71
71

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION, UNITED STATES

Ernst Neizvestny
MALE PORTRAIT
Estimate
1,0001,500
LOT SOLD. 2,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
71

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION, UNITED STATES

Ernst Neizvestny
MALE PORTRAIT
Estimate
1,0001,500
LOT SOLD. 2,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Escape Artists: The Non-Conformists Online

|
New York

Ernst Neizvestny
1926-2016
MALE PORTRAIT
signed in Cyrillic and Latin and marked '1/9' on the base
bronze


Neizvestny’s infamous clash with Nikita Khrushchev at the 30th anniversary of the Moscow section of the Soviet Artists’ Union was a remarkable confrontation between abstract art and state power voiced by two ‘blunt and volatile’ men, as Neizvestny’s obituary in the New York Times records (W.Grimes, 17 August 2016).


'You may be premier and chairman, but not here in front of my works' the artist told Khrushchev. 'Here I am premier, and we shall discuss as equals.' Khrushchev, who had been disgusted by the work of the avant-garde artists that had been included in the exhibition, ended the exchange: 'You’re an interesting man – I enjoy people like you – but inside you there are an angel and a devil. If the devil wins, we’ll crush you. If the angel wins, we’ll do all we can to help you.'


Neizvestny’s style is well described: 'a blend of socialist realism and expressionism with nods to Jacques Lipchitz and Henry Moore, walked a fine line between orthodoxy and heresy.' The present bust sculpture is an unusually figurative and direct piece.


Neizvestny emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1976 and, after a brief period in Zurich, settled in New York. He had a studio in SoHo and a home on Shelter Island, where he created a sculpture park. 


bronze
Height: 9 1/2 in., 24cm
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Provenance

Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in the late 1980s

Escape Artists: The Non-Conformists Online

|
New York