ADAM AND EVE
signed in Cyrillic and dated 57 l.l.; further titled and dated on the reverse
oil on canvas
Canvas: 31½ by 38¾in., 80 by 98cm
Original canvas. There is craquelure in places and several localised areas of paint loss and paint flaking which require consolidation: to Adam's head, to the background to the right of his arm, to the background area around the center of the left edge, to the beginning of the signature, to the foreground in general, to the left of Eve's legs as well as elsewhere. There is a layer of surface dirt. Some previous losses have been retouched. Inspection under UV light reveals several areas of retouching to the foreground as well as to the upper left quadrant. Unframed.
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.
A gift from the artist to the present owner
Dating from 1957, Adam and Eve is the earliest work by the artist ever to be offered at auction. In the late 1950s Oscar Rabin, his wife Valentina Kropivnitskaya and father-in-law Evgeny Kropivnitsky founded the unofficial art group 'Lianozovo', a creative association of poets and artists named after Lianozovo district in Moscow where most of the members lived and worked. Precluded from participating in the official Artists Union, the Lianozovo artists were considered dissidents and often harassed by Soviet officials.
Rabin was also a driving force behind the infamous Bulldozer exhibition, the show was forcefully raided by the authorities who arrived with bulldozers and water cannons, whence the name. As one of the main organizers, he was arrested and ultimately deprived of his citizenship and expelled from the Soviet Union. Rabin later recounted the horror of seeing art crushed and artists arrested: 'It was very frightening … The bulldozer was symbolic of an authoritarian regime just like the Soviet tanks in Prague.' Two of his own paintings were among those destroyed.