Soviet art rises in price

 A.Deineka. Window in the Workshop. 1947. Oil on canvas. 65.5 И 90.7 cm. Estimate $125,000–130,000. The lot was sold for $250,000. Sovkom Gallery, Moscow. June 7

The price rises for Russian art works became the result of the season 2005–2006. London «Russian Sale» realised an impressive sum on May and June. Russian buyers spent $116,000,000. It exceeded the total sum of 2005. Art of the soviet period took about 20 per cent in this sales result. Gallery owners and collectors divide soviet art into social realism, soviet impressionism, austere style, non-topical style, and non-conformism. Each movement has its own leaders. New Russian collectors know the names of artists and prices for fashionable masters. Russian collector of a new formation tries to purchase quality art works. During the May sales soviet works of art became more expensive. The prices for the works of non-conformists became twice higher.

The price rises for soviet art make illusions: some people think that they could easily gain in this auction section. However, it is wrong. To do an impressive auction collection, you should have commercial and aesthetic perception of art. April auctions proved that not all gallery owners have them.

The gallery «Stoletie» (Century) organised the sales connected with charitable activity. It helps an orphan house in Sophyino (Moscow region). Among the depictions of roses, peonies, and birches the things characterised by authorial originality have been especially demanded. Ingenious works by David Babunadze were purchased at once.

 P. Ossovsky. Anvil. Reverse side: portrait of son. 1973. Oil on carton. 107.5 И 85.5 cm. Estimate $17,000–18,000. The lot was sold for $17,000. Sovkom Gallery, Moscow. June 7

The leaders of Russian antiquarian market are Leonid Shishkin’s gallery and «Sovkom» in Moscow. Charisma of the gallery owners, their deep knowledge of antiquarian market and art technologies make them successful. Y. Tyukhtin and L. Shishkin obtained new price rises at the last sales of the season – on June 7–8.
Alexander Deineka’s painting «Window in the Workshop» was sold in «Sovkom» for $250,000. A canvas by this famous soviet artist cost $80,000 at May Bonhams auction. An art work by the non-conformist Dmitry Krasnopevtsev fetched $1,000,000 at a London auction.

Russian collectors as well as foreign connoisseurs of Russian Art pay great sums for the works created by soviet artists (from $500 to $50,000). More expensive lots are usually acquired by phone-bidders and Internet-bidders. Moscow dealers don’t know for certain if the absentee buyers really buy the lots after the sales. According to the auction reality, the prises for soviet art pieces are constantly growing. Works by a dozen of leading artists of the period are especially demanded. Alexander Deineka, called «Ayvazovsky of the XX century», is without a rival. According to art forecasts, the prices for his works will grow. Arcady Plastov is also one of the leaders. His modest flower still-life «Tsar Curls» (1930) was sold in «Sovkom» for $39,000. Nikolay Romandin’s oeuvre have been long attracting the collectors.

Brilliant impressionist picture «Forest World» had been estimated at $15,000 in Shishkin’s gallery. However, the picture fetched $28,000. The paid sum wasn’t high for such a masterpiece. To our mind, «Barrow in the Forest» , another work by the master is worth less attention and estimate though it started at 28,000 and was sold for 30,000. The same gallery is a leader of the sales of works created by the artists of the 1960-s.

N. Romadin. Forest World. 1960s. Oil on carton. 99.0 x 118.0 cm. Estimate $15,000–20,000. The lot was sold for $28,000. Leonid Shishkin’s Gallery, Moscow. June 8

«Sovkom» had successful exhibitions of austere style masters. Prices for Pyotr Ossovsky’s works don’t stop rising. His work called «Anvil» was purchased for Б $17,000. Two buyers began the struggle for Victor Ivanov’s «House». The work was expected to make $18,500. However, it was purchased for $24,000.
Leonid Shishkin’s gallery continues to introduce so-called non-topical art to antiquarian market. The title «non-topical» was given by «Kovcheg», which has been realising its exhibition project «Museum of Non-topical Art». Exhibitions organised by «Kovcheg» opened and announced numerous names of talented but unknown masters of soviet time. An event that combined an exhibition and a presentation of Olga Roitenberg’s book was held in the gallery. The book was titled «If somebody remembers what we were». The book was dedicated to the forgotten names. The title of the book is connected with the words of the artist Elena Rodova, whose books can be bought in Shishkin Gallery. One more character of Roitenberg’s monograph is Evgeny Oks. The struggle connected with the sale of his «Self-portrait» (1933) became the sensation of the sales. Quality painting in the style of «Bubnovy valet» (Knave of Diamonds) attracted attention from the very beginning. The work was expected to fetch $1,000. A young lady was the first to raise a pad. A gentlemen began struggle with her.

«The two buyer got to close quarters» – Shishkin told. A young lady was holding her pad while the price was growing: 5,500 – 10,000 – 18,000 – 28,000… The hammer stopped at $51,000!

That was a real record of Russian Antiquarian Market! The same lady purchased several oeuvres at the sales. To our opinion, that was the main result of the season: there are real art connoisseurs in Russia.

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Published in: on June 20, 2006 at 4:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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