2005||White Rain||Spike Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|2003||Headlines||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|2003||American Breakfast||Gomez Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland||Solo|
|2002||Cardboard Museum||Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, New York||Solo|
|2002||Out of the Box||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|2002||Rails Collection||Washington, DC||Group|
|2001||Cardboard Box||The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut||Solo|
|2000||Art and Wine||The Hague, The Netherlands||Solo|
|2000||Women Only||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|1999||Paper Heroes||The Museum of Contemporary Art, Minsk,Belarus||Solo|
|1999||Fifth Annual Invitational Exhibition||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Group|
|1998||Wallpaper Heroes||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|1998||Summer Group Exhibition||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Group|
|1997||Nude Colony||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|1997||Black or White||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Group|
|1996||Cardboard People||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|1996||Split Personality||Gwenda Jay Gallery, Chicago, Illinois||Solo|
|1996||Past-Post||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Group|
|1995||Dead Ancestors||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|1995||Flowers||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Group|
|1994||Dreams of a Window Cleaner||Dillon Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|1993||People in Boxes||Z Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|1992||Unknown||Alex Edmund Gallery, New York City||Group|
|1991||Unknown||Z Gallery, New York City||Group|
|1989||Rectangles of Fate||Andre Zarre Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|1987||Angular People||Schiller-Wapner Gallery, New York City||Solo|
|1977||Alexander Kaletski||Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey||Solo|
|1976||Alexander Kaletski||Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana||Solo|
|1976||Alexander Kaletski||Columbia University, New York City||Solo|
|1975||Alexander Kaletski||Saratoga Art Center, Saratoga,New York||Solo|