1960s UNOFFICIAL ART
RUKHIN Evgeny Lvovich (1943–1976) The Clock. 1975. Oil on canvas, mixed media. 99.5 × 97
A new way of filling in the backgrounds and techniques for the embedding of objects in assemblages and abstractions was shown to his friend from Leningrad, Yevgeny Rukhin, by Vladimir Nemukhin in the 1960s. A geologist by training, Rukhin became one of the most brilliant artists of unofficial art. And one of the most daring. In 1966, Rukhin did not shy away from anyone, when the opportunity arose to hold an exhibition in the United States. He also did not ask the authorities when he decided to invite the American pop art star James Rosenquist to visit him in Leningrad. And Rosenquist, too, without asking anyone, came to Rukhin. In 1974, Rukhin was one of the instigators at the Bulldozer exhibition. He arrived in Moscow dressed as for a holiday, and went out into the wasteland in a ceremonial blue suit. Ten minutes later he was beaten and dragged through the mud in this suit by the tightly instructed members of the outraged public in civilian clothes. Rukhin's intransigence and courage, his open confrontation with the authorities gave rise to the version of his murder for political reasons. The investigation of the tragedy seemed to have been conducted half-heartedly. To recap, Rukhin suffocated to death in smoke in his workshop in 1976. The fire broke out at night. The artist had time to save his friends, to push them out of the burning building, but he did not get to the exit himself. The circumstances of the accident were so strange and politically “timely” that few people still believe in the accident.
“The Clock” is an outstanding work of a valuable period. The year 1975 is the peak of Rukhin's creativity. Balanced composition, collage elements, philosophical theme of time — the work seems to have been created for a museum. The painting was examined by Valery Silaev and confirmed its authenticity. So collectors should pay maximum attention!
ZVEREV Anatoly Timofeevich (1931–1986) Flowers. Late 1950s — early 1960s. Watercolor on paper. 42 × 29.5
Early Zverev of the turn of the 1950s and 1960s. Rare floral and bouquet plot. Published. And in addition, known provenance — the collection of academician Bourakovsky. Vladimir Bourakovsky was a surgeon, an innovator in cardiovascular surgery. In 1962, he performed the first in the USSR operation on insertion of a mechanical heart valve prosthesis. He was a Hero of Socialist Labor, headed the Bakulev Institute. He lived by his own wits, so he assembled a solid collection, which included works by unrecognized underground artists. These flowers by Zverev were published in the book “The Knight of the Saved Heart. Memories of academician V. Bourakovsky” in 2005. Provenance is fixed in examination of Valery Silaev. The expert notes the Fonvizin style of this work. Watercolors by Arthur Fonvizin — one of the moral authorities among young artists of unofficial art — Zverev saw in the collection of Costakis. The famous collector had an entire wall hung with Fonvizin watercolors. The technique of wet watercolor is very complicated and almost does not forgive mistakes. But Zverev has coped masterfully.
VULOKH Igor Alexandrovich (1938–2012) Landscape. 1975. Oil on canvas. 50 × 70
Connoisseurs of Vulokh's work unanimously note the museum level of this work. Landscape from 1975. Vulokh did not like his works to be called abstractions. We use the term “meditative conventionality”. Behind the geometric and concise nature of his subjects, a figurative basis was often hidden. The same rule applies to this canvas. If we abstract away from lines and rectangles, we see a landscape with the first snow.
Vulokh was an artist in the orbit of informal art who was not part of informal groups. He was a loner. A favorite of Costakis, a friend of Zverev, Yakovlev, and Aygi. Today his works are in museums and the best private collections of unofficial art — Semenikhin’s, Alshibai’s, Kurtzer’s and others. Vulokh is among the artists we recommend for inclusion in an investment collection. You can read more about this in a special material on our website.
SLEPYSHEV Anatoly Stepanovich (1932–2016) Walk. 1990. Oil on canvas. 80 × 100
A very characteristic story by the 1960s artist Anatoly Slepyshev. He called them “Walks”.
