CATASTROPHISM IN ART
GINTOVT Alexey Yurievich (1965) Pre-dawn I. 2020. Canvas, author's technique. 100 × 100
BELENOK Petr Ivanovich (1938–1991) Three anomalies. 1974. Paper, ink, collage. 63 × 49 (in light)
These works are 46 years apart. One was painted under Brezhnev in 1974, the year of the Bulldozer Exhibition and the expulsion from the USSR of Solzhenitsyn after the exposure of the anti-Soviet campaign of bourgeois propaganda in connection with the publication of Solzhenitsyn's book “The GULAG Archipelago”.
And the second picture was painted under Putin in 2020. It is still fresh in the memory. It will remain in history as a year of “zeroing out” presidential terms, coronavirus lockdowns and “anti-Russian bourgeois propaganda campaign” after the assassination attempt on Navalny.
And society, like 46 years ago, is still divided. What was then “stagnation” for some was “developed socialism” for others. What is now “timelessness” for some is “sovereign democracy” for others.
What unites Belenok's “panic realism” and Gintovt's “pre-dawn”? Of course, that very heavy oppressive atmosphere, the nature of which was scary to formulate. A premonition of a universal catastrophe. And a very valuable accurate hit in its own time.
Indeed, according to the painting by Gintovt, one can simply unmistakably understand that it was written in 2020. In the era of the coronavirus. Yes, we specifically found out. The spiky spots on one of the two moons are not an accident, but a metaphor. In general, as it turned out, the plot of the work is inspired by the film “Melancholy” by Lars von Trier, where the plot unfolds against the background of the approach of the planet of the same name. And it is no coincidence that this premonition of the apocalypse, the atmosphere of an impending catastrophe, is becoming one of the core themes in art these days.
ZVEREV Anatoly Timofeevich (1931–1986) Portrait of Inna. 1984. Watercolor on paper. 70 × 50
Unlike numerous portraits of Zverev, in this case we know the name of the model. This is a portrait of Inna Shershova, the wife of the famous jazz musician and composer Herman Lukyanov. He remained in history as an experimenter, an innovator of jazz music. His name is associated with the liberal atmosphere of the “Bluebird” and the cafe “Molodezhnoye”, where musicians gathered, poets performed and young artists were exhibited. Late work, painted in 1984. And it is clear that it was made with a soul, touching. And, of course, we like the fact that it is “in its own time” — in an unprepossessing but charming Soviet frame, under glass. This is how Zverev's family portraits hung in many houses of the Soviet intelligentsia. This piece is a reminder of a bygone era — which gives it a special collection value. Verbal confirmation by expert V. S. Silaev.
YAKOVLEV Vladimir Igorevich (1934–1998) Shore, boats, water. 1984. Paper, gouache. 54 × 41
Yakovlev's genre work of 1984: boats, people, shores. Such plots are not often found on the market. Much less often than portraits and flowers. The sheet is glued, but a copy of the inscription made on the back of the drawing with the confirmation by the sister Olga Yakovleva and the postscript that the gouache comes from the collection of the family of the Chuvash poet Aigi, with whom Yakovlev was friends, is glued to the back of the cardboard. Signature and date in the lower right corner of the drawing: VYakovlev 84.
ZUBAREV Vladislav Konstantinovich (1937–2013) Portrait. 1975. Oil on canvas. 92 × 88
The works of Vladislav Zubarev have been hits of our auctions for almost a year. Collectors fell in love with the large-scale philosophical abstractions of the student of Ely Bielutin and the founder of his own studio “Temporal Reality”. For this modern, daring work, you can never say that it was written 45 years ago, in 1975. This is still Bielutin's school, before leaving for independent swimming. Experiments. Balance at the border of figurative and abstraction. Wonderful, bright work. Meter size. And very reasonable money.
HARLAMOFF Alexei Alekseevich (1840–1925) Isolde and Brangäne on the ship. End of XIX — I quarter of XX century. Charcoal on paper. 27.6 × 20
Alexei Harlamoff is in the top 100 most expensive Russian artists. The auction record for him exceeds $ 3 million. This, of course, is for big painting. And we have a drawing, and at a very comfortable price. An artist of a very interesting fate. To paraphrase the ideas of the “American Dream”, we can say that Harlamoff embodied the “Russian dream” or even the “French dream”. Let's start with the fact that he was a serf. This is how bashfully we call the disenfranchised people of the era of slavery. His parents were almost sold separately from their children, but because of his infancy, they were allowed to leave the boy with the mother. In 1861, slavery was abolished. Harlamoff somehow got to St. Petersburg, began to attend the Academy of Fine Arts as a free student, proved himself, entered, and earned several gold and silver medals. Gnawed into life, making his way. He became one of the best graduates of the Academy. He deserved a paid trip abroad, where he was sent to gain experience. Studied in Paris. In parallel, he participated in exhibitions of the Itinerants. He rose to the rank of academician and... finally left for Paris. He just liked it there. He bought a house there. Exhibited at the Parisian salons and had a solid commercial success, until the Impressionists and Modernists took over the world. The former Russian serf died in 1925 in Paris, at the age of 84.
And what kind of drawing do we have? Everything has been studied and described in the expertise of the Repin Center. This is an illustration for the first act of Richard Wagner's opera Tristan and Isolde. In this action, the captive Isolde orders Brangäne to prepare poison for herself and the knight Tristan, but she replaces the poison with a love potion. A beautiful and tragic love story. German music. And Russian graphics.
EGOROV Andrei Afanasievich (1878–1954) Winter road in the forest. Tempera on cardboard. 34 × 48
Very recognizable Egorov with his favorite subject: Russian winter, road, sleigh. He looks like a Russian Parisian. And the signature in Latin. Not really. This is not an artist of the Russian diaspora. Except for Estonia, where he was born and worked. Like Harlamoff, by the way, Egorov was also a peasant. Deaf and dumb since childhood, he met with the support of the St. Petersburg society for the care of the deaf and dumb, learned to be an artist, passed the exam at the Academy of Arts. After graduation, Andrei Egorov painted the interiors of churches, painted landscapes. Then the revolution, the service as an artist in the political department of the First Cavalry Army, return to his native Estonia. In the difficult twenties, the artist was forced to make small paintings for sale so that the general public could buy them on the market. During the war, the artist worked in the evacuation, and then returned to Estonia. After the war, Egorov was awarded the title of Honored Artist of the Republic.
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