KHARITONOV Alexander Vasilievich (1931–1991) Sparkling spring. 1973. Oil on canvas. 36 × 48

Alexander Kharitonov was aptly nicknamed “the preacher of good”. Not without a hint of a religious fondness. And so it is. Not only in narrative, but at the level of aesthetics Kharitonov drew on religious styles, especially Byzantine mosaics. He was also inspired by beadwork on church vestments. So his “pointillism” is not the divisionism of Paul Signac, but mosaics, beads and pearls in painting techniques.

Kharitonov was a member of the Lianozovo circle. In addition to the apartment exhibitions, he participated in “Beekeeping” in 1975 and in other high-profile exhibitions of “other art”. At one time during the time of the City Committee on Malaya Gruzinskaya, Kharitonov exhibited with artists of the “twenty” — with Kalinin, Belenok and others.

Kharitonov's oil is a rarity at auctions. Especially oil of a valuable period, and even without a religious theme. So today's landscape “Sparkling spring” is a great opportunity to strengthen the collection. The painting is lyrical, devoid of moralizing. Expert Valery Silaev notes in his conclusion that “in its mood this Kharitonov’s landscape is pacifying, joyful, festive and poetic”. The work has impeccable provenance — from the family of the artist's heirs.

KRASNOPEVTSEV Dmitry Mikhailovich (1925–1995) Vase and plaster. 1959. Hardboard, oil. 48 × 33

For many collectors, Krasnopevtsev is a phenomenon of an artist outside an era or above an era. If you do not know what country he lived in and in what years, you can never guess. In his still-lifes and landscapes from the 1940s onward, nothing gives away the time — not the Pravda newspaper, not the barracks, not the vodka, not the shot glass. Nothing. There are only the jugs, shells, skulls and shards peculiar to the medieval vanitas genre. Krasnovtsev's main theme is metaphysical philosophical still lifes for all time. Our “Vase and plaster” was painted in 1959. This is a pivotal period when Krasnopevtsev has already found his form and will soon change his palette toward an ascetic, seemingly monochromatic one. And here he is still in full color, but already in a classic metaphysical manner. Valery Silaev's expertise notes the museum significance of this work.

YAKOVLEV Vladimir Igorevich (1934–1998) White flower in a glass. Late 1960s — early 1970s. Gouache on paper. 47.5 × 34

In mood, in inspiration, and in execution — an exemplary work. There is nothing to add. In the '60s and '70s, these were the Yakovlevs that, after the apartment exhibitions, “made their home” in the homes of scientists, engineers, and members of the creative intelligentsia. And the little man — torn by doubts, self-taught invalid — became one of the main figures of unofficial culture. Yakovlev decided to become an artist under the impression of the Western exhibitions at the 1957 festival. He was helped by Vasily Sitnikov and many artist friends. Yakovlev suffered from mental illness since childhood, spent long years in psychiatric hospitals and nursing homes, was rapidly losing his sight and in recent years almost went blind. A difficult fate and a special gift gave birth to thousands of works amazing in their “nerve”, piercing and energy. Yakovlev's flowers are not still lifes, but portraits. Portraits of flowers, portraits of the artist himself. And they are not an ornament, but interlocutors — as his friend, artist Mikhail Grobman noted many years ago.

KUPER Yuri Leonidovich (1940) Rose in a golden glow. Canvas, author's technique. 200 × 130

Kuper's works almost always contain some mystery, mysticism, a special technique: his favorite sfumato, blurs, glazes and other “alchemical” findings. It is no coincidence that his works should be viewed from different angles and under different light. Each time something new will be revealed in them. In particular, this rose has a golden glow around it from a certain angle. Incredibly interesting decorative effect. And, of course, size matters. Two meters is a pivotal work for organizing the artistic space in the interior. And it is surprisingly suitable for both classic interiors and modern design.

