Dmitri Aleksandrovich Prigov (1940 – 2007) was a Russian writer and artist. Prigov was part of the unofficial Moscow Conceptualists during the era of the Soviet Union and was briefly sent to a psychiatric hospital in 1986.
Prigov and his friend Lev Rubinstein were leaders of theconceptual artschool started in the 1960s viewing performance as a form of art. He was also known for writing verse on tin cans.
He was a prolific poet having written nearly 36,000 poems by 2005.For most of the Soviet Era, his poetry was circulated underground asSamizdat. It was not officially published until the end of the Communist era.His work was widely published in émigré publications andSlavic studiesjournals well before it was officially distributed.
In 1986, theK.G.Barrested Prigov, who performed a street action by handing poetic texts to passers-by, and sent him to a psychiatric institution before he was freed after protests by poets such asBella Akhmadulina.
From 1987 he started to be published and exhibited officially, and in 1991 he joined the Writers' Union. He had been a member of the Artists' Union from 1975.
Prigov took part in an exhibition in the USSR in 1987: his works were presented in the framework of the Moscow projects "Unofficial Art" and "Modern Art". In 1988 his personal exhibition took place in the USA, in Struve's Gallery in Chicago. Afterwards his works were many times exhibited in Russia and abroad.
Prigov also wrote the novelsLive in MoscowandOnly My Japan, and was an artist with works at theMoscow Museum of Modern Art.He had many strings to his bow writing plays and essays, creating drawings, video art and installations and even performing music.
Prigov, together with philosopherMikhail Epstein, is credited with introducing the concept of "new sincerity" (novaia iskrennost') as a response to the dominant sense of absurdity in late Soviet andpost-Sovietculture.Prigov referred to a "shimmering aesthetics" that (as explained by Epstein) "is defined not by the sincerity of the author or the quotedness of his style, but by the mutual interaction of the two."
In 1993 Prigov was awarded Pushkin Prize of Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S. and in 2002 he won Boris Pasternak Prize.
Dmitri Prigov died from a heart attack in 2007, aged 66, in Moscow. He had been planning an event where he would sit in awardrobereading poetry while being carried up 22 flights of stairs atMoscow State Universityby members of Voina Group.
In 2011Hermitage Museumpresented an important monographic exhibition of Prigov's art in Venice during 54th Biennale.