Lot 25
  • 25

Evgeny L'vovich Rukhin, 1943-1976

12,000 - 18,000 GBP
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  • Evgeny Rukhin
  • untitled
  • signed in Cyrillic l.r. and dated 74
  • mixed media on canvas
  • 94 by 99cm., 37 by 39cm.


Acquired directly from the artist

Catalogue Note

Evgeny Rukhin was a leading figure in 1970s nonconformist art circles in the Soviet Union.  Based in Leningrad, he was influenced by the painters of the Lianozovo group, notably Oscar Rabin and Vladimir Nemukhin.  He employed a muted colour scheme in common with these artists, typically white, black, and brown.  He also often used the colour red in his art, which took on meanings of danger or threat, perhaps referring to the underground artist's predicament in the Soviet Union, as well as referencing its use in 20th century avant-garde painting.  He exhibited at the famous Bulldozer show in 1974 and was among four of the artists arrested there by the authorities.

Like his contemporary, Lydia Masterkova, Rukhin experimented with a kind of abstract art which incorporated religious symbolism.  A strong influence on his approach was Western Pop Art which led him to build up the paint surface by applying 'found objects'.  He selected things that appeared to have been abandoned by others or had fallen into disrepair, such as broken parts of furniture or pieces of wood.  He also took casts in plaster from the silver oklads on icons which he would then paint and apply to the paint surface, as in the offered lot.

Important pieces by Rukhin can be found in the Norton Dodge Collection, USA.

His works are rare, since he died at the age of 33 in a studio fire and Untitled can be considered among his finest compositions.