Shimon Okshteyn (Ukrainian, b.1951) showed tremendous artistic promise from an early age. He was accepted into the celebrated Odessa Art Academy in 1970, when he was only 19, and he graduated three years later with a BFA. Okshteyn started to exhibit his work in 1972 while still a student. He had completed 20 solo and group exhibitions by the time he immigrated to the United States in 1980.

Okshteyn’s work is featured in the collections of several museums in modern Russia, including the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and the Museum of Contemporary Russian Art in Nizhniy Novgorod. When he came to the United States, Okshteyn's imagination was inspired by his new environment, and his creativity, coupled with his daring use of form and strong colors, helped him to establish himself among the leading artists of the day.

The artist began to exhibit in his new home in 1981 at the Wilbraham Monson Academy, Wilbraham, MA, and the Herter Gallery, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Since 1987, Okshteyn has undertaken a solo exhibition almost every year, many of them in his adopted hometown of New York. In recent years he has also returned to exhibiting in Russia, presenting Dialoque With Objects, Retrospective Exhibition in the M'ARS Contemporary Art Center, Moscow, and the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, both in 2007. That was followed by Lost Christmas at the Triumph Gallery, Moscow, in 2011.

Okshteyn works in a variety of formats, including drawing, sculpture, installations, and mixed media, making his work almost impossible to categorize. He is known for his commentary on themes such as consumerism, sexuality, and cultural memory. His pieces are available to purchase through the Stefan Stux Gallery in New York City. Okshteyn is also the subject of the book Shimon Okshteyn.: Dialogue with Objects published by Palace Editions with support from the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, and The Kolodzei Art Foundation, United States, which coincided with the exhibition of the same name. In 1997, he was awarded the Biennale Internationale Dell Arte Contemporanea Prize in Florence, Italy. Okshteyn currently lives and works in New York, NY.

Timeline

1951
Born: Chernovtsy, Ukraine
1970
BFA, Odessa Art College, Odessa, Ukraine
1979
Emigrated to the United States of America
1997
Awarded the Biennale Internationale Dell Arte Contemporanea Prize, Florence, Italy
2001
Visiting Artist, Washington University, Department of Printmaking, St. Louis., Washington
Lives and works in New York, NY

Exhibitions

2011
"Lost Christmas" Triumph Gallery, Moscow Russia
Concerning the Spiritual Tradion in Russian Art: Selections from the Kolodzei Foundation, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY
2010
Decadence Now! Visions of Excess, curated by Otto M. Urban at the Galerie Rudolfinum and Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, Czech Republic video
2007–2009
Leaded: The Materiality and Metamorphosis of Graphite, University of Richmond Museums, Richmond, VA; Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY; Palmer Museum of Art, University Park, PA; Salina Art Center, Salina, KS
2008
Reflections of Reality, Heist Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Shimon Okshteyn: Dangerous Pleasures, Stefan Stux Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Moscow-New York-Parallel Play: Selections from the Kolodzei Art Foundation Collection, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY
Here’s the Thing: The Single Object Still Life, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY
From Head to Toe, Stefan Stux Gallery, New York, NY
2007
Shimon Okshteyn-Retrospective, A Dialogue with Objects, M’ARS Contemporary Art Center, Moscow, Russia (solo)
Shimon Okshteyn - Retrospective, A Dialogue with Objects, The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (solo)
Extra-Ordinary: The Everyday Object in American Art: Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art, Frist Center for Visual Arts, Nashville, TN
After Lifes: Recent Work by Shimon Okshteyn, Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (solo)
2006
Six Degrees of Separation, Stefan Stux Gallery, New York, NY
Okshteyn - After Lifes: New Paintings and Sculpture, Stux Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Shimon Okshteyn - Retrospective, The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (solo)
New Paintings, Stefan Stux Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2005
StateMuseum, Albany, NY
2004
Nohra Haime Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2003
O.K. Harris, New York, NY (solo)
Nohra Haime Gallery, New York, NY
Approaching Objects, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
2002
Galerie du Palais, Le Touquet Paris Plage, Paris, France (solo)
Fauconner Gallery, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IW (solo)
Des Les Gallery, Washington University, St. Louis, MO (solo)
2001
Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
O.K Harris Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2000
Magidson Fine Art, New York, NY (solo)
Danford Museum of Art, Framingham, MA (solo)
Robert Sandelson, London, UK
Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, New York, NY
1999
Robert Sandelson, London, UK (solo)
Paper Works, Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY (solo)
1998
Aging Icons, O. K. Harris Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Nostalgia, Le Centre d’Art Vaas, Vence, France (solo)
1997
O. K. Harris Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1996
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC (solo)
1995
O. K. Harris Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Le Centre d’Art Vaas, Vence, France (solo)
1994
O. K. Harris Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Cornwell Gallery, Toronto, Canada (solo)
1993
Margulies Taplin Gallery, Boca Raton, FL (solo)
1992
Duteurtre Gallery, Kloisters, Switzerland (solo)
1990
George Meyers Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA (solo)
Mabat Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
1989
Edward Nakhamkin Fine Arts, New York, NY (solo)
1987
Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA (solo)
1981
Herter Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (solo)
Wilbraham Monson Academy, Wilbraham, MA (solo)

Public Collections

CB Collection, Tokyo, Japan
The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
George Walter Vincent Smith Museum, Springfield, MA
Museum of Contemporary Russian Art, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC
Rutgers University, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ
The Grinnell College Art Collection, Grinnell, IA

Literature

2007
Shimon Okshteyn. Dialogue with Objects. St Petersberg: Palace Editions, 2007.
1987
Okshteyn, Shimon. Shimon Okshteyn works from 1970-1987 : Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts. New York: Eduard Nakhamkin Fine Arts, 1987.