Lot 305
  • 305

Georgy Gurianov

100,000 - 150,000 GBP
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Georgy Gurianov
  • The Dive
  • signed and titled in Cyrillic and dated 1995 on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 200 by 200cm, 78 3/4 by 78 3/4 in.

Catalogue Note

In 1994 Timur Novikov curated a one man show of Georgy Gurianov’s paintings at the Regina Gallery in Moscow.  It is believed that the offered lot was included in this exhibition (the date of 1995 written on the reverse was likely added later by the artist).  The show received cool reviews in Moscow.  Conceptualism had been the dominant trend there since Soviet Realism waned but even before the Revolution, St Petersburg artists were looking at figurative neo-classicism while artistic developments in Moscow were far more avant-garde.

Using archetypes drawn from Russian visual culture of the first half of the 20th century, Gurianov’s work shows a recurrent obsession with male power and virility.  Avant-garde utopianism created heroes fit for everyday life in a new world, seen in the photographic art of Alexander Rodchenko and the early work of Alexander Deineka.  Later, under the Soviets, such youthful and athletic images of men and women were used as a propaganda tool.  Despite appropriating these loaded visual references, Gurianov’s images of athletes and sailors are essentially life-enhancing.  Devoid of any obvious political ideology, they are both eternally optimistic as well as playfully subversive.