Lot 24
  • 24

Vladimir Weisberg, 1924-1985

Estimate
20,000 - 30,000 GBP
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Description

  • Vladimir Weisberg
  • nude
  • signed with initials in Cyrillic t.r. and dated 74 ; further titled in Cyrillic on reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 58 by 63.75cm., 21 by 25in.

Provenance

Purchased by the present owner directly from the artist in 1970s

Literature

E. Murina, Vladimir Veisberg, in A-Ya (Unofficial Russian Art Review), 1982, no.4, pp.36-39

Catalogue Note

Vladimir Weisberg was one of the most influential nonconformist artists of the generation of the 1960s, a time when Soviet officials were still fighting "formalist" tendencies in art. While never completely abstract, Weisberg's paintings nonetheless had no place within the purview of Socialist Realism, and were vulnerable to accusations of formalism (which the state defined as the focus on the formal elements of a work of art at the expense of its social content). Weisberg painted meditative still lifes, portraits, and nudes that emphasised light and atmosphere over colour and clarity of form.

Weisberg did not receive a formal art education, although in 1943-48 he took some drawing classes in the art studio led by S. N. Ivashev-Musatov. In 1961, Weisberg joined the Artists' Union of the USSR and became a member of the Group of Eight, whose works represented at that time the most extreme departure from official Socialist Realism. For Weisberg, Russian avant-garde artists like Robert Falk (1886-1958) and Pavel Kuznetsov (1878-1968), and the modern Italian artist Giorgio Morandi were an important source of alternative ideas.

Weisberg participated in the infamous 1962 Manezh exhibition in Moscow, in which one of his works - a painting of a nude - was deemed pornographic. Following the Manezh exhibition, Weisberg's works were banned from official exhibitions, although he remained a member of the Artists' Union and later taught painting in the studio of the Union of Architects (popularly known as the Weisberg School).