OLEG VASSILIEV | ARTISTS IN NEW YORK
OLEG VASSILIEV | ARTISTS IN NEW YORK
OLEG VASSILIEV | ARTISTS IN NEW YORK
OLEG VASSILIEV | ARTISTS IN NEW YORK
OLEG VASSILIEV | ARTISTS IN NEW YORK
14

OLEG VASSILIEV | ARTISTS IN NEW YORK

Estimate: 80,000 - 120,000 USD

OLEG VASSILIEV | ARTISTS IN NEW YORK

Estimate: 80,000 - 120,000 USD
Lot sold:250,000USD
(17 bids, reserve met)

Description

OLEG VASSILIEV

1931-2013

ARTISTS IN NEW YORK


signed in Cyrillic and dated 91 l.r.; further signed, titled in Latin and Cyrillic and dated on the reverse

oil on canvas

Canvas: 65 by 101in., 165 by 256.5cm

Framed: 66½ by 102¾in., 169 by 261cm

Condition Report

Original canvas. There are minor frame abrasions along the edges. Fine cracks in the blue of the sky are visible in the center of the upper edge and in the black wedge in the upper left. Faint staining is visible in the areas of black and there is a light layer of surface dirt. There are a few minor scuffs to the surface, otherwise in very good condition. Inspection under UV light reveals no obvious signs of restoration. Held in a simple black tray frame.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.

Provenance

The artist, New York

Blomqvist Oslo, 2004 

Acquired from the above by Morten H. Kielland, Geneva

Acquired from the above by the present owner

Catalogue Note

Oleg Vassiliev never considered himself a political artist. Nevertheless, his work was essentially suppressed in the Soviet Union where ‘even this pursuing of one's own work was criminal, according to the principle 'He who is not with us is against us’ (O.Vassiliev, How I Became an Artist, Cologne, 1997). His first and last solo exhibition in the USSR was a one-night show at the underground Blue Bird Café on Chekhov Street in Moscow in 1968. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the artist moved to the United States, where he was finally able to work and exhibit freely alongside his friends and fellow artists, Erik Bulatov and Ilya Kabakov.


Artists in New York is one of Vassiliev’s most important post-emigration works. Capturing the artist’s experience of living in the United States for the first time, the painting is a major crossover piece, linking East and West. In his 1991 interview prior to a personal exhibition at Phyllis Kind Gallery in New York, the artist commented ‘Life in New York is strikingly diverse and heterogeneous, it has room for everything, and everyone sees it in his or her own way. The construction I used allows me to juxtapose these diverse aspects of life, opening up different spaces. In the construction itself, I tried to convey the summarized image of this space’.


The central section of this work is based on a photograph taken by Erik Bulatov at Phyllis Kind’s out-of-town house, depicting the artist himself, his wife Kira Vassilieva, Natasha Bulatova and Phyllis Kind - the New York gallerist with whom Vassiliev had a contract in the late 1980s-early 1990s. According to the artist’s son Alexei, the characters arranged around the panels are the workers, electricians and carpenters responsible for the hanging of the 1991 exhibition, whereas the architectural setting is a view of Phyllis Kind Gallery in Greenwich Village.

OLEG VASSILIEV | ARTISTS IN NEW YORK
OLEG VASSILIEV | ARTISTS IN NEW YORK
Lot Closed