This particular painting was among the first batch of specially selected works, which was taken out by the English art dealer Eric Estorick to arrange the first personal exhibition of Oscar Rabin in London at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1965. Andropov reported to the CPSU Central Committee about the sale of these paintings. And it was with these paintings that Rabin ran into serious trouble in the Soviet Union.
Thirty years ago, Valery Koshlyakov, together with Avdey Ter-Oganyan, were associates in the “Art or Death” partnership. The artists lived, worked and organized exhibitions in the legendary squat on Trekhprudny Lane. Today, Valery Koshlyakov is already a classic of contemporary Russian art. He lives and works in Paris. And auction prices for some of his works are approaching $ 150,000.
A masterpiece by the acknowledged master of Kafkaesque romance. The most valuable period. 1975. Large size. The highest degree of elaboration. Absolutely museum level. Looking at this soft, sublime painting, it is difficult to suggest that painting for Sveshnikov in the late 1940s — early 1950s was a way of preserving sanity in the harsh conditions of the camp. The young artist, tormented by hunger and illness, imagined and painted imaginary worlds. In the evenings in the barracks, after hard work, ladies and gentlemen would begin to twirl on sheets of paper. And their gallant pas was watched by the death-girlfriend.
Several major nonconformist artists have interpretations of the plot with a cat seizing a bird. Yakovlev has a cat with a bird in its teeth. Nemukhin has a cat with a card. Zverev has a similar subject. And here we have “Cat that ate a bird” by the main member of the Lianozovo group and the organizer of the Bulldozer exhibition, Oscar Rabin.
Together with Zverev, he became a symbol of unofficial art. These are still two names that first come to mind: the rebellious Zverev and the quiet, soulful Yakovlev. An artist of a difficult fate. He spent many months in psychiatric institutions. Poorly saw, at the end of his life he almost completely lost his sight. But the sixties and seventies are the peak of the creative form of Vladimir Yakovlev.
Mikhnov-Voitenko is a Leningrad nonconformist artist, an outstanding abstract expressionist. He worked as a turner, studied at the Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages, then at the Theater Institute at the staging department. Then he worked at an art plant, made custom decorative panels and signs. He entered the history of art with the works made “for the table”. Art historians believe that in individual creative discoveries Mikhnov-Voitenko was the first in the world, ahead of the Americans and Europeans. It is no coincidence that collectors hunt for his trademark “tubes” and for paintings of the “spontaneous method”. And one of the masterpieces is in front of us.