Vasilij Romanenkov was born in 1953 in Bogdanovka, a remote corner of Russia. He moved to the Moscow region to train as a cabinet-maker, and started to draw at the age of twenty-two. He was discovered by the artist Rotanov, who encouraged him to keep his own style. His work draws on recurring themes, regularly featuring major life events from childbirth to funerals.
The New York Times praised his work in 2003: “The densely worked surfaces reward close study, while the imagery exudes a haunting, otherworldly air”.
He describes his own creative process as “It is as if someone were whispering something in my ear, as if someone in the universe were guiding me”. He worked as a gardener at a hotel in the suburbs of Moscow.
Romanenkov was awarded the Grand Prix at the International Triennial of Naive Art in Bratislava (Insita) at 2004 and received an honorable mention of the jury at the same exhibition in 1994 and 1997.
art brut : a story of individual mythologies, oeuvres de la collection Treger Saint Silvestre, Oliva Creative Factory, São João da Madeira, 18th june to 28th february 2017.
The Museum of Everything, Kunsthal Rotterdam, from march 5th to may 22nd 2016, Netherlands
Soit 10 ans, états intérieurs, gallery christian berst art brut, Paris, from September 12 to October 21, 2015
Elevations, at the Palais idéal du facteur Cheval, Hauterives, April 30th - August 30th 2015
Art brut : Breaking the boundaries, Treger-Saint Silvestre Collection, from June 1st to September 11th, 2014 curator : Christian Berst, Olivia Creative Factory, Sao Joao da Madeira, Porto
"art paris - art fair 2013", Grand Palais, March 28th - April 1st 2013
henriette zéphir, une femme sous influence, gallery christian berst, February 4th - March 5th 2011
back in the U.S.S.R. , figures de l'art brut russe 2, gallery christian berst, January 22nd - March 05th 2010
Figures de l'art brut russe, Lobanov, Almazov, Leonov, Romanenkov, gallery christian berst February 24th - April 1st 2006
Exhibition catalogue, Élévations, collections Bruno Decharme et Antoine de Galbert, hommage à Joseph Ferdinand Cheval, Palais idéal du facteur Cheval, Hauterives, (april, 30 – august, 30 2015), text by Barbara Safarova, Lienart ed. , 2015.
Soit 10 ans, états intérieurs, exhibition catalogue (09/12-10/10/2015, christian berst art brut), Paris, christian berst art brut, 2015
Exhibition catalogue "Treger-Saint Silvestre Collection",from June 1st to September 11th, 2014,Porto, Olivia Creative Factory, Sao Joao da Madeira, ed. galerie christian berst art brut, Paris
Arte bruta, terra incognita, catalogue d’exposition, (collection Treger-Saint Silvestre Lisbonne, 20 Avril 2012 au 23 Septembre 2012 à la Fondation Arpad-Szenses – Viera Da Silva), textes de Christian Berst, Marina Bairrao Ruivo, Antonio Saint Silvestre, Paris, lelivredart, 2012.
Sous le vent de l’Art Brut, Collection Charlotte Zander, catalogue d’exposition de la Halle-Saint-Pierre (17. 01 au 26. 08. 2011), textes de Martine Lusardy, Jean-Louis Lanoux, Paris, La Halle Saint Pierre, 2010.
Back in the U.S.S.R, Figures de l'art brut russe 2, catalogue d'exposition (22/01-05/03/2010), Paris, galerie christian berst, lelivredart, 2010.
Bogemskaja K., Naivnye khudozhniki Rossii, St Petersburg, Aletejja, 2009.
Haltourine, Ioulian, k voprossou ob avtorckih izméneniah v pro-izvedeniah 1900-1910 godov, Sobranié chedevrof, redactor Malévitcha, 2008.
James Young, « The intricate, mosaic-like works of Vasilij Romanenkov embody a serene and timeless vision of a perfectly ordered world. James Young explores their background », in Raw Vision n°61, 2007.
Vadim Pomeshchikov, « Grand Prix Insita 2004, Vasilij Romanenkov », in catalogue d'exposition Insita 2007, Bratislava, Slovak National Gallery.
Vadim Pomeshchikov, « Vasilij Romanenkov », in catalogue d'exposition Insita 2004, Bratislava, Slovak National Gallery.
- The Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection, Manchester (Saint Pierre and Miquelon)
- Charlotte Zander Museum, Cologne (Germany)
- Arnulf Rainer collection, Vienne (Austria)
- abcd collection, montreuil (France)
- Treger Saint Silvestre collection, Porto (Portugal)
- Museum of Outsider Art, Moscou (Russia (Russian Federation))
- Dammann collection, Bâle (Switzerland)
- Museum of Naïve Art, Moscou (Russia (Russian Federation))
- Tsaritsyno State Museum, Moscou (Russia (Russian Federation))
selective press review
- un musée d'art brut ouvre au Portugal authors Roxana Azimi in Quotidien de l'art, July 1st 2014.
- Figures de l'art brut russe authors in Artension, March April 2006.
- Brut russe à la galerie Objet trouvé authors in Libération, March 20 2006.
- Figures de l'art brut russe authors in A nous Paris, March 20 2006.
- Les figures de l'art brut russe authors in Télérama sortir, March 8 2006.
- Figures de l'art brut russe authors in animula vagula, February 22 2006.
- Art brut : l'irréductible authors avec une interview de christian berst in Télérama sortir, February 15 2006.