While living in the Soviet Union, Ernst Neizvestny did not consider himself a dissident. He saw the harassment and insults from the political leadership as “local excesses” and a manifestation of the “uncultured” nomenklatura. But Neizvestny had had enough of the totalitarian system. And he knew the price of freedom in every sense. And that, in fact, was why he left.
Kalinin is a man of the 1960s, an artist of unofficial art, close to the Lianozovo group. The artist was expelled from the Abramtsevo School for outrageous paintings presented at one of his first exhibitions. Later he was forced to work semi-underground. Kalinin was a participant of a resonant exhibition in the Beekeeping Pavilion at the VDNKh in 1975. And a year later, after the opening of the “city committee of graphics” on Malaya Gruzinskaya, he began to exhibit there as part of the “seven” with Krasnopevtsev, Nemukhin, Kharitonov and others.
Andrei Grositsky's works are the hits of our auctions. The paintings of the metaphysician of the subject world are of growing interest to collectors. No wonder. Works of such a high level appear on the market that eyes widen. And here is another indisputable masterpiece. One of Grositsky's favorite subjects. He didn't just call them “Shovel” but “Portrait of a Shovel”. As if we speak not about an instrument but about an animate object covered with scars and wrinkles of labour.
Tushenosh — a porter of cut carcasses — is a philosophical metaphorical image in Chemiakine's work. For the artist, it was an opportunity to show the symbolic neighborhood of life and death, a reflection on the vanity of vanities and, of course, an expression of the aesthetic rapture received in The Belly of Paris. The “stomach”, or “belly of Paris”, the writer Émile Zola called the food market Les Halles — the epitome of a bustling commercial life and its attendant vices.
Works by the 1960s artist Boris Sveshnikov regularly participate in our auctions, but still recall the biography. At the age of 19, he was sent to a prison camp due to slander, for anti-Soviet activities. The “goner” dying of exhaustion was saved by the paramedic Arkady Akimovich Steinberg — the artist of the “Silver Age” and the father of Eduard Steinberg. Perhaps it was precisely that camp horror that gave rise to that very unique imagery in Sveshnikov's work — with monsters, graves, infernal figures. What is called “Kafkaesque romance”.