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Celebrated Surrealist Artist Showcased

Highlighting the art of Dimitri Petrov.

Brightening the dark days of winter, a selection of recently acquired works by American-born Dada and Surrealist painter and printmaker Dimitri Petrov is on view at the Buley Art Gallery at Southern Connecticut State University.

The prints were generously gifted to the permanent collection by Frank David Scharf and represent an important expansion of Southern’s modern and contemporary holdings. 

Petrov’s vibrant art is a reflection of his unique life story.

“My parents were anarchists, so Dada has always been a plausible point of view for me,” noted Petrov in a review written in 1982 by Mikhail Horowitz for the Kingston Daily Freeman newspaper.

Dadaism — a movement in art and literature — is based on deliberate irrationality and the negation of traditional artistic values. Petrov was a personal friend of Max Ernst, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp, pioneers of the movement.

Speaking with Horowitz, Petrov shared that he was accepted at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts at the age of 15. Petrov’s parents reportedly had to sign an authorization form allowing him to sketch and paint from nude models because of his youth.

Petrov went on to exhibit at venerable institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago and The Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. The works displayed at Buley are some of the last the artist created before his death in 1986. 

They are on view through March 21, 2024. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on February 19 and March 11 – 17. For more information, contact Cort Sierpinski, gallery director and professor of art, at Sierpinskic1@southernct.edu.


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