GRIGORIEV Boris Dmitrievich (1886–1939) Portrait of a lady with dark eyes (Ashkhen Manucharovna Melikova). Canvas, oil. 80 × 65

In 2005 this painting was sold at Christie’s Russian Sales under the title “Portrait of a lady with dark eyes”. No clarification. Only later, experts identified the model as Ashkhen Melikova. She was a friend of the brilliant Salome Andronikova, who was called the last muse of the Silver Age. Melikova moved in the circle of artists and poets, which included Shukhaev, Grigoriev, Sorin, Sudeikin, Serebryakova, Tsvetaeva. Melikova is known, in particular, for the portrait of another Russian Parisian, Alexander Yakovlev, which depicts her and Salome in 1922.

A strong-willed woman looks out from our portrait. A fertile topic for Grigoriev. It was the character that the artist was able to masterfully convey. In general, the portrait is valuable because it is made in the traditional style for Grigoriev: with his trademark breaks, with iconic imagery, with tension. Honest, no artificial sleekness. It is clear that this is precisely the same Grigoriev who went down in the history of art with the innovative psychological portraits of Meyerhold, Gorky and others, as well as with the merciless “Faces of Russia”. As a master, “thinking deeply and destructively”, as Alexander Blok aptly put it. Let me remind you that Boris Grigoriev is one of the most expensive Russian artists. His auction record is $ 3.7 million. Our portrait of Melikova comes from the collection of Valery Dudakov and Marina Kashuro.

VOLIGAMSI Rinat (1968) Old Man. 2006. Oil on canvas, acrylic. 100 × 76

One of the newspaper reviews of Voligamsi's exhibition was called “Crazy Tales of Russian Life”. Pretty apt. After all, what plots come up when the author's name is mentioned?

  • The stars in the sky and the stars on the caps of the fighters add up to the Big Dipper.
  • Granny feeds pigeons with crumbs, and if you look closely, then not pigeons, but dinosaurs.
  • Frightened officers in Red Square salute the gigantic general's trousers with stripes.
  • Bombs from bomber hatches fly up into the sky.
  • A UFO looms over the Russian village.
  • And somewhere in the capital, the military easily carry a suitcase for carrying mausoleums.

Many have seen them. Many people remember. Even if they do not know that it is Voligamsi.

Voligamsi's signature recognizable technique is the construction of absurdist designs camouflaged in retro-realism. Someone sees in his work the development of the ideas of social art, Komar, Melamid, Kosolapov. There is something, but far away. After all, Voligamsi's plots are not a mockery, not grotesque, but rather a warm nostalgic absurdism.

We sometimes hear the question: what stars have appeared in Russian art in recent years? Such that without tricks and manipulations, but firmly on their feet, with real demand from collectors. And here is the answer — Voligamsi.

Voligamsi (Ismagilov on the contrary) was born in Bashkiria, studied in Ufa at the Faculty of Architecture. In Moscow, he began exhibiting about 20 years ago. Just nothing by the standards of an artist's career. And now — a recognizable person, nominee for the Kandinsky Prize, with works in the Russian Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

The painting at our auction is Voligamsi of the valuable period. With a plot that is not overloaded with nonsense. We see it as a metaphor for the circle of life, when the seeds of the new grow through the past. A strong philosophical thing from a good collection. It will become an adornment of the new collection.

BELENOK Petr Ivanovich (1938–1991) Moon. 1988. Cardboard, collage, author's technique. 79 × 49.5

Belenok, we can say, before our very eyes has become a favorite of Russian collectors. He regularly appears at auctions, has an army of fans. And we have seen a lot of his paintings. But this one is special. The moon, the endless steppe, the lonely, frightened figure. A masterpiece of panic realism.




This time we have Zverev and Yakovlev — our most popular artists, whose works were in many homes of the Soviet intelligentsia. In the kitchens, in the hallways, in the bedrooms, there were flowers, portraits, and don quixotes that everyone loved.

ZVEREV Anatoly Timofeevich (1931–1986) Bell tower. 1970. Oil on cardboard. 52 × 35

Please note! Seventieth year. Mature, especially valuable period. Oil. Belfry. Topic... The topic is complex. In Soviet times, foreigners loved to buy churches, it almost degenerated into a souvenir story. But here is not a brilliant church, but a strict bell tower, without glamor, without pathos. And, of course, masterfully painted. And what a sky — no words. The work is confirmed by Valery Silaev.

YAKOVLEV Vladimir Igorevich (1934–1998) Portrait. 1990. Paper, gouache. 55 × 39

Yakovlev's portraits are a separate genre. These are psychological portraits. Most often fictional. For beauty and a gift, these are flowers. And the portraits are for sophisticated collectors who understand and enhance the collection. Expertise of Valery Silaev.