Pen and inkwell


KUPER Yuri Leonidovich (1940) Still life with a pen and an inkwell. 1977

Before us is the masterly embodiment of the technique of sfumato, developed, as is believed, by Leonardo da Vinci. Sfumato is an Italian word for blurriness, nebula. The idea of the technique is to blur the outlines of nature in order to convey the air surrounding it.

Before us is not a picture, but the whole object of the master of melancholic realism. Behind tinted glass, objects actually located in the box are visible. Bubbles, inkwell, pen. 1977 is five years after Kuper emigrated from the USSR. He worked for many years in France and America. And after the collapse of the USSR returned to Russia and restored Russian citizenship.

Kuper turns 80 on July 5, 2020. He is actively working on theater and large-scale interior objects. In particular, he designed the facade and interior of the Voronezh Theater, the design of the new Sretensky Monastery, the design of the synagogue in Perm and the design of the curtain for the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg.

SPINDLER Marlen Pavlovich (1931–2003) Dish “Bird”. 1960s. Sketch for ceramics. Gouache on paper. 21 × 29.5

Nonconformist Marlen Spindler is a complex artist with a complex fate. Three convictions. Explosive character. Late recognition. And in the final — a personal exhibition in the Tretyakov Gallery. In the 1960s, Spindler worked as a designer at the Combine of Decorative and Applied Arts, where he met Mikhail Schwartzman. Acquaintance grew into friendship, an exchange of ideas. And those who saw the works of Schwartzman and Spindler of those years with iconic imagery noticed that they were at least in tune. Later they had a breakdown. Then Spindler was in prisons and spent his old age in a wheelchair. But the Tretyakov Gallery reconciled everyone. Now in the main museum of the country are paintings of both Schwartzman and Spindler.

In our case, of particular interest is the history of the picture “Dish Bird”. Spindler made a sketch for ceramics. The project was not implemented in china. But, as the testimonies of experts say, the plan of his friend was nevertheless embodied by the artist Vladimir Nemukhin. He made a plate on this work of Marlen. Not a series, but in a single copy. On the back of Spindler’s drawing, Nemukhin made an accompanying inscription.




SIDUR Vadim Abramovich (1924–1986) Love. No. 183. Linoleum. 30 × 30

Remember the big story with the ravage of the Sidur exhibition in the Manege in 2015? At that time, religious extremists led by Dmitry Enteo burst into the exhibition “Sculptures We Don't See” and smashed several exhibits. Among the works dropped from the pedestals, Sidur's linoleums were striking. Times. The museum community responded with great indignation. But... in less than two years, Sidur’s exhibition will generally be banned on the territory of the Russian Orthodox Center in France.

And now — for the first time in the auction market! Linoleums of Sidur. A rare format, an erotic plot. For connoisseurs and devotees.


BURLIUK David Davidovich (1882–1967) Evening on the shore. Mid 1950s — 1967. Oil on canvas on cardboard. 22.4 × 30.1

This is the late Burliuk of the American period with a quiet life in Florida. But with thoughts at that time, he often returned to Russia. And not just thoughts. In 1956 and 1965 he came to the USSR, where they warmly greeted a friend of Mayakovsky, the famous “beitlyanin” and “father of Russian futurism”. It is believed that it was Burliuk who convinced Mayakovsky, very shy of his poems, that he was a brilliant poet and even financed him so that Mayakovsky would devote more time to poetry. The expert conclusion to this picture was made at the NINE by the expert Julia Vyacheslavovna Rybakova.

REPIN Ilya Efimovich (1844–1930) Portrait of Elizabeth Petrovna Mikhaltseva. 1885. Pencil on paper. 18.5 × 10.5 (clear)

Repin. The main name in Russian realistic art. And also in folklore. How often do we hear the phrase “Repin's painting «Swam to ashore»”. I am sure our viewers know that such a picture does not actually exist. It is confused with the canvas of another artist — Leo Soloviev, which is called “Monks. Went to the wrong place”. In the drawing of Repin there are neither monks, nor barge haulers on Volga. Here is the artist Elizabeth Mikhaltseva. The authenticity of the drawing is confirmed by a written consultation of Lidia Torstensen from the Tretyakov Gallery.

In general, the twists and turns of the fate of Repin curiously echo the fates of other artists represented at our auction. So, his painting “Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan” was at one time banned, like the exhibition of Sidur, and several times was attacked by fanatics. And with a friend of Burliuk Mayakovsky, he has a different story. Repin was supposed to paint a portrait of the poet, but Mayakovsky specially went into the hairdresser before the session and shaved baldly. Repin refused to work. There is a historical paradox: a portrait of Repin, painted by Mayakovsky, exists. A portrait of Mayakovsky Repin’s brush does not exist.

MALYSHEV Vasily Grigorievich (1843–?) Village holiday. Watercolor on paper. 44 × 62

Artist of the XIX century, not the first row. He painted landscapes and genre works. The rural holiday is obviously depicted, with common characters for such a plot. Including the careless husband beaten by the wife. There is another interesting point. The drawing was made on the back of the architectural project of the rural school.


SIMAKOV Sergey (1949) Still life with fish. 1979. Oil on canvas on a blackboard. 47.5 × 58.2

Some interesting facts about the artist.

Simakov is the author of the cover of Alla Pugacheva’s record “How Disturbing This Way” (1981), which was in almost every prosperous Soviet family. Here it is, remember?

Since the late 1970s, Simakov was exhibited in the city committee of graphics on Malaya Gruzinskaya in the same group as Belenok, Kalinin and Kharitonov.

In the mid-1980s, the artist left for the province and went into religion. He painted icons, became a priest, and in the 1990s he took monastic tonsure under the name of Father Raphael.

In 2007, he met filmmaker Alexei Balabanov (“Brother”, “About Freaks and People”, “War”, etc.) and co-authored two of his piercing films — “Morphine” and “I Also Want ”.


VORONOVA Lucy (1953) Ballet of orchids. 2008. Oil on canvas. 75 × 90

The famous series “Flowers on Black”. Almost no exhibition of the last decade could do without the works of this series. The series originates in 2007. This picture is one of the very first works of the series “Flowers on Black”.

ZHARKIKH Yuri Alexandrovich (1938) Flowers. 1978. Hardboard, oil. 46 × 54.5

Yuri Zharkikh is the legendary ideologist of the Gazanevsky culture. He was one of the organizers of the famous St. Petersburg exhibitions of unofficial art in the House of Culture “Nevsky” and House of Culture named after I. I. Gaza. And a few months earlier, in 1974, Yuri Zharkikh participated in a bulldozer exhibition in Moscow. 1978 is his first year in France, where he received political asylum and where he lives to this day.


Two excellent works, imbued with the spirit of the avant-garde and the romance of technological progress. And this is no coincidence.

ISSAIEV Nikolay Alexandrovich (1891–1977) Railway. Oil on cardboard. 46 × 54.5

Nikolay Issaiev — artist of the Russian foreign countries, representative of the Paris School. Exhibited with Sutin, Goncharova, Chagall. But unlike colleagues in the workshop, Issaiev is still a very underrated artist. And our “Railway” is a vivid confirmation of this. There is everything: a brilliant implementation and, more importantly, a sincere admiration for the energy of the time.

VITING Nikolay Iosifovich (1910–1991) Tunnel. 1982. Oil on canvas. 50 × 70

Nikolai Viting belongs to the circle of the avant-garde, stopped on the run. And the work of 1982 reveals an understanding of where he could come, if there were no threats from the authorities. “Tunnel” is not just his creative luck, but a real masterpiece.