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Foma Jaremtschuk

1907 - 1986

Foma Jaremtschuk was born in a remote village in Siberia in 1907. He never learned to draw and completed only elementary education in a rural primary school, leaving after his 3rd grade. Nothing is known about his early years, and only from the age of 29 can his history be traced. He was one of many victims of the Stalinist regime, after being accused of slander against the USSR in 1936, he was sent to a labour camp. In 1947 he was found to be mentally ill, schizophrenia being the likely diagnosis, and was moved from the labour camp to a mental hospital for the insane. During this period, and up until 1963, Jaremtschuk produced hundreds of profoundly disturbing, yet highly accomplished drawings, which portrayed his inner hallucinatory world, using whatever materials he could find. Fortunately for posterity these drawings were kept by his doctor, otherwise this extraordinary artist's work would never have surfaced. No work after this period have been found, and as his health deteriorated, he was transferred to a hospital for the seriously ill, and those whose mental health was such, as to be felt untreatable, he died there in 1986.

Jaremtschuk is that rare example of a classic art brut artist, one who was forced to exist in an isolated community away from the influence of the world and art history, hence these dark mesmeric drawings have only come to the public's attention in recent years.

The book 'Foma Jaremstchuk: An Art Brut Master Revealed', will be published on the 17th February. Essay by Colin Rhodes, 120 full page colour reproductions, and translations of 'mirror writing' text. Order the book HERE

His work is represented in several important museum & public collections, including recent acquisitions by the Treger Saint Silvestre Collection, Portugal, and will be shown for the very first time in America at the 2017 Outsider Art Fair.