AN ART BRUT MASTER REVEALED – Foma Jaremtschuk
Published by Crna Hronika – 2016 – Macedonia
29,7 x 21 cm – 120 pages in b&w – Hard cover
Foma Jaremtschuk spent most of his life in the Soviet Gulag. He was at first interned in a Siberian labour camp, and subsequently in psychiatric facilities, where he died in 1986. Some time in the 1950s and early 1960s, while under the care of Professor Mikhail Kutanin, Head of the Saratov Psychiatric Clinic, Jaremtschuk produced a remarkable body of drawings. Though completely untrained and using only the simplest of materials, he created a pictorial universe that is utterly compelling; at once horrific and a thing of terrible beauty. His cast of characters include large female guards and nurses, deformed doctors and orderlies, and a vast array of grotesque people and creatures that are hybrids of
human, animal and machine. Often, these images are punctuated with fragments of angry and accusatory text that characteristically tumble into a kind of indistinct textual mumble, or develop into little rhymes, the charming simplicity of which jars with profane content. We know very little about the artist from the official record. He was born in a remote Siberian village in 1907, completed only three grades in a rural primary school, and in 1936 he was arrested and sent to a camp. It is likely that he was one of the more than two million kulaks (peasants) who were accused, in dubious circumstances, of opposing Soviet policy and who suffered a similar fate in that decade.
2 in stock