Alexander Kaletski, artist, photo credits - Wilhelmina

Alexander Kaletski /   Alexander Kaletski

Russian Federation 1946

Sculpture, Video Art, Painting, Collage

Alexander Kaletski
Alexander Kaletski
Russian Federation
July 14, 2015
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Alexander Kaletski is a New York-based Russian contemporary artist who works in a wide range of media including painting, collages, sculptures and videos.

Alexander Kaletski’s Background

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.

Cardboard Paintings

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.

Left - Alexander Kaletski - Gorilla Tough, 2012, Right - Alexander Kaletski - Moulin Rouge, 2013, photo courtesy of Anna Zorina Gallery, Cardboard Paintings
Left: Alexander Kaletski – Gorilla Tough, 2012 / Right: Alexander Kaletski – Moulin Rouge, 2013

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.

Alexander Kaletski - Cardboard People, 2012, with Dillon Gallery, Chelsea, NY, at Art Southampton, Southampton, New York, photo credits - Hamptons Art Hub, cardboard painting
Alexander Kaletski – Cardboard People, 2012, with Dillon Gallery, Chelsea, at Art Southampton, installation view

Red Carpet

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.

Alexander Kaletski - Red Carpet, 2014, Anna Zorina Gallery, New York, installation view, photo courtesy of Anna Zorina Gallery, cardboard painitngs, oil painting
Alexander Kaletski – Red Carpet, 2014, Anna Zorina Gallery, New York, installation view

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.

Metro: A Novel of the Moscow Underground

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.

Other Works

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 and Jennifer Lopez, GQ Magaziine, photo credits - Wilhelmina
Alexander Kaletski and Jennifer Lopez, GQ Magaziine

Alexander Kaletski lives and works in New York City.

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2015Inspirations(Le) Poisson Rouge, New York CitySolo
2015ReincarnationsAnna Zorina Gallery, New York CityGroup
2014Red CarpetAnna Zorina Gallery, New York CitySolo
2014Red CarpetMary Boone Gallery, New York CitySolo
2014Retrospective: Forty Years in AmericaClaryville Art Center, Claryville, New YorkSolo
2014Primitive – Prime TimeAnna Zorina Gallery, New York CityGroup
2013Handle with CareAnna Zorina Gallery, New York CitySolo
2013Heart of ArtAnna Zorina Gallery, New York CityGroup
2012Cardboard CafeDillon Gallery, New York CitySolo
2012Beach ShackArt Southampton, Southampton, New YorkSolo
2012Cardboard People Around the WorldMAD, Saint Gervais, FranceSolo
2012Designer’s TrashBonbright Gallery, Los Angeles, CaliforniaSolo
2012Cardboard People Around the WorldValette Foundation, Martigny, SwitzerlandSolo
2011ContemplationDillon Gallery, New York CitySolo
2011Cardboard People Around the WorldLooshaus, Raiffeisen Bank, Vienna, AustriaSolo
2011DetritusDillon Gallery, New York CityGroup
2010Carton of EdenDillon Gallery, New York CitySolo
2010From New York to TokyoKato Gallery, Tokyo, JapanSolo
2009Nelson Macker GalleryPort Chester, New YorkGroup
2008Wet DreamsDillon Gallery, New York CitySolo
2008SCOPE Art FairLondon, United KingdomSolo
2008Alexander KaletskiLasandr-art Gallery, Minsk, BelarusSolo
2007Cardboard CastleDillon Gallery, New York CitySolo
2006Familiar StrangersNelson Macker Gallery, Port Chester, ConnecticutSolo
2006Summer Group ExhibitionDillon Gallery, New York CityGroup
2005White RainSpike Gallery, New York CitySolo
2003HeadlinesDillon Gallery, New York CitySolo
2003American BreakfastGomez Gallery, Baltimore, MarylandSolo
2002Cardboard MuseumNassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, New YorkSolo
2002Out of the BoxDillon Gallery, New York CitySolo
2002Rails CollectionWashington, DCGroup
2001Cardboard BoxThe Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, ConnecticutSolo
2000Art and WineThe Hague, The NetherlandsSolo
2000Women OnlyDillon Gallery, New York CitySolo
1999Paper HeroesThe Museum of Contemporary Art, Minsk,BelarusSolo
1999Fifth Annual Invitational ExhibitionDillon Gallery, New York CityGroup
1998Wallpaper HeroesDillon Gallery, New York CitySolo
1998Summer Group ExhibitionDillon Gallery, New York CityGroup
1997Nude ColonyDillon Gallery, New York CitySolo
1997Black or WhiteDillon Gallery, New York CityGroup
1996Cardboard PeopleDillon Gallery, New York CitySolo
1996Split PersonalityGwenda Jay Gallery, Chicago, IllinoisSolo
1996Past-PostDillon Gallery, New York CityGroup
1995Dead AncestorsDillon Gallery, New York CitySolo
1995FlowersDillon Gallery, New York CityGroup
1994Dreams of a Window CleanerDillon Gallery, New York CitySolo
1993People in BoxesZ Gallery, New York CitySolo
1992UnknownAlex Edmund Gallery, New York CityGroup
1991UnknownZ Gallery, New York CityGroup
1989Rectangles of FateAndre Zarre Gallery, New York CitySolo
1987Angular PeopleSchiller-Wapner Gallery, New York CitySolo
1977Alexander KaletskiPrinceton University, Princeton, New JerseySolo
1976Alexander KaletskiIndiana University, Bloomington, IndianaSolo
1976Alexander KaletskiColumbia University, New York CitySolo
1975Alexander KaletskiSaratoga Art Center, Saratoga,New YorkSolo