Slepyshev, like Vulokh, was also in the orbit of unofficial art, but was not part of the Lianozovo or Sretensky Boulevard or any other group. Yes, he exhibited with the nonconformists in the House of Culture pavilion at the VDNKh (1975), participated in the Izmailovo exhibition, as well as at the “apartment exhibitions” in Mikhail Odnoralov's studio. But at the same time he remained on his own. Was a member of the Moscow Union of Artists with official exhibitions. Enjoyed the benefits of the Union of Artists. However, even the official status did not guarantee him from the problems. The Soviet authorities were so inventive that in innocuous Slepyshev’s nudes managed to find pornography. In the late 1970s, his paintings were removed for this from an important exhibition in Istra. And only the courageous intercession of young art historians helped to avoid the escalation of obscurantism. In the late Soviet years, Slepyshev's works were a kind of “currency”. Those leaving for emigration took Slepyshev’s paintings with them in order to sell them profitably someday. His paintings were in the hands of Costakis when he left and created his own gallery. Slepyshev even today remains a favorite of collectors. His work has a high liquidity. So do not miss the moment!
NEMUKHIN Vladimir Nikolaevich (1925–2016) Photo studio. 2007. Paper, acrylic, mixed media. 60 × 82
Mystery plot. What is it? A sudden impression? A street sign? A childhood memory? You can't guess by picking. With Nemukhin, you have to know the exact answer. It is known that “Photo studio” is one of the artist's favourite constructions. He rebuilt it several times. According to our data, this theme first appears in his work in 2006, and here is 2007, which means that we are facing one of the first references to this subject.
Vladimir Nemukhin is an artist of the Lianozovo group. Hated by the authorities in his time as a formalist, today he is the pride of post-war art. In his works one can often find references to the first Russian avant-garde and even to conceptualism. But those who knew the nature of his inspiration, believe that at heart Nemukhin was a subtle impressionist. He reacted to strange objects, scenes, nature, circumstances. Cards — a sunken deck. A red circle — the sun in a painting by Clever. The fleece is not a fleece, but a bear skin in the Caucasus. One can assume that “Photo studio” is in the same line. A vivid impression.
ZUBAREV Vladislav Konstantinovich (1937–2013) Self-portrait. 1971. Oil on canvas. 86 × 60.5
“I warn you that this is a portrait. In any case, I ask you to treat it as a portrait”, we recalled the famous scene from the movie about the adventures of Prince Florizel. This is really a portrait, or rather a self-portrait, of Bielutin's former student and later founder of his own school, “Temporal Reality”, Vladislav Zubarev. Pay attention to the year. 1971 is still the time of work under the patronage of Ely Mikhailovich. Zubarev would leave Bielutin's “New Reality” six years later, in 1977, in order to create his own system. In the meantime, this is the time of experimentation, the time of excitement, the time of valuable communication with the Master, and the time of work with complete dedication. Before us is one of Zubarev's earliest and most powerful works. Collectors — be on the alert!
BURLIUK David Davidovich (1882–1967) Red bouquet. 1959. Watercolor on paper. 30.5 × 20.5
David Burliuk was at one time called the “Russian Sisley”. But here it is more appropriate to remember Matisse. Laconic, precise, in a primitivist manner. This is the late American period. 1959. But at the same time, one can feel that Burliuk works with pleasure, with inspiration. Still — after all, this is happening in Cuba. That Cuba. The authenticity of the drawing has been confirmed by Valery Silaev. In his conclusion, the expert calls the picture a monument of visual art, created by an outstanding master — the father of Russian futurism.
GLUCKMANN Grigory Efimovich (1898–1973) Women. 1936. Oil on cardboard. 39 × 57.5
Grigory Gluckmann is an artist of Russian abroad, of Belarusian origin. He studied in Moscow and left for Europe in the 1920s. He worked in Germany, France, and before the war he went to the USA. His success came to him in France. His stylistically recognizable nudes in a complexly made multi-layered entourage quickly became beloved by the European public. Gluckmann was a participant in the Salon des Independents and the Salon d'Automne in Paris, as well as in numerous gallery exhibitions.
But in Russia, for obvious historical reasons, he fell out of sight of collectors. Russian buyers rediscovered Gluckmann in the roaring 2000s. At peak prices, his paintings were worth tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. And the auction record in 2008 was a mind-boggling $ 558,000.
The work “Women” has impeccable traceable provenance. It was sold by the Hatfield gallerists in Los Angeles. They were Gluckmann's agents and organizers of his many American exhibitions. The authenticity of the work is confirmed by the conclusion of Olga Glebova. The expert notes its museum value.