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.
Natalia Nesterova created her very recognizable, distinctive contemplative neo-primitivism almost 50 years ago. And her language remains contemporary even today. Her paintings are a conversation about life here and now. She tries more often to remind of modest pleasures and moments of happiness. Nesterova does not reproach or educate. Her paintings are about rejoicing in good weather, pleasant company, delicious food and the opportunity to travel to interesting places.
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.
The master of metaphysical still life, Dmitry Krasnopevtsev, is today one of the most expensive artists of unofficial art. His auction record at the peak of the market was almost a million dollars. The philosophical basis of Krasnopevtsev's metaphysical still lifes is the idea of the frailty of the world and the desire for natural harmony, embodied in the equilibrium without symmetry.
This is the astounding story of how Vladimir Yakovlev, a retoucher for a publishing house, began to draw under the impression of exhibitions of foreign artists as part of the 1957 Youth Festival. And he quickly revealed himself as a phenomenal intuitive painter. In the 1970s, his gouaches became symbols of unofficial art. They were bought by representatives of the Soviet creative and scientific intelligentsia. Against the background of the dominance of propaganda art, the purchase of Yakovlev's works was certainly a form of intellectual resistance.
Sergei Ivanovich Vasilkovsky in a new manner is called a Russian-Ukrainian artist. He was born in the Kharkov province, but studied in St. Petersburg, at the Imperial Academy of Arts with Klodt and Orlovsky. Then he trained for several years in France, even participated in the Paris Salon. But, of course, the most fruitful and inspired his creative years are connected with Ukraine, with Kharkov. The artist became famous thanks to the soulful landscapes of southern nature and his favorite Cossack theme.