NEIZVESTNY Ernst Iosifovich (1925–2016) Red Centaur. 1979. Oil on canvas. 58 × 84

The Man of Legend. The man-bulk. A front-line soldier, a war hero, after a severe wound and a year and a half in hospitals he was discharged as disabled and in need of care. Could not walk, could not talk. Who could have imagined that 15 years later this 20-year-old invalid would be talking back to General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev and arguing with him during a showdown in the Manege in 1962. A few years later, the disgraced sculptor would become the author of Khrushchev's tombstone. Neizvestny was respected not just for his artistic innovations but also for his adamant stance on artistic issues. He was not once in conflict with those members of the academy and the influential functionaries of the Communist Party. In 1976, after several years in denial, he was able to emigrate from the Soviet Union. “Red Centaur” is a work of the first years in the United States. It bears witness to the fact that on a conceptual level it is the heir to the ideas Neizvestny had been developing back in the Soviet Union. The centaur is one of the artist's most important metaphors and has even become his nickname. In Neizvestny's concept the centaur symbolizes the symbiosis and fusion of the human and the technological. A symbol of the birth of the new in this union. So the work is important, metaphorical — a decoration of the collection.




GINTOVT Alexey Yurievich (1965) Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche. 2021. Canvas, author's technique. 40 × 30 (oval)

What do we remember from Nietzsche? “That which is ready to fall, shall ye also push!”, “All gods are dead; now we want the superhuman to live”, “Morality is man's importance to nature”, “Moral men feel complacent in their remorse”, “when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you”. Today, his quotes are part of popular culture. Phrases taken apart as epigraphs in Hollywood TV series.

In the late Soviet Union, however, the name of Friedrich Nietzsche was practically a bugaboo. Adults used to utter it in a whisper with the “clarification” that he was “Hitler's chief philosopher”. The main monster of the twentieth century, they say, relied on Nietzsche's theses about the superhuman, the falsehood of moral obstacles, criticism of Christianity, and so on in developing his hateful ideas. No one read Nietzsche, and his books were removed from libraries. We did not know that the link between Nietzsche and Hitler was a consequence of Hitler's visit to the Nietzsche Archive and one photo. We did not know that the compromising photos of Hitler with the bust of Nietzsche were a photo shoot arranged by the philosopher's sister. She was a member of the Nazi Party, persuaded Hitler to visit the philosopher's archive and gave him the book “The Will to Power”. But after all these conversations, there was a feeling that Hitler and Nietzsche had spent long hours talking about the new racial theory. And it did not matter that Nietzsche died in 1900, when Adolf was 11 years old.

Alexei Gintovt's work unmistakably identifies a portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche based on Hans Olde's famous1899 drawing. It is often confused with the portrait of Gorky. And there is no coincidence in this, either. In his youth, Gorky was reputed to be a Nietzschean, and there is an opinion that he deliberately copied his image from Nietzsche. This resemblance simply cannot be explained in any other fashion.

Alexei Gintovt is a rare artist who today does not focus on criticizing everyday life and does not try to fit into a conjunctural trend. It's hard to argue with him about the injustice going on around him. He is not interested in it. Gintovt's thoughts are not focused on the future for a year or ten years, but for a hundred years or more. Like philosophers, pillars of traditionalism, he operates not with philosophical concepts, but with large-scale civilizational achievements and dreams of great victories. Gintovt appoints large-scale parades, giant architectural projects and scenes of multicultural harmony as the artistic images of the future. In our times, one has to pay a considerable price for such views, part of which is ruthless criticism from members of the art community, the curatorial community, and the inevitable labeling.

The portrait of the philosopher Nietzsche is one of the symbols of the idea “The Future in the Past”, a symbol of the relevance of the ideas of traditionalism, a landmark piece in the work of Alexei Gintovt. Connoisseurs of Gintovt's work will note that it is signed on the front side. This is a great rarity. There is simply no more such a portrait. Collectors should pay attention to this.