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307

Oskar Rabin

City with Moon (Socialist City)

VAT reduced rateArtist's Resale Right

Estimate:

50,000 - 70,000 GBP

Property from a Private European Collection

Oskar Rabin

Oskar Rabin

City with Moon (Socialist City)

City with Moon (Socialist City)

Estimate:

50,000 - 70,000 GBP

Lot sold:

100,800

GBP

Property from a Private European Collection

Oskar Rabin

1928-2018

City with Moon (Socialist City)


signed in Cyrillic and dated 1959 on the reverse

oil on canvas

Canvas: 89.5 by 109.5cm, 35¼ by 43in.

Framed: 108.5 by 128.5cm, 42¾ by 50½in.

Original canvas, which is buckling very slightly in the corners. There is craquelure and paint shrinkage throughout, some of which is lifting, but appears to be stable at present. There are scattered flecks of paint loss throughout. The surface is covered in a light layer of dirt. Inspection under UV light reveals no obvious signs of retouching. Framed.


"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Christine Sperber, founder of Mimi Ferzt Gallery, New York, acquired directly from the artist

Private collection, USA

Sotheby's New York, Russian Art Volume II. Post War and Contemporary Art, 15 April 2008, lot 199

Oscar Rabin. Three Lives. The Retrospective Exhibition, St Petersburg: Palace Editions, 2008, p.43 illustrated

Executed in 1959, City with Moon is an important example of Rabin’s early oeuvre. Presenting sordid aspects of Soviet life in a grotesque manner, the work also introduces the motif of rooftops that would feature in many of Rabin's later paintings. The present composition depicts a sombre city, with a powerplant spewing its black smoke in the background. In the foreground, tenements lean precariously away and towards each other, drawing on Rabin’s love for children’s art, particularly visible in the angular distortions of both the buildings and the perspective.