Dmitry Krasnopevtsev (Russian, 1925-1995) Still life with jugs (unframed)

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Lot 50
Dmitry Krasnopevtsev
(Russian, 1925-1995)
Still life with jugs (unframed)

Sold for £ 1,275 (US$ 1,648) inc. premium
Dmitry Krasnopevtsev (Russian, 1925-1995)
Still life with jugs
signed (lower right)
pencil on paper
7.4 x 8.5cm (2 15/16 x 3 3/8in).
(unframed)

Footnotes

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


    "There are two main types of beauty, two opposing foundations of [beauty]. Life, strength, health, common sense, logic, benefit, love and procreation, materiality, corporeality - these are the components of the first type, the type of vital, biological beauty. The other, second type is the opposite of the first - it is a withdrawal from life and life connections, an escape from benefits and morality. This beauty is incorporeal, formal, artificial, sophisticated. Everything in it is game, magic, witchcraft. It satisfies our most secret instincts, whims, craving for the unusual [and] the miraculous," - Dmitry Krasnopevtsev (in A. Ushakov, Dmitry Krasnopevtsev, Vol. 1 Diaries, Moscow, 2006, p. 67).


    Master of the 'metaphysical still life,' Dmitry Krasnopevtsev had an unparalleled skill of transforming a simple object into a transcendental symbol with an open meaning. Placed in a neutral and obscure setting, natural objects (desiccated branches, plants, shells) in Krasnopevtsev's art are often juxtaposed those created by a man (vases, bottles, jugs, paper rolls). The object in Krasnopevtsev's still life, often broken or damaged, is always detached from its origin and purpose and adopts a new function of a timeless artefact.

    Early 1960s marked an important transitional point in Krasnopevtsev's carrer as he shifted from romantic landscapes and still lives in colour towards a subtle palette and a clean, harmonic compositional structure. This newly found language, sourced in the symbolist and surrealist traditions, distinguished Krasnopevtsev from any other unofficial artist working in metaphysical paintings in the USSR at the time and to this day determines the extraordinary interest in the figure and art of Krasnopevtsev from collectors and scholars worldwide.

    Whilst the artist never worked in repetition or cycles, of the images and subjects can be traced throughout his oeuvre reappearing in both paintings and graphic works. An oil composition with the same subject Jugs, dated 1962, was included in the recent exhibition Dmitry Kranopevtsev. Paintings from the 1940s-1980s held in the Museum Art4 in Moscow in 2016.

    The period from 1960s to early 1980s is considered to be the height of the Krasnopevtsev's career, with only a rather small part of the artist's oeuvre from this time known to researchers and collectors. The present auction offers a selection of five exceptional works on paper and an etching from this valuable period - lots 50-55, and 113.
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