29 November 2017
Woman Washing Her Hair, dated "26 9 59".
Oil on cardboard, laid on cardboard, 51.5 by 74 cm.
Provenance: Acquired from Alexander Stozharov, the artist’s son, by the present owner.
Important private collection, USA.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by Vladimir Stozharov, the artist’s grandson.
It has been included as No. 1987 in the complete registry of the artist’s works, compiled by the family.
Literature: Vladimir Fedorovich Stozharov. 1926–1973. Zhivopis, Risunok, Moscow, Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1977, p. 78.
Woman Washing Her Hair is one of a small number of studies for a large unfinished painting Bania (The Bathhouse), on which the artist worked in 1958–1961. Today, the only clues as to what it could have looked like are contained in a series of virtuoso nudes – studies in which the models are either washing or doing the laundry.
When Stozharov worked on these studies, he already had the main concept in mind; which is why he leaves out all the secondary elements, carefully selects the subject and all the details. As a result, Woman Washing Her Hair not only preserves the freshness and immediacy of a life study, and the vibrant expressivity of an impasto painting technique; crucially, it also boasts a completed spatial and compositional structure. Stozharov eschews the academic conventions regarding light and shadow and places the figure into the composition, focussing primarily on the movement of her hand, and aspiring to capture the model’s distinctive pose. The originality and decorativeness of Stozharov’s painterly style come in handy as he seeks to convey the nuances of colour reflected on the model’s bare skin, and to create a work that is not contrived but a genuine, emotionally truthful one.
Notes on symbols:
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