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Eduard Steinberg, being one of the five living artists of unofficial art of the 70’s together with Kabakov, Bulatov, Pivovarov and Yankilevsky, unlike them, he did not have an art education, he did not work as a book illustrator and did not like conceptualism. Steinberg continued the same line of suprematism that comes from Malevich, for which it is customary to refer him to the second wave of the avant-garde, together with Rabin, Veisberg and Roginsky.
The first Steinberg’s experiments with the transition from figurative painting to abstraction date back to the 60’s, and already in the 70’s he gained fame for his clear and contrasting works in the author's manner of geometric abstraction. “Abstract composition. Autumn” 1961 is unique in the way that it refers to the transition period – between figurativeness and abstraction. Until 1961, the artist lives in Tarusa, where, following the advice of his father, who graduated from the Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops, copies classics, paints landscapes and still lifes from nature. In 1961, in the city club of Tarusa, his first exhibition takes place, and he moved to Moscow the same year. Nevertheless, the abstract work presented was written in 1961 and can be attributed to the artist's first experiments in this field. This picture differs from the later ones, thanks to which Steinberg gained fame: there is no Tarusian fish, houses, letters and words connecting reality and abstraction, only a wide "frame" along the borders of the canvas reminds of future "frame" compositions emphasizing the geometry of the canvas. There are still no geometric objects written on the stencils, however you can see whitish gaps between the shapes and translucent canvas. This solution embodies the metaphysical subtext of Steinberg – the imposition of abstraction on reality. V