Andrey Monastyrsky (born Sumnin) was born in the village of Pechenga in 1949. He graduated from the Moscow State University with a degree in philology. Subsequently, he occupied the position of editor at the Moscow Literary Museum. Since 1975, he worked on making poetic objects and actions. He also became one of the founding authors of the Collective Actions Moscow art group which has been active for almost 13 years.

He is considered one of the pioneers of Moscow conceptualism. Along with Ilya Kabakov, he is among the most significant figures of Moscow conceptualism.