Born in Moscow in 1931, Zverev attended the Moscow School of Art and Industry from 1948 to 1950. A nonconformist in art and life, he was expelled from Art School 1905 after several months due to his “personal appearance.” He continued his artistic education by frequenting various studios and museums including the State Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. In the mid-1950s, Zverev developed his unique style of expressive drawing and rapid improvisation. He sometimes drew without looking at the paper, using a finger, cigarette butt or hunk of bread. Zverev rarely painted pure abstractions, tending to produce portraits, landscapes, and still-lifes retaining elements of the objective.