red pepper


RABIN Oscar Yakovlevich (1928–2018) Landscape with red pepper. 2000. Oil on canvas. 54 × 65

“I don’t want to scold — I’m just sorry for this person. He is just pathetic, unhappy pathetic. He got into a very unattractive story, and only because he turned out to be too grateful material for speculators visiting from abroad on the part of human souls...

A vague, frightened, neurasthenic world appears in the artist's canvases. Sloping houses, crooked windows, herring heads, scrubbed walls of barracks — all this would look like an ordinary bias of the layman, if it were not mixed with pseudo-significant symbolism of nonsense”... And further in the same spirit. So the newspaper “Soviet Culture” wrote. Article “Expensive price of lentil soup”. June 14, 1966.

Who are we talking about — you guessed it. Yes, Oscar Rabin is a legend of unofficial art, the core of the Lianozovo group and the leader of the political wing of the “party” of dissenting artists. At that time, his fault was that his paintings were shown at an exhibition in England without permission or approval. And then — more. It was Oscar Rabin who invented and organized a free display of works on a vacant lot in Belyaevo, which went down in history as the Bulldozer Exhibition. He was watched, bullied, he was eventually forced to leave, and finally, in 1978, he was deprived of Soviet citizenship due to the fact that his activities disgrace the title of a Soviet citizen.

“Landscape with Red Pepper” is a painting created in France. But on the labels there are not only French inscriptions, but also Russian letters. This is understandable. Rabin did not become French; he remained a Russian artist to the end. Throughout his life, he carried his traumatic memories of Stalin's repressions, of Lianozovo's hopelessness, of the hypocrisy of the Soviet regime. And this is felt in most of his works, including landscapes and still lifes with seemingly completely neutral subjects.

ZVEREV Anatoly Timofeevich (1931–1986) Don Quixote and the mill. 1970. Oil on cardboard on canvas. 37.5 × 49.3

Cervantes' novel was one of Zverev's favorites. The work is very personal. It is no secret that Zverev imagined himself to be the embodiment of the “knight of the sad image” fighting windmills. Zverev wrote several works on the subject of Don Quixote. There is a version that for him it was an absentee competition with the famous suite of works by Picasso with the characters of Cervantes. Let me remind you that in the Soviet Union, Picasso’s Don Quixote was shown on TV almost every day. This story was the opening screen for a popular broadcast for Spanish learners. According to Valery Silaev's conclusion, this painting by Zverev is not just one of his creative successes, but also has a museum value.




The creativity of a member of the Lianozovo group and a participant in the Bulldozer exhibition is again presented here in all its diversity: painting, graphics, and porcelain.

NEMUKHIN Vladimir Nikolaevich (1925–2016) Photo studio. 2006. Cardboard, acrylic. 58 × 52

Let's start with painting: Photo studio — 2006. This is a variant of the theme that Nemukhin was developing at that time. There is a similar variant in the lifetime catalog on page 260. Our “Photo Studio” is more laconic, in all its purity of design.

NEMUKHIN Vladimir Nikolaevich (1925–2016) Still Life with Great Dane. Dusseldorf. Two pictures. 1990s

A couple of double-sided drawings are framed by the former owner as a nice diptych. Before us is the first drawing of Nemukhin with a dog. It is written “Still Life with a Great Dane”. Out of habit, we first read “with home”. But no. With a dog, of course. Balm for the soul of dog lovers. This is a sketch that looks like the 1990s. It can be seen that the artist was just forming the idea. But this theme was further embodied by Nemukhin in more ambitious things — for example, in the meter canvas of 2003, reproduced in the catalog of works by Vladimir Nemukhin on page 275.

NEMUKHIN Vladimir Nikolaevich (1931–2016) Tea set with a geometric composition

This is a three piece tea set, decal. With the theme of rethinking the Suprematist ideas of the Russian avant-garde. With decal signature of Nemukhin. The kit is inexpensive. But, of course, hardly anyone will raise a hand to use it for its intended purpose. A graceful little thing. And the perfect gift.


