NEIZVESTNY Ernst Iosifovich (1925–2016) Through hardships to the stars. 1977. Oil on canvas. 80 × 130
The title of this painting by Ernst Neizvestny refers to the Latin saying “Per aspera ad astra” by the Roman stoic philosopher Seneca. It translates as “through hardships to the stars”, a metaphor for the relentless pursuit of victory in spite of all difficulties. But in Neizvestny's painting, the title should be taken not metaphorically, but literally. It is a painting about space, about the conquest of the unknown, a hymn to human courage. 1977 was the dawn of astronautics. In that year, the Soviet Union alone made about 100 launches — every three days. Of those, three were manned. The astronauts were idols, even schoolchildren knew their names. Ernst Neizvestny painted this work in his first years in exile in the United States. Experts consider it one of his most powerful and expressive compositions. Its level is absolutely museum standard. The authenticity was confirmed by the artist's daughter Olga Neizvestnaya.
GROSITSKY Andrey Borisovich (1934–2017) The magic of metal. 2011. Cardboard, mixed media. 100 × 90
A metre masterpiece by the poet of things Andrey Grositsky. The bright, powerful, expressive work “The magic of metal” participated in the exhibition at the A3 Gallery during its heyday in 2007. The multi-piece, complex composition is made irregularly geometric for the sake of completeness of conception. An inspired piece! The triumph of metaphysics of the object world. Grositsky of museum level!
SHORIN Dmitry Alexandrovich (1971) South wind. 2008. Oil on canvas. 95 × 147
The large-scale, sweeping painting, the provocative subject matter — the extremely recognizable Shorin in all his glory. His sculptural angels with airplane wings are well known to anyone who flies through the new terminal at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg. Shorin is a Kandinsky Prize nominee and a participant in the 55th Venice Biennale. In 2008, the year of this painting, Dmitri Shorin's exhibition was held in the Marble Palace of the State Russian Museum. And, of course, Shorin is one of the most successful and expensive modern artists. His paintings have long been included in the international auction circuit — sold at Sotheby's, Bonhams, Phillips. The auction record for his work was set at Sotheby's in 2020, when a two-meter canvas “Jules Verne” was sold for $ 38,000. Shorin art connoisseurs say that the painting “South wind” is the unconditional creative success of the artist. The work was published in the catalog of Dmitry Shorin in 2011, published for his project “Holidays”. Well, for collectors of “paintings from the cover” it will be doubly pleasant that this very work adorned the cover of the book “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, published in Russia in 2013.
1960s UNOFFICIAL ART
ZVEREV Anatoly Timofeevich (1931–1986) Portrait of Svetlana Pravova. 1986. Oil on canvas. 69.5 × 49
A classic Zverev female portrait. Late 1986, but an unconditional creative success. Anatoly Timofeevich painted his good friend, Svetlana Pravova. He worked with heart and soul, with mood. This is probably one of the most beautiful portraits published in the album “Anatoly Zverev. Painting. Graphics” in 1991.
NESTEROVA Natalya Igorevna (1944) Aquarium. 2015. Oil on canvas. 60 × 80
Natalya Nesterova, the “Amazon of the left MOSKh”, did not belong to the nonconformist camp and did not participate in forbidden exhibitions. But at the same time her paintings were sharply different from the gray mass of socialist realist painting. Nesterova works in a distinctive neo-primitivist manner. And her paintings dispose to peace and comfort. Nesterova's paintings — a story about small joys that can't be neglected in our lives: about delicious food, good weather, vivid impressions. And “Aquarium” is just a work of this calming series.
ROGINSKY Mikhail Alexandrovich (1931–2004) Apples and pomegranates. 2003. Oil on canvas. 20 × 100
Roginsky of an unusual format seems to be specially designed for a cozy niche in the home of a discerning person. The painting is signed on the back: Roginsky 2003. In 2018, it participated in the exhibition “Apology of delusions” at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. And it is published in the catalog on page 134. It is a late, dark Parisian Roginsky, a striking example of his trademark “documentalism” (as the artist called his style, rejecting the term “Russian pop art”).