Russian Bosch. Leonid Purygin. Or “Lenya Purygin the Genius”, as he later wrote. In Nara, in Naro-Fominsk, in the local palace of culture there was a drawing circle, which became all Purygin's universities. The artist is loved and appreciated as a creator of amazing fairy-tale worlds, where good magic neighbors with hellish images.
The history of this gouache can be traced back to 1969, when it was acquired by the American collector Arthur Odum. In the U.S., this piece participated in the exhibition «Russian Painting of the 1960s, «was published in a catalog in 1990. “The work under study belongs to a rare cycle of Yakovlev's works painted in pointillé. Such pieces from the late 1960s, executed at such a high level, are a great rarity... This is certainly a creative success of Vladimir Yakovlev... It is a monument to Moscow's unofficial art...” These are quotations from Valery Silaev's expertise.
Vasily Shulzhenko. A terrible picture. A mixture of itinerant movement with undiluted existential horror of the level of Edvard Munch and Alfred Kubin. There will certainly be something to think about and something to talk about. The picture is not only with a powerful subtext, but also a virtuoso technical performance. A real old school. Few artists paint like that today.
What do we remember about Krasnopevtsev? This is a special artist — an artist outside the era. According to his quiet philosophical still lifes, no historian can determine that outside is the USSR, the time of “developed socialism”, all around are propaganda slogans and hypocritical films calling for the fight. And you will never think that the author of these inspired paintings works in the Soviet “Reklamfilm”, while he himself dreams of France, is friends with Svyatoslav Richter and George Kostaki and creates works that collectors will hunt for in 50 years.
What is Purygin appreciated for? For a special look, for a fantasy fairytale world inhabited by deep philosophical characters. An artist of a very difficult fate. He drank heavily, was in mental hospitals, participated in apartment exhibitions. In 1988, foreign collectors noticed Purygin at the first Moscow Sotheby's, and soon the artist left for America. But he didn't take root there. He returned to Russia and in 1995 died of a heart attack. A self-taught artist from the drawing circle of the Naro-Fominsk Palace of Culture is now one of the most expensive artists of the post-war unofficial art.