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Oscar Rabin is often called the ideological leader and one of the key figures in the history of unofficial art in the second half of the twentieth century. In the year when the work «Maple leafe» (№586) was created Rabin became one of the legendary "Bulldozer Exhibition" organizers. Unlike most nonconformist artists, Oscar Rabin was almost the only one who, after experiencing contemporary modern art at the 6th World Festival of Youth and Students in 1957, turned not to abstraction, but to figurative expressionism and almost immediately groped for his style, combining elements of still life and landscape.
Paintings by Rabin – are an example of a social, topical, but very personal and poetic utterance in some way. The bleak barracks life has been the main theme for many years – an image inspired by Lianozovo and Dolgoprudny barracks, in which the artist's family lived in the 50’s - early 60’s. So appeared the restless, often without any glimpses of hope, landscape, against which various everyday objects arise. The artist often focuses his attention on a certain thing – whether it's a passport, a newspaper, a fish, a doll, a candle, money, a window or a maple leaf. Using receptions of pop art and often demonstratively violating proportions and scale in his works, Rabin strengthens the value of the depicted thing to the universal scale, turning it into a symbol.
In the «Maple leaf» Rabin somewhat changes the usual tonality, making not an object from barracks life, but an autumn leaf the compositional center. A small maple leaf overflows with burgundy-yellow colors on the background of a melancholic emptiness and a huge dark sky. Here, the motif of loneliness and opposition to a hostile environment is shrill. Involuntarily there is an association with the «Bulldozer exhibition», which was held in autumn 1974, when the artists decided to arrange a view of works in the open air, but the action was suppressed by the state. Organs of law and order destroyed paintings with bulldozers and watering machines, as well as janitors who indifferently sweep aside the beauty of autumn leaves. V