DYNNIKOV Viktor Pavlovich (1939–2005) Still life “School”. 1984. Oil on canvas. 75 × 95

Dynnikov is a very recognizable artist who developed his own special style at the junction of Fauvism and Expressionism. Some of his artistic moves will remind the viewer of the already mentioned Vladimir school of landscape painting. And it is partly no coincidence. In 1970, after studying in Leningrad, Dynnikov came to work in Vladimir during the heyday of the regional landscape school. However, he did not join the local current. And, on the contrary, he resisted the influence of the “three Vladimir whales” — Britov, Yukin and Kokurin. Dynnikov himself said: “My searches and my comrades’ searches were not welcomed by everyone. Search work did not fit into the cheerful system of what is called the “Vladimir School of Landscape Painting”. Dynnikov has other colors, often muted. Calm plots. Without the trademark “Vladimir” cheerfulness.Dynnikov remained a stranger in Vladimir, an “alien”. His personal exhibition in 1989 in Vladimir was closed immediately after opening. The story is dark. Soviet power in the capitals was already bursting at the seams, but in the localities it was still strong. The reason was the criticism that everyday life prevails in creativity and there is no positive hero. Well, where is a Soviet artist without a hero.

KATRAN Sergey (1970) Scrambled eggs. From the series “Post-vandalism”

The role of Sergey Katran in the field of contemporary art is an artist-inventor. If translated into the language of football positions, then it is closer to playmakers. A versatile player, with ideas, with the necessary courage to quickly change style and genre.

His list of ideas includes text visualization, translation of the word into the language of sculpture (these sculptures now adorn a park in France) and many others.

The main invention of Katran in the sculpture presented today is post-vandalism. While vandalism is an act of stupid aggression and obscurantism, post-vandalism is, on the contrary, a return to the territory of culture. Transfer to the sphere of light Dadaist game and irony. But this is not a mockery of the heroes of the past. For the dumb, overthrown monuments of once formidable figures, who were no longer able to stand up for themselves, post-vandalism guarantees their safe return to the museum space and to the peace of private collections.

However, here is how the artist Sergey Katran himself talks about this idea: “American Columbus fall and Ukrainian Lenin fall, monuments drenched in paint and sawn-off fragments, the Egyptian Sphinx mutilated by Napoleonic artillerymen, the headless Wilhelm, who suffered from the shooting down of a gun by American soldiers during World War II, the Buddha statues blown up by the Taliban in Afghanistan and even the strange "adventures" of the Zhukov monument on the eve of the 2020 Victory Parade — all these are examples of primitive vandalism with elements of courage. Wild and spontaneous vandalism is being replaced by deliberate and cultural post-vandalism. However, it also has a background. Marcel Duchamp, adding a graceful mustache to the image of Mona Lisa, brought an "additional element" into the image, as Kazimir Malevich would say. With this act, Duchamp not only appropriated the great work of Leonardo, but also changed the perception of this work. The witty act removes the "snobbish and cultural scale", changing the optics of perception of the masterpiece. Duchamp respects culture. He uses reproduction for his aesthetic purposes. A more radical act of cultural vandalism may be the example of the artist Alexander Brener, who painted a dollar sign on a painting by Kazimir Malevich at the Dutch Museum. Later in popular culture, we will see the Joker's vandalist acts in New York MMOMA. Post-vandalism chooses the best of vandalism and places it in a contemporary cultural context. The task of post-vandalism is to change the optics of the observer, to remove the superficial from the work of art. In other words, post-vandalism makes it possible to look at a work of art from a different angle. Post-vandalism is characterized by lively and hooligan action, irony, criticism of ideology”.

Sergey Katran is a four-time nominee for the Sergey Kuryokhin International Prize in Contemporary Art in the nominations for Best Work of Visual Art and Art in Public Space. Founder of the Research Institute of the Future. His works are in the Russian Museum, the National Center for Contemporary Art and private collections.