The Russian Pictures sale in London on 28 November sees the first appearance on the market of a private European collection of works by Alexandra Exter alongside Nikolai Fechin’s Portrait of Nadezhda Sapozhnikova, a rare early masterpiece. Meanwhile, Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution with Soviet porcelain plates and figures from a highly important collection while pre-Revolutionary objects offered in the sale include bronzes, silver, porcelain, icons and many exquisite Fabergé treasures. Click ahead to see highlights. Russian Pictures 28 November 2017 | London Russian Works of Art 28 November 2017 | London
One of modernism's great achievements was the breakdown of historical boundaries between the fine and applied arts. In Russia, porcelain and ceramic design was reinvigorated in the first half of the 20th century in a kind of symbiotic wave created both by the Great October Revolution and the Russian Avant-garde. Such is the aesthetic power and originality of early Soviet porcelain that it can command the sort of visual presence and depth of expression that you normally find in paintings. Many pieces were conceived and made as one-offs or were produced in such small numbers, or with variations in colour, that they are highly collectible and have historical value. Rarer pieces or prototypes can command strong investment potential.
This dedicated sale of Soviet-era art is being held in London on 28 November to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution. It includes examples from the earliest years of the Soviet Union up until 1991, covering the avant-garde, state-sponsored Socialist Realism and unofficial art of the post-War period, and demonstrating the surprising diversity of the USSR’s artistic output. Led by a group of three works from the collection of Raymond and Susan Johnson, the highlight of the sale is Alexander Deineka’s large-scale Coal Miner. Click ahead to see this and more highlights. Art of the Soviet Union 28 November | London
One of the highlights of the Russian Pictures sale in London on 28 November will be a single-owner collection of works by Alexandra Exter. The present owners inherited this collection from Ihnno Ezratty, a close friend of the artist from her Paris years and executor of her estate. Ezratty arranged for the majority of the estate to go to New York to Simon Lissim, the main beneficiary, but he himself inherited a number of pieces in addition to those he had bought during her lifetime.
After his first triumphant trip abroad, visiting America, France and Italy, Deineka opened his first solo exhibition in the USSR at Vsekokhudozhnik in 1935. The exhibition immediately became ‘one of the biggest events of the season’. The critic Nikolai Shchekotov remarked that ‘Deineka, like none other of our artists, poses the question of style.’ To demonstrate his new pictorial language, Deineka exhibited 119 colourful and stylistically similar works painted between 1930 and 1935. The sections of the exhibition were headed ‘USSR’, ‘America’,’ France’, ‘Italy’, and comprised varying numbers of paintings with the majority of the works relating to the Soviet Union and America, and only a few to France.
The upcoming Russian Pictures sale at Sotheby's in London on 28 November will include an important collection of fourteen works by Alexandra Exter, a key figure of the early 20th century Russian avant-garde. This period in Russian art history is unusual for the number of high-profile female artists it produced. Far from being side-lined, as was the case for many of their European counterparts, these women not only played a key role in supporting the burgeoning careers of their fellow artists, but themselves made a significant contribution to the advancement of the visual arts in both Russia and the West.
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