Ivan Chuikov (Russian, born 1935) Window

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Lot 2
Ivan Chuikov
(Russian, born 1935)
Window

Sold for £ 25,062 (US$ 32,408) inc. premium
Ivan Chuikov (Russian, born 1935)
Window
signed in Cyrillic and dated '79 - 88' (lower left)
oil on wood with mirrored glass
132 x 88cm (51 15/16 x 34 5/8in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Acquired directly from the artist by a private European collector
    Thence by descent


    "In the series 'Windows' every work is literally a window, or yet a window frame with applied image which could be an example of a traditional painting (a copy of [a painting by] Aivazovsky), a collage of fragments of someone else's paintings, basic colouring or a very rough imitation of a landscape outside the window. In all cases, painting does not serve as a means of illusion, or means of getting deep into the window. Rather, on the contrary, the painting appears precisely as painting, that is, as a known work of another artist or as a layer of paint, clearly represented. The spatial sensation is caused by the object itself - the wooden structure of the window frame, which, unlike painting, welcomes to get inside." - Ivan Chuikov (in Ivan Chuikov, com. L. Mashuk, Moscow, 1998).

    Windows is the most extensive and, arguably, the most famous of Ivan Chuikov's series which was begun in 1967 and continued by the artist for over forty years. The series focus on the relation of the real and the illusory, and the fragmentation of perception of the reality, - the underlying themes of the artist's entire oeuvre. For Chuikov, a painted 'window' becomes the ultimate form of artistic representation, an immersive metaphoric gateway into portrayal of the essence of things. Another favourite tool to portray, and often contrast, the reality and art was a mirror, which appeared in the photographic cycle Mirrors, 1977 and a series of installations Theory of Reflection, 1978-1994.

    While many of Chuikov's 'windows' bear a figurative or abstract image applied over the frame structure, the present Window is created with a mirror enclosed in a window frame painted in bright shades of sky blue and sunny yellow. While the palette expressly alludes to the references of natural world, the reflective quality of the mirror surface allows the viewer to see themselves inside the 'window', which grants the work a powerful dual engaging effect. The mirrored 'window' still serves for the purposes of artistic rendering, but at the same time, it portrays the reality of the viewer, inviting the latter to balance on the verge of exploration of the 'pictorial' space and self-reflection.
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