Lot 9
  • 9

Vitaly Komar, b.1943

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Vitaly Komar
  • Broken wing
  • signed with initials in Cyrillic and dated 71 l.r. on the purchase of this work by Arkady Novikov
  • oil on canvas laid on board
  • 79.5 by 60cm., 31 by 23½in.


The collection of Arkady Novikov, USA


Moscow, Blue Bird Cafe, Komar and Melamid Exhibition, 1967
Moscow region, Puschino, Exhibition in the House of Scientists, 1968 

Catalogue Note

Vitaly Komar is best known as one of the founders of the Sots Art movement and a pioneer of multi-stylistic post-modernism (1972-73). He received a formal artistic education and in 1967 graduated from the Stroganov School of Art and Design, a Moscow university specialising in monumental propaganda.

Wing belongs to a series of paintings depicting 'niches' from the artist's Blue Bird (Sinyaya Ptitsa) Cafe period. This celebrated venue owes its origins to the political 'thaw' of the 1960s, which saw the opening of a dozen or so cafes run by Komsomol members, and which united many young artists from different backgrounds. In one of his later interviews, Komar reveals that his 'early paintings came out of the idealistic melting pot of Moscow bohemianism'.

For Komar the niche represented man's limited choice. At the time, Soviet art consisted primarily of state-sponsored official art and visual propaganda. Artistic exhibitions and publications were strictly regulated by the government and under these circumstances many artists felt trapped in terms of their creative freedom and chose to make their living as something other than artists. The message that is conveyed by Komar's early works such as Wing is a sentiment of hopelessness. The artist is not only concerned about his personal freedom of expression, but he also thinks about Russian life in general. This idea is further reinforced by the broken wing on the floor in front of the figure, which is representative of man's broken dreams.