Lot 304
  • 304

Georgy Gurianov

40,000 - 60,000 GBP
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  • Georgy Gurianov
  • Tractor Driver
  • signed in Cyrillic l.r. 
  • acrylic on canvas
  • 150 by 100cm, 59 by 39 1/4 in.
  • Executed in 1989


Versailles, 14 June 1989, lot 56


Art Press, April 1989, p.18, illustrated 

Catalogue Note

This large-scale portrait of a female tractor driver is the earliest of Gurianov's works to appear on the open market. The photograph of the work in Art Press features the artist standing in front of the unstretched, and it seems unfinished, painting wearing a red scarf on his head like his subject. Another version was exhibited in the 1993 New York exhibition After Perestroika. The scale of the picture and the glorification of the worker draws on the Soviet cult of the hero-worker. 'Gurianov evokes the cult of the hero in our unheroic era. If Mayakovsky was the first popstar of the 1920s, then Gurianov was the last hero' (Olesia Turkina, Flash Art).

Gurianov was at the forefront of the fashionable movements of the 1980s and 1990s. As Andrei Khlobistin notes, 'as well as Soviet photography of the 1920s and 1930s and Classical sculpture, the clear sources of inspiration for Gurianov are Leni Reifenstahl, Alexander Samokhvalov and Alexander Deineka' (quoted in D137 Gallery of Contemporary Art 1996-2006 catalogue, St Petersburg, 2006).