Don Quixote, fragment

SILIS Nikolay Andreevich (1928–2018) Don Quixote. 1990. Bronze. 37 × 32 × 28

The sculpture “Don Quixote” is a programmatic work in the works of Nikolai Silis — the artist of the innovative group of sculptors of the sixties “LeSS” (Lemport-Silis-Sidur). Usually Don Quixote is portrayed as a grotesque character — ridiculous, with a weirdo lost in time. And here is a completely different Don Quixote. Don Quixote is happy. Peaceful, sitting in lotus position and admiring a wildflower. A sort of Zen Quixote. Comprehending the meanings. And the mills? What are mills? Perhaps only part of the game, the role and social camouflage.

LEMPORT Vladimir Sergeevich (1922–2001) Bakhanka. 1986. Bronze. 24 × 28 × 14

Recall who the Bacchantes are? The frantic and dissolute companions of the Greek Bacchus (Roman Bacchus) — the god of inspiration and winemaking. A kind of patroness of all creative people. Before us is one of them.

NEY Alexander (1939) Owl. 1977. Terracotta. 13.5 × 13.5 × 7

Ney is an American pseudonym. In Leningrad, before emigrating to France in 1972, and then to the United States, the artist was called Alexander Udino-Nezhdanov. He left the USSR at the age of 33. Even before Dovlatov, who taught drawing at one time, and then met in America. By the way, in the famous photograph of Vysotsky with a skull in the Dovlatovskiy “New American”, the poet holds precisely the sculpture of Ney. According to the sculptor himself, for that skull he was inspired by this formidable painting by Bilibin, “Vasilisa the Beautiful leaves the hut of Baba Yaga”. Vysotsky holds a skull easily. But actually it is a heavy terracotta. Like ours. Pay attention to the patterns. The holes create the feeling that the sculpture is hollow. But this is a misleading impression. The shape of the holes, the patterns on the sculptures of Ney is not just a decorative technique. This is a form of working with space, an illustration of the idea of the penetration of different dimensions and communication with space. In childhood, Nezhdanov was greatly impressed by the paintings of Roerich, and later he was imbued with his religious and philosophical teachings. But not only. Years passed, and in the work of the sculptor appeared the first characters from different cultures. He has Chinese forms (a square — a sign of choice, four cardinal points), and Sumerian heads, and African patterns and others.

KULIK Oleg Borisovich (1961) Skydivers. 2017. Object: helmets, electrics, plastic

Surprisingly arranged life. The deep and bold artist Kulik went down in the history of Russian art as a human dog after his most scandalous performance. In general, the artist began by making large, complex and aesthetic sculptures of glass. Now they are sometimes exhibited by the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. But it turned out that good deeds cannot be made famous. And ten years later, Kulik, on a leash from Alexander Brener, rushes to the public in the form of a human dog. And then he lives in a cage in the USA and conquers Europe as a dog. Kulik of the 2000s is a wise, conceptual and figurative artist. Member of the international biennale, philosopher. But at the same time not soul-aging, daring and provocative. Here we are — get acquainted. The conceptual object “Skydivers”. Instead of parachutes — helmets. And instead of people — biomorphic freaks. Chic, shine, the sky in the lights. Yes, a thing for an expert, for a special room. Please note that the sculpture is signed — inside the central helmet there is an autograph of the author and the year of creation.



NEMUKHIN Vladimir Nikolaevich (1925–2016) Dedication to Pyotr Yefimovich Sokolov. 1998. Bronze. 28 × 28 × 33

Some people confuse this thing with another sculpture — a dedication to Vladimir Weisberg — due to recognizable columns and characteristic objects-forms. But no. This sculpture was created in memory of the teacher of Vladimir Nemukhin — the artist of the “avant-garde, stopped on the run”. Sokolov began to study with Nemukhin in 1943, when he worked as a teenager in a shift at a Moscow defense plant. And in rare free hours, having slept a little, he drew, gained skill and showed his work to Sokolov. In fact, these were not only drawing lessons, but also the first, most important universities for Vladimir Nemukhin, who did not receive a formal higher art education. It was Sokolov who told Nemukhin about the Impressionists, about the Russian avant-garde of the beginning of the century and about Malevich, with whom he was personally acquainted. Showed him his homemade albums, where he pasted photographs of art already banned in the USSR. The sculpture “Dedication to Sokolov” is very personal. Sokolov was a constructivist, but then survived a spiritual crisis and destroyed his avant-garde works of the 1930s. So these ball, triangle and cylinders are a tribute to the destroyed constructivist past and the memory of the tragic, undeveloped creative fate of the teacher.

NEMUKHIN Vladimir Nikolaevich (1925–2016) Tree. Sketch of the sculpture. 2002. Canvas, acrylic, chalk. 70 × 50

We pass from sculpture to painting. But smoothly. Indeed, the painting again depicts a sculpture — a tree. A rather rare motive in the artist's work. Dozens, if not hundreds, of the works of this author have passed through our hands. We saw hundreds of cards, jacks. But the tree is perhaps the first time. Especially this plot will be interesting to those who are specifically looking for Nemukhin without cards. There he is.

GERASIMOV Alexander Mikhailovich (1881–1963) Well, come on fists. 1952. Paper, mixed media. 38 × 49

GERASIMOV Sergey Vasilievich (1885–1964) At the wattle fence. Oil on cardboard. 27.7 × 18

Now we will confuse you. Two Gerasimovs. Two Soviet academicians. One is Alexander Mikhailovich Gerasimov, well-known to our customers, the favorite of Stalin, the author of the painting “Two Leaders After the Rain”. And the second — Sergey Vasilyevich Gerasimov, Lenin Prize laureate, chairman of the Union of Artists, author of the painting “Mother of the Partisan”.

Amazing, but both are impressionists in the past. And then they oriented themselves in time and made a fantastically successful career in the system of socialist realism. With a military narrative, ceremonial portraits, etc.

But we have both things this time peaceful and depoliticized. Alexander Gerasimov has a drawing for Taras Bulba, and Sergey Vasilievich has a drawing for Wicker. Decorative warm picture. With expertise.

GINTOVT Alexey Yuryevich (1965) Three philosophers: Julius Evola, Friedrich Nietzsche, Rene Guenon. 2010

The work is a bomb. Three radical philosophers. Italian Evola, German Nietzsche, and Frenchman Rene Guenon. Three pillars of traditionalism, which some consider to be the forerunners of national socialist ideas. However, it is rather from a misinterpretation. Nietzsche in the public mind remains synonymous with something very complex, the inventor of the thesis “God died” and the man whose ideas inspired the author of “Mein Kampf”. And few people remember that Nietzsche died in 1900, 25 years before the first volume of “My Struggle”, and he certainly could not stand up for himself. The Gintovt triptych has a double lever. The fact is that the portraits of ambiguous philosophers were made by the hands of an author who was also attacked for his unsystematic views. With all the possible labels and “shy”. But for people who are not inclined to hasty conclusions, this work is a real find.