Anatoly (Anatoli) Zverev (1931â€“1986) was a Russian artist, a member of the non-conformist movement and a founder of Russian Expressionism in the 1960s. He spent all of his life in Moscow. He did not have a solo show in Russia until shortly before his death in 1986 and his work was exhibited in small, underground galleries. Throughout his career he was harassed and persecuted by the Soviet authorities especially as his international success grew.
His style of tachisme can be compared with the work of the American Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock. His work was based on deep philosophical convictions, particularly the idea of momentalism, that everything is in constant change. His intention was to render direct sensations, and he worked at great speed.
Zverev was born in Moscow. His grandfather was an icon painter. His father was a war invalid and died when Tolya was a little boy. His mother, a cleaner and manual labourer, brought up the family of three children on her own. Throughout Zverev's childhood the family endured extreme poverty. For example, he was sent to school wearing unmatching shoes. In order to bring more money into the family he took a job at a recreation park, painting fences and boards. It was there that he started to paint images from fairy tales.