Ivan Puni (Jean Pougny)

Khlebnikov Reading his Poems to Xana

Auction Closed

December 1, 03:47 PM GMT


20,000 - 30,000 GBP

Lot Details


Ivan Puni (Jean Pougny)

1894 - 1956

Khlebnikov Reading his Poems to Xana

signed in Cyrillic and dated 1917 l.r.; further bearing various exhibition labels on the backing board

ink on paper laid on card

Card: 20.5 by 18cm, 8 by 7in.

Frame: 37 by 33cm, 14¼ by 13in.

The artist
Collection of Herman Berninger (1911-2012), Zurich
Acquired from the widow of the above by the present owner
H.Berninger and J.-A. Cartier, Pougny, Catalogue de l’oeuvre, vol.1, Tübingen: Ernst Wasmuth, 1972, p.88 illustrated b/w; p.217, no.201 illustrated b/w and listed
Exhibition catalogue Iwan Puni (Jean Pougny) 1898-1956, Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Reliefs, Berlin: Haus am Waldsee, 1975, no.30 listed
Exhibition catalogue Jean Pougny, Paris: Paris-Musées, 1993, p.178, no.150 illustrated b/w and listed
Exhibition catalogue Iwan Puni, 1892-1956, Berlin: Berlinische Galerie, 1993, p.188, no.150 illustrated b/w and listed
Exhibition catalogue 0,10 - Iwan Puni, Bern: Benteli Verlag, 2003, p.41, no.48 illustrated b/w
D.Sarabianov, Ivan Puni, Moscow: Iskusstvo, 2007, p.130 illustrated; p.363, no.130 listed
Berlin, Haus am Waldsee; Leverkusen, Städtisches Museum Schloss Morsbroich, Iwan Puni (Jean Pougny) 1898-1956, Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Reliefs, 15 May - 17 August 1975, no.30
Venice, La Biennale di Venezia, 13 June - 10 October, 1976 (not in the catalogue)
Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Berlin, Berlinische Galerie, Jean Pougny/Iwan Puni, 1892-1956, 13 May - 14 November 1993, no.150
Basel, Museum Jean Tinguely, 0,10 - Iwan Puni, 12 April - 28 September 2003

Having recently returned from Paris to St Petersburg, Ivan Puni married fellow artist Ksenia (Xana) Boguslavskaya in 1913. Their studio on Gatchinskaya Street on Petrograd Side soon became a meeting point for the most radical artists and poets, including Velimir Khlebnikov, already a central figure of Russian Futurism and one of the authors of the Futurist Manifesto A Slap in the Face of Public Taste, published a year earlier.

After another stint in France, the Punis were forced to return to Russia by the onset of the First World War. Back in St Petersburg, they became the driving force behind two seminal Futurist exhibitions, which would have a profound influence on the development of the Russian avant-garde. In March 1915, the The First Futurist Exhibition of Paintings ‘Tramvay V’ brought together works by Malevich, Kliun, Popova and Tatlin among others. Later that same year, The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings ‘0,10’ introduced the public to Malevich’s Black Square and Suprematism.

Dating from the revolutionary year 1917, Khlebnikov Reading his Poetry to Xana brings together three key figures of the Russian avant-garde and illustrates the close relationship between the visual arts and literature during this tumultuous time. Its appearance at auction is a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire a work on paper from Puni’s Russian period, further distinguished by its impeccable provenance and impressive exhibition history.