357
357

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Yuri Ivanovich Pimenov
RUSSIAN
MORNING WINDOWS
Estimate
250,000350,000
LOT SOLD. 314,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
357

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Yuri Ivanovich Pimenov
RUSSIAN
MORNING WINDOWS
Estimate
250,000350,000
LOT SOLD. 314,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Russian Art

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New York

Yuri Ivanovich Pimenov
1903-1977
RUSSIAN
MORNING WINDOWS
signed in Cyrillic and dated 59 (lower right); labeled for export and with number 383 (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
58 3/4 by 34 in.
149 by 86.5 cm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Private Collection, Japan
Gekkoso Gallery, Tokyo by 1974
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

Exhibited

Moscow, Personal Exhibition, 1961 (traveling exhibition, visiting Kiev and Leningrad)
Novosibirsk, Exhibition of Works by Members of the USSR Academy of Artists, 1965-1966 (traveling exhibition, visiting Novokuznetsk, Omsk, Tyumen, Perm, Kirov, Sverdlovsk, Ufa, Gorky and Ivanovo)
Leningrad, Personal Exhibition, 1968
Tokyo, Gekkoso Gallery, Yu. Pimenov, 1974

Literature

O.M. Beskin, Yuri Pimenov, Moscow, 1960, p. 119, illustrated
Catalogue for Exhibition of Works by Members of the USSR Academy of Artists, Moscow, 1965, no. 27
Gekkoso Gallery, Yu. Pimenov, Tokyo, 1974, pl. 3, illustrated
A. Sidorov, Yuri Ivanovich Pimenov, Moscow, 1986, p. 187, no. 258

Catalogue Note

Yuri Pimenov's cityscapes rank among the most highly sought-after images of the Soviet era. His representations of everyday scenes unfolding against Moscow's evolving skyline offer a unique commentary on the extraordinary socio-economic changes that were taking place in the country. Morning Windows is a classic example of his fascination with the dichotomy between the epic and routine, or as he titled his 1964 book, The Unusual Nature of the Everyday. His biographer, Alexander Sidorov, praised the poetry, optimism and above all, the democratic nature of this painting.  "Pimenov looked intently at every aspect of life, both the heroic and the everyday. He wanted to be everywhere, in every corner... In Morning Windows, it is as though he invites the viewer to peer into each apartment... The voice of the artist cries out from the canvas, 'Good Morning, Soviet People!'" (A. Sidorov, Yuri Pimenov, 1986, p.124).

The clean lines of the antennas and the skyscrapers beyond, hallmarks of his urban landscapes, offer a powerful juxtaposition to the uneven brickwork and haphazard shadows in the foreground. Equally characteristic of Pimenov's work is the frank depiction of bare flesh, in recognition perhaps of the ordinary worker, the raw material of progress. Interestingly, women are the subjects of some of his most famous paintings, for example New Moscow (1939, The State Tretyakov Gallery); in the offered lot, man is absent from the scene, but the female subjects are caught in typically dynamic poses, as though to highlight the important role they also play in a productive society.

Morning Windows was painted at a critical moment of the Thaw period. On July 24, 1959, a landmark American exhibition took place at Sokolniki Park in Moscow in which an entire house was built that the American exhibitors claimed anyone could afford, filled with devices meant to represent the fruits of the capitalist consumer market. The kitchen was cut in half so it could be viewed more easily—earning it the nickname splitnik, a play on words of the Soviet Sputnik—and it was here that an impromptu televised debate between Nixon and Khrushchev took place, in which both men argued over their country's industrial accomplishments, the Soviet premier insisting that the USSR could match the West's living standards by focusing on "things that matter" over luxury goods. A visual parallel to the philosophy articulated by Khrushchev in the so-called "Kitchen Debate," the offered lot is a rare masterpiece by an artist widely recognized as one of the Soviet Union's most accomplished.

Russian Art

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New York